2014 Goldman Environmental Prize Winners Announced!
The mission of the Goldman Environmental Prize is to honor grassroots environmental heroes from all over the world for their consistent efforts to protect communities and enhance the natural environment. Each winner receives $150,000 to further his or her work and gains worldwide visibility. Through recognizing these leaders, the Goldman Prize hopes to inspire ordinary people to take courageous actions to protect the planet.
Earth Day Network congratulates all six of this year’s winners for their inspiring efforts on behalf of the planet. As a nominating organization for the Goldman Prize, we’re proud to have nominated one of this year’s winners, Ramesh Agrawal. Here are the winners:
Ramesh Agrawal, India: Ramesh Agrawal organized villagers to demand their right to information about development projects in the region. Using a local internet cafe as his headquarters, Ramesh acted as a watchdog for rural communities affected by energy development projects. He informed residents about proposed projects and their environmental impacts, one of which was a proposed coal mine in Chhattisgarh. By organizing residents to voice their opposition to the project, Ramesh helped prevent its construction. Sadly, shortly after defeating the coal mine, Ramesh was shot in the leg by gunmen hired by the coal company. He is currently recovering from his injuries.
Photo Credit: Goldman Environmental Prize
Ruth Buendia Mestoquiari, Peru: Ruth Buendia organized the Ashaninka people to oppose dams that would have significantly impacted indigenous communities in Peru.
Desmond D’sa, South Africa: Desmond D’sa led a movement to shut down a toxic waste dump in south Durban.
Rudi Putra, Indonesia: Rudi Putra is working to shut down illegal palm oil plantations in northern Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem. The plantations are responsible for large-scale deforestation and threaten the Sumatran rhino.
Helen Holden Slottje, USA: Helen Holden Slottje has helped towns across New York pass local bans on fracking using a clause in the state constitution.
Suren Gazaryan, Russia: Suren Gazaryan helped expose the illegal use of federally protected forestland along the Black Sea.
Congratulations to all of the 2014 Goldman Environmental Prize winners. To learn more, visit the Goldman Prize website.