With no experience in grassroots organizing, Jonathan Deal led a successful campaign against fracking in South Africa to protect the Karoo, a semi-desert region treasured for its agriculture, beauty and wildlife.
Giving up a comfortable life in California, Azzam Alwash returned to war-torn Iraq to lead local communities in restoring the once-lush marshes that were turned to dustbowls during Saddam Hussein's rule.
An elementary school teacher, Rossano Ercolini began a public education campaign about the dangers of incinerators in his small Tuscan town that grew into a national Zero Waste movement.
ISLANDS AND ISLAND NATIONS
By organizing hundreds of local villagers to peacefully occupy marble mining sites in "weaving protests," Aleta Baun stopped the destruction of sacred forestland on Mutis Mountain on the island of Timor.
Kimberly Wasserman led local residents in a successful campaign to shut down two of the country's oldest and dirtiest coal plants--and is now transforming Chicago's old industrial sites into parks and multi-use spaces.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA
Unfazed by powerful political opponents and a pervasive culture of violence, Nohra Padilla organized Colombia's marginalized waste pickers to make recycling a legitimate part of waste management.