2011 Press Release

Goldman Environmental Prize Awards $150,000 to Six Heroes of the Environment

2011 recipients come from USA, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Germany, Russia, and El Salvador

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SAN FRANCISCO, April 11, 2011 — The Goldman Environmental Foundation today announced the six recipients of the 2011 Goldman Environmental Prize, a group of fearless emerging leaders working against all odds to protect the environment and their communities.

The recipients’ work is as diverse as their respective regions. From dodging assassination attempts in the struggle against a huge mining development that threatens El Salvador’s precarious water resources to fighting for environmental justice in a forgotten African-American community, the Prize recipients are taking on extraordinary challenges.

The Goldman Environmental Prize, now in its 22nd year, is awarded annually to grassroots environmental heroes from each of the world’s six inhabited continental regions and is the largest award of its kind with an individual cash prize of $150,000. The winners will be awarded the Prize at an invitation-only ceremony Monday, April 11, 2011 at 5 p.m. at the San Francisco Opera House and will also be honored at a smaller ceremony on Wednesday, April 13, at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Richard N. Goldman, one of the founders of the Goldman Environmental Prize, passed away at the age of 90 in November 2010. To honor his memory, the 2011 Prize events will be dedicated to him.

This year’s winners are:

Raoul du Toit coordinated conservation initiatives that helped develop and maintain the largest remaining black rhino populations in Zimbabwe.

Dmitry Lisitsyn fought to protect Sakhalin Island’s critical endangered ecosystems while also demanding safety measures from one of the world’s largest petroleum development projects.

In response to Germany’s expanded reliance on nuclear energy, Ursula Sladek created her country’s first cooperatively-owned renewable power company. 

Biologist Prigi Arisandi initiated a local movement to stop industrial pollution from flowing into a river that provides water to three million people.

Now leading the battle for environmental justice on the Texas Gulf Coast, Hilton Kelley fights for communities living in the shadow of polluting industries.

Living under the constant threat of assassination, Francisco Pineda led a citizens’ movement that stopped a gold mine from destroying El Salvador’s dwindling water resources.

About the Goldman Environmental Prize

The Goldman Environmental Prize was established in 1989 by late San Francisco civic leaders and philanthropists Richard and Rhoda Goldman. It has been awarded to 145 people from 80 countries.

Prize winners are selected by an international jury from confidential nominations submitted by a worldwide network of environmental organizations and individuals.

Previous Prize winners have been at the center of some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges, including seeking justice for victims of environmental disasters at Love Canal and Bhopal, India; leading the fight for dolphin-safe tuna and fighting oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Since receiving a Goldman Prize, eight winners have been appointed or elected to national office in their countries, including several who became ministers of the environment. The 1991 Goldman Prize winner for Africa, Wangari Maathai, won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.





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