2013 Goldman Prize winner Jonathan Deal and his team at Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) are calling for the South African government to place a new moratorium on shale gas exploration in the country.
In his acceptance speech at the 2014 Goldman Prize ceremony, Prize winner Suren Gazaryan told the story of his colleague Evgeny Vitishko, an environmental activist from Russia who was sentenced to three years in a penal colony for his role in exposing illegal construction in a national forest and speaking openly about the environmental impact of the Sochi Olympic Games' construction.
Government crackdowns on civil society groups have surged in recent years, an alarming trend impacting many Goldman Prize winners around the globe. 2010 Goldman Prize winner Thuli Makama, an environmental attorney from Swaziland, knows first-hand how difficult it is to effectively operate in a country where civil society is repressed. She stopped by the Goldman Prize office last month to update us on her recent work.
A recent report from the UN and Interpol titled “The Environmental Crime Crisis,” estimates that illegal environmental crime, from illegal logging to elephant poaching, generates up to $213 billion a year, with the majority of profits going to international crime syndicates and terrorist organizations.