In early November, OneWorld readers, partners, and editors submitted their nominations for the award. The only requirement was that nominees embody the values of OneWorld: human rights for all; a fair distribution of the world's natural and economic resources; simple and sustainable ways of life; the right of every individual to inform and be informed; participation and transparency in decision making; and social, cultural, and linguistic diversity.
The 10 finalists were chosen by OneWorld editors to represent what is best in the fields of human rights and sustainable development. Another 10 semifinalists are noted on the People of 2008 Web site, with links to more information on their work.
The voting period will be open for two weeks, with the winner announced in early December.
Sunflower and the Moura’s Mayor nomination for “People of the Year Onworld's Award:
Moura’s latest project links eight municipalities in eight European countries in an effort to create "zero-carbon communities" run entirely on renewable energy. The "Sunflower Project" was launched in Moura in October, with mayors from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom beginning to set out their plans.
In a recent interview with Inter Press Service (IPS), Pós-de-Mina said the project is being implemented "in localities that are socially disadvantaged and impoverished, where local communities have limited access to information, and economic activity alone is insufficient to drive technological and scientific investment."
Helder Guía, the initiative's environmental engineer, told IPS that the Sunflower Project is intended to help spread eco-business ideas across Europe, "breeding new plants that will generate any form of renewable energy, either photovoltaic, wind, wave, or any other alternative power source that is locally feasible, depending on the location and the specific conditions."
"Power plant construction projects are also meant to serve as a springboard for sustainable development by creating employment, jobs that globalization cannot easily relocate to other regions, as they will be dependent on that specific location," Guia added.