Goldman Prize Highlights Inspiring Stories

One activist who received the Goldman Prize helped stem illegal logging in Brazil.© Getty Images

This year’s recipients of the coveted Goldman Environmental Prize include a Vietnam vet fighting Pentagon nerve gas incineration, a champion of native forest dwellers terrorized in Liberia’s civil war, a researcher whose reports are helping China reconsider the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of dam construction, and an activist who helped stem the tide of illegal logging to establish the world’s largest area of protected tropical forest in northern Brazil. Rounding out the list of winners representing each of the world’s major continental areas are two lawyers, one who used legal channels to temporarily halt construction of a massive canal that would have cut through the heart of the Ukraine’s Danube Delta, and the other exposing widespread corruption among government officials in Papua, New Guinea. The officials allowed rampant illegal logging and the decimation of indigenous communities. The winners were announced last week on Earth Day; their names and more details are available at

The $125,000 prize—the largest of its kind in the world—has been awarded to six environmental heroes every year since 1990 by the San Francisco-based Goldman Environmental Foundation. Eight previous winners have gone on to hold elected or appointed political office in their respective countries, including the 1991 prize winner from Africa, Wangari Maathai. She also won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for her tree-planting efforts in Kenya and the inspiration she has provided to millions around the globe.

Source: Goldman Environmental Prize