Europe 2016 Goldman Prize Recipient
A public interest lawyer and mother of two, Zuzana Caputova spearheaded a successful campaign that shut down a toxic waste dump that was poisoning the land, air and water in her community, setting a precedent for public participation in post-communist Slovakia.
Asia 2016 Goldman Prize Recipient
In one of the most dangerous countries in the world for environmental activists, Leng Ouch went undercover to document illegal logging in Cambodia and exposed the corruption robbing rural communities of their land, causing the government to cancel large land concessions.
South and Central America 2016 Goldman Prize Recipient
A subsistence farmer in Peru’s northern highlands, Máxima Acuña stood up for her right to peacefully live off her own property, a plot of land sought by Newmont and Buenaventura Mining to develop the Conga gold and copper mine.
North America 2016 Goldman Prize Recipient
In a community whose environmental rights had long been sidelined to make room for heavy industry, Destiny Watford inspired residents of a Baltimore neighborhood to defeat plans to build the nation’s largest incinerator less than a mile away from her high school.
Islands and Island Nations 2016 Goldman Prize Recipient
Luis Jorge Rivera Herrera helped lead a successful campaign to establish a nature reserve in Puerto Rico’s Northeast Ecological Corridor—an important nesting ground for the endangered leatherback sea turtle—and protect the island’s natural heritage from harmful development.
Africa 2016 Goldman Prize Recipient
Edward Loure led a grassroots organization that pioneered an approach that gives land titles to indigenous communities—instead of individuals—in northern Tanzania, ensuring the environmental stewardship of more than 200,000 acres of land for future generations.
Asia 2015 Goldman Prize Recipient
Facing heavy government scrutiny and restricted use of tools like email or social media, Myint Zaw launched a national movement that successfully stopped construction of the Myitsone Dam on Myanmar’s treasured Irrawaddy River.
North America 2015 Goldman Prize Recipient
A former chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, Marilyn Baptiste led her community in defeating one of the largest proposed gold and copper mines in British Columbia that would have destroyed Fish Lake—a source of spiritual identity and livelihood for the Xeni Gwet’in.
Islands and Island Nations 2015 Goldman Prize Recipient
In a country plagued by extreme poverty and political instability, Jean Wiener led community efforts to establish the nation’s first Marine Protected Areas by empowering Haitians to see the long-term value in sustainably managing fisheries and mangrove forests.
Africa 2015 Goldman Prize Recipient
After learning her own breast milk was making her baby sick—and realizing her child wasn’t the only one suffering from lead poisoning—Phyllis Omido galvanized the community in Mombasa to shut down the smelter that was exposing people to dangerous chemicals.
Europe 2015 Goldman Prize Recipient
Howard Wood spearheaded a campaign that established the first community-developed Marine Protected Area in Scotland, giving citizens a voice in a debate that has been dominated by the commercial fishing industry.
South and Central America 2015 Goldman Prize Recipient
In a country with growing socioeconomic inequality and human rights violations, Berta Cáceres rallied the indigenous Lenca people of Honduras and waged a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam.
Asia 2012 Goldman Prize Recipient
Ma Jun developed an online database and digital map that show which factories are violating environmental regulations across China.
North America 2013 Goldman Prize Recipient
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 multiuse spaces.
South and Central America 2013 Goldman Prize Recipient
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.
Europe 2013 Goldman Prize Recipient
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.
Africa 2013 Goldman Prize Recipient
With no prior 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.
Islands and Island Nations 2013 Goldman Prize Recipient
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.
South and Central America 2012 Goldman Prize Recipient
A mother whose infant died as a result of pesticide poisoning, Sofia Gatica organized local women to stop indiscriminate spraying of toxic agrochemicals in neighboring soy fields.
Islands and Island Nations 2012 Goldman Prize Recipient
A Catholic priest, Father Edwin Gariguez led a grassroots movement against an illegal nickel mine to protect Mindoro Island’s biodiversity and its indigenous people.
Europe 2012 Goldman Prize Recipient
In the face of rampant political corruption, Evgenia Chirikova mobilized her fellow citizens to reroute a highway that would bisect Moscow’s protected Khimki Forest.
North America 2012 Goldman Prize Recipient
Caroline Cannon gave her native community in Point Hope an unprecedented voice in a legal battle to keep the Arctic Ocean safe from offshore drilling.
