About the 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.

The Prize Recipients

Goldman Prize recipients focuses on protecting endangered ecosystems and species, combating destructive development projects, promoting sustainability, influencing environmental policies and striving for environmental justice. Prize recipients are often women and men from isolated villages or inner cities who chose to take great personal risks to safeguard the environment.

What the Goldman Prize Provides

The Goldman Prize amplifies the voices of these grassroots leaders and provides them with:

  • International recognition that enhances their credibility
  • Worldwide visibility for the issues they champion
  • Financial support of $175,000 to pursue their vision of a renewed and protected environment

Prize Selection and Announcement

The Goldman Environmental Prize recipients are selected by an international jury from confidential nominations submitted by a worldwide group of environmental organizations and individuals. The winners are announced every April to coincide with Earth Day. Prize recipients participate in a 10-day tour of San Francisco and Washington D.C.—highlighted by award ceremonies in San Francisco and Washington D.C.—including media interviews, funder briefings, and meetings with political and environmental leaders.

The Ouroboros

In addition to a monetary prize, Goldman Prize winners each receive a bronze sculpture called the Ouroboros. Common to many cultures around the world, the Ouroboros, which depicts a serpent biting its tail, is a symbol of nature’s power of renewal.