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Argentine lawyer wins $100,000 environmental prize

Written by: Staff
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OSLO, Mar 30 (Reuters) Argentine lawyer Romina Picolotti was awarded a 100,000 dollar environmental prize today for work to safeguard human rights and to halt environmental degradation.

''She has done ground-breaking work in linking problems of environmental destruction to the fight for basic human rights,'' the Norwegian prize jury said of reasons for awarding the Sophie Prize to Picolotti.

Picolotti, 35, has, for instance, helped protect indigenous people in Nicaragua from timber companies exploiting forests, it said. Her Centre for Human Rights and Environment, founded in 1999, has worked throughout Latin America.

The annual prize was set up in 1998 by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder and his wife, Siri Dannevig. Gaarder wrote the 1990s bestseller ''Sophie's World'' which is a teenagers' guide to philosophy. The prize will be formally handed over in Oslo on June 15.

REUTERS SK RN0456

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