Africa 2012 Goldman Prize Recipient
Ikal Angelei organized local people to fight the construction of the massive Gibe 3 Dam that would block access to water for indigenous communities around Lake Turkana.
Europe 2011 Goldman Prize Recipient
In response to Germany’s expanded reliance on nuclear energy, Ursula Sladek created her country’s first cooperatively-owned renewable power company.
South and Central America 2011 Goldman Prize Recipient
Living under the constant threat of assassination, Francisco Pineda courageously led a citizens’ movement that stopped a gold mine from destroying El Salvador’s dwindling water resources and the livelihoods of rural communities.
Asia 2011 Goldman Prize Recipient
Dmitry Lisitsyn fought to protect Sakhalin Island’s critically endangered ecosystems while also demanding safety measures from one of the world’s largest petroleum development projects.
North America 2011 Goldman Prize Recipient
Hilton Kelley is a leading figure in the battle for environmental justice on the Texas Gulf Coast, as he fights for communities living in the shadow of polluting industries.
Africa 2011 Goldman Prize Recipient
Raoul du Toit coordinated conservation initiatives that have helped develop and maintain the largest remaining black rhino populations in Zimbabwe.
Islands and Island Nations 2011 Goldman Prize Recipient
Prigi Arisandi initiated a local movement to stop industrial pollution from flowing into Surabaya's river that provides drinking water to 3 million people.
Asia 2010 Goldman Prize Recipient
Tuy Sereivathana introduced innovative low-cost solutions to mitigate human-elephant conflict in Cambodia, empowering local communities to cooperatively participate in endangered Asian elephant conservation.
Islands and Island Nations 2010 Goldman Prize Recipient
Humberto Ríos Labrada, a scientist and biodiversity researcher, worked with farmers to increase crop diversity and develop low-input agricultural systems, encouraging Cuba’s shift from agricultural chemical dependence toward sustainability.
Africa 2010 Goldman Prize Recipient
After a grueling three-year legal battle, Swaziland’s only public interest environmental attorney, Thuli Makama, won a landmark case to include environmental NGO representation in the Swaziland Environment Authority, reinforcing the right to public participation in environmental decision making.
North America 2010 Goldman Prize Recipient
Family farmer and activist Lynn Henning exposed the egregious polluting practices of livestock factory farms in rural Michigan, gaining the attention of the federal EPA and prompting state regulators to issue hundreds of citations for water quality violations.
Europe 2010 Goldman Prize Recipient
Małgorzata Górska’s leadership in the fight to stop a controversial highway project led to a significant legal precedent for the environment that resulted in the protection of Poland’s Rospuda Valley, one of Europe’s last true wilderness areas.
South and Central America 2010 Goldman Prize Recipient
Drawing international attention to the inhumane and environmentally catastrophic shark finning industry, Randall Arauz led the campaign to halt the practice in Costa Rica, making his country an international model for shark protection.
Europe 2009 Goldman Prize Recipient
Russian scientist Olga Speranskaya successfully transformed the NGO community in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia into a potent, participatory force working to identify and eliminate the Soviet legacy of toxic chemicals in the environment.
Islands and Island Nations 2009 Goldman Prize Recipient
Yuyun Ismawati implemented sustainable community-based waste and sanitation management programs that provide employment opportunities to low-income people and empower them to improve the environment in Indonesia.
Africa 2009 Goldman Prize Recipient
Marc Ona led efforts to publicly expose the unlawful agreements behind a huge mining project threatening the sensitive ecosystems of Gabon’s equatorial rainforests.
Asia 2009 Goldman Prize Recipient
Leading environmental attorney Rizwana Hasan spearheaded a legal battle resulting in increased government regulation and heightened public awareness about the dangers of ship breaking.
North America 2009 Goldman Prize Recipient
In the heart of Appalachia, where the coal industry wields enormous power over government and public opinion, lifelong resident Maria Gunnoe fights against environmentally-devastating mountaintop removal mining and valley fill operations.
South and Central America 2009 Goldman Prize Recipient
Wanze Eduards and Hugo Jabini successfully organized their communities against logging on their traditional lands, ultimately leading to a landmark ruling for indigenous and tribal peoples throughout the Americas to control resource exploitation in their territories.
