The Silver Rose Just Transition Award goes to… Justiça Ambiental JÁ!

Silver Rose is the annual Award ceremony co-organised by SOLIDAR, its members and the progressive family, with the S&D Group in the European Parliament, the Party of European Socialists (PES), and this year in collaboration with the Foundation of European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)

For more than 20 years, the Silver Rose has been celebrating the work of different collectives, grassroots movements, organisations, trade unions, activists and outstanding individuals worldwide who have dedicated their lives or work to ensure social progress, decent work, the protection of human rights, gender equality, domestic worker’s rights, lifelong learning for civil participation, peace and sustainable development, among others.  

With environmental and humanitarian crises raging across the globe, civil society organisations, trade unions, and movements have been playing an essential role in ensuring a response to those issues, and their work must be recognised.  

That’s why for this year’s Silver Rose we celebrate those who are actively working for a just transition from a local to global dimension, ensuring that the rights and voices of minorities and local communities are secured when addressing the need for a systemic change. It celebrates collective action, courage, vision, and commitment, often at great personal risk, to putting people and the planet first and achieving a sustainable and just future for all. 

We are honoured to award Justiça Ambiental (JÁ!) the Silver Rose Award for a Just Transition. 

Justiça Ambiental (which means Environmental Justice) is a volunteer-based non-governmental organization founded in 2004, in Mozambique. JA! is part of the Friends of the Earth network. It has been working with local communities in Mozambique and other African regions for over 20 years, advocating and organising for a just transition away from fossil fuels, ensuring that people’s voices are heard and their rights are respected, demanding that small farmers have access to land and that oil and gas companies exploring the country face legal consequences, preventing further violations and harm. 

The Silver Rose Jury’s Motivation reads: 

“The Silver Rose Just Transition Award 2023 goes to Justiça Ambiental (JA!) for their fight against fossil fuel projects and land grabs in Mozambique. Their struggle to preserve the environment, defend human rights, protect, and mobilise local communities is an inspiration for what a socially Just Transition means for Africa and the world.”

The concept of a Just Transition is at the very core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Together with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2030 Agenda aims to bring together the intersections existing between social, environmental, and economic spheres. With this, SOLIDAR and the progressive family view a Just Transition as a powerful concept, that brings social, climate, and environmental justice agendas together, aiming for a structural change necessary to face the climate emergency that takes into consideration the social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. 

In line with Just Transition, JA!’s work and advocacy campaigns against oil companies have been key in the call for a transition towards renewables, proving that climate action, human rights, social justice, local communities, and global solidarity are not only closely intertwined, but are the pre-requisite for a sustainable, fair, and thriving world. 

Anabela Lemos, Head of JA!, has been a driver against the exploitation of natural gas in Cabo Delgado province, supporting legal processes against multinational companies to prevent the extraction of natural resources that violate the rights of local communities, damage the environment and contribute to climate change.

“We at Justiça Ambiental (JA!) are honoured to receive the Silver Rose Award. In this time of crises, where communities and environmental justice activists live under constant threat, disappearances and even assassinations, this award is important to give visibility and support to our work to stop fossil fuels, false solutions and to end corporate impunity, at the same time to give us hope that a just and equitable world for all is possible and we will fight for it. This award is also a call to all citizens to build power to fight for our vision of another world. ” 

Anabela Lemos, Head of Justiça Ambiental