UKWIN is happy to report that the anti-incineration campaigning efforts of UKWIN member Keith Kondakor have been recognised by Friends of the Earth, who have honoured Keith with their Earth Mover award for 2008.
Over the weekend of 12th – 14th September Leicestershire played host to some 400 participants at the national Friends of the Earth Local Groups Conference, held at Loughborough University. UKWIN volunteers ran a stall to provide information about the national anti-incineration campaign.
Malcolm Hunter, spokesperson for Leicester Friends of the Earth said:
We were honoured to host the conference in Leicestershire this year and local activists were well represented. Following Leicester Friends of the Earth receiving the “Group of the Year” award last year, we were delighted to see local activist, Keith Kondakor, from neighbouring Nuneaton, receive an award this year, for his work nationally in leading and supporting opposition to new waste incinerators. Incineration wastes vast amounts of valuable resources and energy, which the technology exists to recover, even from unsorted waste and Keith’s input and advice has been invaluable to us in Leicester, in our campaign against the County Council’s proposals for a big new incinerator in Leicestershire.
In a testimonial submitted to Friends of the Earth, UKWIN Coordinator Shlomo Dowen said of Keith:
We all benefit from the impressive array of skill sets that Keith has developed as an anti-incineration campaigner, from public and media relations to Freedom of Information (FoI) and Environmental Information Regulation (EIR) requests, from his incredible grasp of numbers to his commitment to information sharing and networking. Keith shares his research findings freely and promptly, helping to shape a collaborative culture throughout the UK’s anti-incineration movement.
Facts can be hard to come by in the secretive and emotive world of waste management. The anti-incineration movement must rely on factual information to help us understand what is really going on. These facts, for example that quantities of household waste are falling not rising, act as evidence to support and inform our assertions (that incineration is not necessary). Keith is a skilful and tireless campaigner and researcher. He uses technical ability, mathematical talent and unusual people skills to uncover information and interpret data that would, if not for Keith, remain hidden and inaccessible.
Keith enjoys a playfulness of intellect, a generosity of spirit and sense of humour that means he performs his voluntary duties with grace and wit, inspiring fellow campaigners to make that extra effort – to write that extra letter to the newspaper’s on-line forum, to chase up that unanswered information request, and to update the FoE Waste Discussion List about the latest twists and turns – and to do our best to keep up with Keith’s latest finds!
Keith deserves recognition for his many and various contributions to the UK’s anti-incineration movement. He has saved other activists countless ‘research hours’.
Keith voluntarily devotes his time and energy to the movement. He is prepared to travel for hours to make his unique contribution to a campaign group meeting or to deliver a presentation to a group of unsuspecting councillors. And Keith’s efforts consistently bring results! He has exerted influence over decision-makers, and has helped many local campaigners to hold their own officers and politicians to account. Keith has genuinely provided services to help address the democracy deficit in this country, by allowing so many people access to information that would otherwise have been withheld.
As a campaigner he is responsible and effective – never overstating or understating his findings (not to us at any rate!). There is a great deal of uncertainty in the world of waste information, and Keith provides many activists with a ‘reality check’ while acting as a springboard for speculating about past, present and future situations. The website he maintains provides an excellent service to Friends of the Earth members and groups throughout the UK and beyond.
If anti-incineration campaigners are NIMBYs, then Keith Kondakor enjoys the largest back yard in England!
I am honoured to support the bid to award Keith with a well-earned Friends of the Earth Earthmover award.