Europe 2008 Goldman Prize Recipient
Raising more than $90 million by bringing together private industry, regional governments, and local stakeholders, Ignace Schops led the effort to establish Belgium’s first and only national park, protecting one of the largest open green spaces in the country.
Africa 2008 Goldman Prize Recipient
Using traditional music, grassroots outreach and innovative technology to bring sanitation to the most remote corners of Mozambique, Feliciano dos Santos empowered villagers to participate in sustainable development and rise up from poverty.
Asia 2008 Goldman Prize Recipient
As Russia expanded its petroleum and nuclear interest, Marina Rikhvanova worked to protect Siberia’s lake Baikal, one of the world’s most important bodies of fresh water, from environmental devastation brought on by these polluting industries.
Islands and Island Nations 2008 Goldman Prize Recipient
In the shadow of polluting factories in Cataño, Rosa Hilda Ramos led the movement to permanently protect the Las Cucharillas Marsh, one of the last open spaces in the area and one of the largest wetlands ecosystems in the region.
North America 2008 Goldman Prize Recipient
In Oaxaca, where unsustainable land-use practices have made it one of the world’s most highly-eroded areas, Jesús León Santos led a land renewal program that employs ancient indigenous practices to transform depleted soil into arable land.
South and Central America 2008 Goldman Prize Recipient
In the Ecuadorian Amazon, Pablo Fajardo and Luis Yanza led one of the largest environmental legal battles in history against oil giant Chevron, demanding justice for the massive petroleum in the region.
Islands and Island Nations 2007 Goldman Prize Recipient
Orri Vigfússon brokered huge international fishing rights buyouts with governments and corporations in the North Atlantic, effectively stopping destructive commercial salmon fishing in the region.
Africa 2007 Goldman Prize Recipient
In an area where illegal wildlife poaching decimated the wild elephant population and left villagers living in extreme poverty, Hammer Simwinga created an innovative program that successfully restored wildlife and transformed the poverty-stricken area.
North America 2007 Goldman Prize Recipient
Sophia Rabliauskas succeeded in securing interim protection for the boreal forests of Manitoba, effectively preventing destructive logging and hydropower development.
Asia 2007 Goldman Prize Recipient
Ts. Munkhbayar successfully worked with government and grassroots organizations to shut down destructive mining operations along Mongolia’s scarce waterways.
South and Central America 2007 Goldman Prize Recipient
In the remote Peruvian Amazon, Julio Cusurichi secured a national reserve to protect both sensitive rainforest ecosystems and the rights of indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation from the devastating effects of logging and mining.
Europe 2007 Goldman Prize Recipient
In the small farming community of Rossport, Willie Corduff and a group of committed activists and landowners successfully forced Shell Oil to halt construction on an illegally approved pipeline through their land.
Asia 2006 Goldman Prize Recipient
Yu Xiaogang created groundbreaking watershed management programs to aid communities displaced by dam construction. His work led to social impact assessments being included in large development projects.
North America 2006 Goldman Prize Recipient
Craig Williams formed a national grassroots coalition against the incineration of chemical weapons stored in the United States, and convinced the Pentagon to halt incineration plans at four major chemical weapons stockpiles.
Africa 2006 Goldman Prize Recipient
At great personal risk, Silas Siakor released evidence that former President Charles Taylor used profits from illegal logging to pay for a brutal civil war, leading to a United Nations Security Council ban on the export of Liberian timber.
Europe 2006 Goldman Prize Recipient
As a young lawyer, Olya Melen successfully stopped construction on a deep-water shipping channel that would have destroyed fragile ecosystems in the heart of the Danube Delta, one of the most valuable wetlands in the world.
Islands and Island Nations 2006 Goldman Prize Recipient
Anne Kajir won a precedent-setting lawsuit on landholder rights against a global timber company that conducted large-scale, illegal logging in the largest remaining intact block of tropical forests in Papua New Guinea.
South and Central America 2006 Goldman Prize Recipient
Tarcísio Feitosa documented extensive illegal logging and helped a grassroots environmental coalition create the world’s largest group of protected tropical forest regions.
South and Central America 2005 Goldman Prize Recipient
Despite death threats and harassment, Father Tamayo organized and led marches to pressure the government to stop the illegal logging that plagues communities in central Honduras.
