The Goldman Environmental Foundation today announced six recipients of the 2019 Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s foremost award for grassroots environmental activists.
Awarded annually to environmental heroes from each of the world’s six inhabited continental regions, the Goldman Environmental Prize honors the achievements and leadership of grassroots environmental activists from around the world, inspiring all of us to take action to protect our planet.
In recognition of their combined effort to stop the nuclear deal and seek a just energy future, SAFCEI’s advisor and former Eco-Justice Lead, and Earthlife Africa’s Makoma Lekalakala were announced last year as the recipients of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa.
During its 30th anniversary year, the award recognizes activists from Chile, North Macedonia, Liberia, Mongolia, Cook Islands, and the USA.
This year’s winners are:
Alfred Brownell, Liberia
Under threat of violence, environmental lawyer Alfred Brownell stopped the clear-cutting of Liberia’s tropical forests by palm oil plantation developers. His campaign protected 513,500 acres of primary forest that constitute one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. He currently lives in exile in Boston.
- Profile page: https://www.goldmanprize.org/alfred
- Call to Action: Become educated and help spread the word about the dangers of unsustainable palm oil, using resources from Rainforest Action Network and Friends of the Earth.
- Call to Action: Follow Green Advocates on social media and share their work
Bayarjagal (Bayara) Agvaantseren, Mongolia
Bayarjargal Agvaantseren helped create the 1.8 million-acre Tost Tosonbumba Nature Reserve in the South Gobi—a critical habitat for the vulnerable snow leopard—and persuaded the Mongolian government to prohibit all mining within the reserve.
- Profile page: https://www.goldmanprize.org/bayara
- Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation (SLCF)
- Call to Action: Support snow leopard conservation in Mongolia and around the world by “adopting” a snow leopard through the Snow Leopard Trust.
- Call to Action: Support organizations working to protect snow leopards and snow leopard habitats around the world, including Bayara’s Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation.
Ana Colovic Lesoska, North Macedonia
Ana Colovic Lesoska led a seven-year campaign to cut off international funding for two large hydropower plants planned inside of North Macedonia’s Mavrovo National Park, thereby protecting the habitat of the nearly-extinct Balkan lynx.
- Profile page: https://www.goldmanprize.org/ana
- Call to Action: Support the efforts of Bankwatch to pressure international banks to stop funding development in protected areas.
- Call to Action: Help Eko-Svest‘s efforts to protect Mavrovo National Park and the Balkan lynx.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Eko.Svest.MK/
Jacqueline (Jacqui) Evans, Cook Islands
Region: Islands & Island Nations
Jacqueline Evans led a five-year campaign to protect the Cook Islands’ stunning marine biodiversity. Because of her organizing, the Cook Islands enacted legislation to sustainably manage all 763,000 square miles of the country’s ocean territory, with marine protected areas around all 15 islands.
- Profile page: https://www.goldmanprize.org/jacqui
- Call to Action: Support ocean rights as a critical natural and legal right. Learn more through Earth Law Center and End Ecocide on Earth.
Linda Garcia, United States
Region: North America
Linda Garcia organized her community to stop the Tesoro Savage oil export terminal in Vancouver, Washington. By preventing North America’s largest oil terminal from being built, she halted the flow of 11 million gallons of crude oil per day from North Dakota to Washington.
- Profile page: https://www.goldmanprize.org/linda
- Washington Environmental Council
- Call to Action: Learn more about the Washington Environmental Council’s campaign to “Stand up to Oil,” and about Linda’s efforts to support clean energy and move away from fossil fuels in the Pacific Northwest.
Alberto Curamil, Chile
Region: South & Central America
Alberto Curamil organized his indigenous community to stop the construction of two hydroelectric projects on the Cautín River in Chile. The projects would have diverted hundreds of millions of gallons of water, harming a critical ecosystem and exacerbating drought conditions. In August 2018, he was arrested and jailed – because of his activism, sources believe – and remains in jail today.
- Profile page: https://www.goldmanprize.org/alberto
- Call to Action: Help free Alberto Curamil by posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media platforms, asking the Chilean government to Free #AlbertoCuramil
- Call to Action: Spread the word about Alberto’s work and the work of the Alianza Territorial Mapuche.
About The Goldman Environmental Prize
The Goldman Environmental Prize honors grassroots environmental heroes from the world’s six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America. The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. The Goldman Prize views “grassroots” leaders as those involved in local efforts, where positive change is created through community or citizen participation in the issues that affect them. Through recognizing these individual leaders, the Prize seeks to inspire other ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect the natural world.