In the heart of Appalachia, where the coal industry wields enormous power over government and public opinion, lifelong resident and 2009 Goldman Prize winner Maria Gunnoe fights against environmentally-devastating mountaintop removal mining and valley fill operations. Her advocacy has led to the closure of mines in the region and stricter regulations for the industry.
Earlier this month, over 80 female environmental activists from more than 37 countries gathered in Bali, Indonesia for the “2014 Summit on Women and Climate,” hosted by Global Greengrants Fund, the International Network of Women’s Funds and Greengrants Alliance of Funds.
Nothing beats the dog days of summer like a good read, which is why we are pleased to present two new titles from Goldman Prize winners for you to check out:
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.
1998 Goldman Prize winner Bobby Peek and his team at groundWork recently released a report exposing egregious air pollution violations and a resulting human health crisis being created by South Africa’s major energy utility, Eskom.
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.
In what some are calling “the greatest triumph of the environmental movement in Chile,” the government of President Michelle Bachelet rejected an $8 billion dam proposal that would have devastated Chile’s pristine Patagonia region.
Mama Aleta Baun was awarded the Goldman Prize in 2013 for organizing hundreds of local villagers to peacefully occupy marble mining sites in “weaving protests,” which stopped the destruction of sacred forestland on Mutis Mountain on the island of Timor, Indonesia.
In the year since winning the Prize, Baun has continued to empower the people of the Timor Tengah Selatan district, whose livelihoods are constantly threatened by the extractive industries, climate change and poverty.