Europe 2005 Goldman Prize Recipient
An environmental journalist-turned-activist, Stephanie Roth was the driving force behind an international campaign to halt construction of Europe’s largest open cast gold mine.
North America 2005 Goldman Prize Recipient
Isidro Baldenegro was jailed for 15 months for organizing protests against illegal logging in the Sierra Madre Mountains and his work to defend the forests, lands and rights of indigenous people.
Islands and Island Nations 2005 Goldman Prize Recipient
In a land devastated by deforestation, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste taught his fellow peasant farmers the principles of sustainable agriculture, drip irrigation and erosion prevention techniques such as tree planting.
Africa 2005 Goldman Prize Recipient
As chief botanist of the Okapi Faunal Reserve, Corneille Ewango stayed during the civil war to protect the reserve’s rare animals and plants and confronted military commanders to stop poaching.
Europe 2004 Goldman Prize Recipient
Manana Kochladze's tenacity in the face of widespread government corruption and multinational industry interests won critical concessions to protect local villagers and the environment in the former Soviet republic from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil export pipeline.
South and Central America 2004 Goldman Prize Recipient
A social worker and activist, Libia Grueso secured more than 5.9 million acres in territorial rights for the country’s Afro-Colombian communities despite life-threatening circumstances.
North America 2004 Goldman Prize Recipient
Margie Richard secured agreement from Shell Chemical to reduce its toxic emissions by 30 percent, contribute $5 million to a community development fund, and finance relocation of her Old Diamond neighbors in Louisiana.
Islands and Island Nations 2004 Goldman Prize Recipient
Founding father and environmental hero of the newly formed nation, Demetrio do Amaral spearheaded the progressive inclusion of environmental justice tenets in East Timor’s constitution.
Asia 2004 Goldman Prize Recipient
On the 20th anniversary of the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak that killed 20,000 and injured more than 150,000 in Bhopal, Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla led a class action suit demanding cleanup and compensation for affected individuals.
Africa 2004 Goldman Prize Recipient
A public interest lawyer, Rudolf Amenga-Etego gained international recognition for suspending a major water privatization project that would have further impeded access to clean drinking water, a crisis linked to high rates of disease in low-income communities.
Africa 2003 Goldman Prize Recipient
Odigha Odigha's work has resulted in representation for Nigerian civil society in all forest management policies, including a statewide logging moratorium to protect the country’s remaining rainforests.
Asia 2003 Goldman Prize Recipient
Despite intense industry pressure and government corruption, Von Hernandez led the Philippines to institute the world’s first national ban on waste incinerators, a source of cancer-causing dioxins.
South and Central America 2003 Goldman Prize Recipient
Maria Foronda fostered partnerships between community groups, fishmeal producers and the government to institute environmentally sound and profitable business practices in lieu of dumping untreated industrial waste into streams and out of smokestacks.
Islands and Island Nations 2003 Goldman Prize Recipient
Eileen Kampakuta Brown and Eileen Wani Wingfield led the campaign to block construction of a nuclear waste dump 50 years after nuclear bomb tests caused birth defects, cancer and the poisoning of the environment and wildlife.
North America 2003 Goldman Prize Recipient
A coal miner’s daughter, Julia "Judy" Bonds fought to end mountaintop removal coal mining that contaminates drinking water, destroys rivers and forests, increases asthma rates, and forces families to abandon their homes.
Europe 2003 Goldman Prize Recipient
A physicist and economics professor, Pedro Arrojo-Agudo spearheaded a new wave of activism and forged a sustainable water future based on conservation, recycling and informed agricultural choices.
Islands and Island Nations 2002 Goldman Prize Recipient
A civil engineer, Alexis Massol-González established Puerto Rico’s first community-managed forest reserve, Bosque del Pueblo (People’s Forest), where shade-grown coffee and eco-tourism bring income to the community.
Europe 2002 Goldman Prize Recipient
Jadwiga Lopata created an eco-tourism program that promoted the environmental, economic and health advantages of small family farms over large-scale factory agriculture.
South and Central America 2002 Goldman Prize Recipient
A key leader in the Amerindian struggle for full rights to traditional lands, Jean La Rose coordinated the first indigenous land rights lawsuit in Guyana to protect streams, rainforests and endangered indigenous communities harmed by mining.
