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Marc Ona Essangui

Gabonese environmentalist and founder of Brainforest, an NGO that works to prevent resource exploitation and corruption

Sub-Saharan Africa

Marc Ona Essangui is the president and founder of Brainforest and Environment Gabon, two organizations focusing on sustainable development in Gabon. In 2007, Ona uncovered plans between the Gabonese government and a Chinese company for a USD 3.5 billion mining project, which had been completely hidden from the public. The estimated environmental impacts of the project were severe, and the company would have received a 25-year tax break,with little money going to the Gabonese people. Thanks to Ona’s efforts, the project is currently on hold. He continues to expose corruption in Gabon, even after being sentenced to six months in prison in 2013 for defaming a senior advisor to President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

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