SDI Wins 2023 Civil Society Organization of the year Award

The Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) Friday March 22, 2024 won the Civil Society Organization of the year 2023 award in Liberia. The honor was bestowed on SDI by the Corridor News Network, a reputable Liberian media outlet which was established in 2011.

SDI, according to the group was selected based on its numerous works in the natural resource sector of Liberia and always ensuring the rights of Liberians are respected in the sector and transforming decision-making processes of natural resource management so the benefits are shared equally. The group further said SDI has also worked creating space for the participation of local communities in decision making processes on natural resources.

This award is an addition to numerous awards won by the SDI previously including the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for outstanding environmental achievements in Africa in 2006.

Giving an overview of the entire selection process, the Managing Director of Corridor News Network, Mr. Edwin C. Benson, Jr said the selections were purely done on a meritorious basis.

“It becomes rigorous to the point that even when there is a tie on particular names, the committee members take a new vote and if there is a tie again, the head then requests members of the committee to give reasons why the vote should be cast for either side. Sometime the committee seeks the public’s views on difficult selections,” Mr. Benson recounted the selection processes.

Receiving the award, the Executive Director of SDI, Mr. Wilfred Gray-Johnson said they are glad to be recognized after a thorough process looking at the work SDI is doing.

“Today, SDI is one of the leading institutions when it comes to advocating for environmental protection, rights of the citizens to gain benefits from their natural resources. SDI is making sure that land rights and resources from natural resources of Liberia are equitably distributed. We are grateful for this award,” he said.

Mr. Gray-Johnson further said “Thank you very much for the recognition and the honor. This is also for the staff of SDI. This has become an epitome to encourage us to work more and we can assure you that we will certainly do much more in the years to come.”

The Sustainable Development Institute was founded in 2002. It is the Liberian charter of Friends of the Earth (FoE), the world’s largest grassroots environmental network. It is also an alliance member of the Green Livelihoods Alliance (GLA), representing the African continent.

The award represents 2023 and those awarded are: SDI (Civil Society Organization of the year 2023), Internews (INGO of the year) Stellar Maris Polytechnic University (University of the year), International Bank Liberia Limited (Bank of the year), Omega Community Health Center (Health center of the year), Pannel Kerr Foster (Accounting firm of the year), Pilot Security (Private security of the year), LordKelvin Forex Bureau (Forex Bureau of the year), Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence (Politician of the year), Christine Dawn King (Humanitarian of the year), Martin K. N. Kollie (Researcher of the year), Clarence Jackson (Journalist of the year), Emma Matiah Glasco (Public servant of the year), Madam Davidetta Browne-Lansanah (Integrity Icon of the year), Minister Varney Sirleaf (Minister of the year), Cllr. Tiawon Saye Gongloe (Opposition politician of the year), Bishop Sam B. Oroge (Religious Personality of the year), Former President George M. Weah (Statesman of the year) among others.

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