Africa 2002 Goldman Prize Recipient
Fatima Jibrell saved northeastern Somalia from the massive logging of old-growth acacia trees by persuading the regional government to create and enforce a ban on exports of charcoal made from the trees.
North America 2002 Goldman Prize Recipient
Gwich’in tribal leaders, Sarah James, Norma Kassi and Jonathon Solomon (d. 2006) defended the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling that targets the heart of the refuge’s wildlife habitat and coastal plain.
Islands and Island Nations 2001 Goldman Prize Recipient
Bruno Van Peteghem worked against time and mining interests to protect New Caledonia’s reefs from destruction. On a fragile island where environmental regulations do not exist, he has confronted severe intimidation including the suspicious burning of his home.
Africa 2001 Goldman Prize Recipient
A conservationist, Eugène Rutagarama risked his life to save 355 of the world’s last 650 mountain gorillas that were threatened by Rwanda’s war and massacres in the 1990s. He helped rebuild the national parks system and protect gorilla habitat.
South and Central America 2001 Goldman Prize Recipient
A labor leader, Oscar Olivera advocated for affordable, clean water when the city’s water system was privatized. After a brutal crackdown, he emerged and continued protests and negotiations that forced the government to cancel the sale.
North America 2001 Goldman Prize Recipient
TV journalists who researched the controversial growth hormone (rBGH) used to stimulate milk production in cows, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson were ultimately fired due to pressure from Monsanto, who manufactures rBGH.
Islands and Island Nations 2000 Goldman Prize Recipient
An ethnobotanist, Nat Quansah reintroduced the use of native plants as medicine to thousands of Malagasy people in an Ambodisakoana clinic he opened, educating the community about the need for forest conservation.
Africa 2000 Goldman Prize Recipient
Alexander Peal helped create Sapo National Park, Liberia’s first national park, and founded the country’s first environmental NGO. Having fled Liberia’s civil war, he sustained its conservation movement from abroad for nearly 10 years.
North America 2000 Goldman Prize Recipient
Along with colleague Teodoro Cabrera, Rodolfo Montiel Flores was arrested and tortured for organizing peaceful protests of logging that was devastating farmlands. Both men were jailed for more than two years on trumped-up charges.
Europe 2000 Goldman Prize Recipient
In response to post-communist development and resource exploitation, Vera Mischenko cofounded Ecojuris, Russia’s first public interest law organization, and brought the first successful environmental lawsuits against the government.
South and Central America 2000 Goldman Prize Recipient
Elias Díaz Peña and Oscar Rivas cofounded Sobrevivencia to protect indigenous, marginalized communities and prevent developments that threaten Paraguay’s ecosystems and inhabitants.
Asia 2000 Goldman Prize Recipient
An obstetrician, Oral Ataniyazova fought the damage to public health caused by the shrinking of the Aral Sea, which has led to increased salinity and concentrated pollutants, huge dust storms and changes in the regional weather.
South and Central America 1999 Goldman Prize Recipient
Cofounder of a wetlands protection organization, Jorge Varela advocated for sustainable shrimping to protect ecosystems in the Gulf of Fonseca, where commercial shrimping destroys mangrove forests and poisons estuaries.
Africa 1999 Goldman Prize Recipient
Using his expertise as an attorney, Samuel Nguiffo founded the Center for Environment and Development, which helps forest-dwelling peoples exercise their legal right to manage traditional lands.
North America 1999 Goldman Prize Recipient
Recognizing the need to prevent a repeat of the 1992 collapse of fish stocks, Bernard Martin advocated for lower fishing quotas and Marine Protected Areas to stem the decimation by factory trawlers in the once abundant Grand Banks.
Europe 1999 Goldman Prize Recipient
Michal Kravcik galvanized support to halt a dam planned during the Communist era by proposing effective democratic alternatives, including smaller dams, decentralized water management, and restored farmlands.
Islands and Island Nations 1999 Goldman Prize Recipient
Jacqui Katona and Yvonne Margarula, both Aboriginal women, stopped a damaging uranium mine at Jabiluka, land traditionally owned by the Mirrar people and at the heart of Australia’s largest national park.
Asia 1999 Goldman Prize Recipient
Ka Hsaw Wa fled Rangoon after being tortured for opposing a brutal military government and documented thousands of criminal and human rights abuses by the government related to construction of the Yadana petroleum pipeline.
Asia 1998 Goldman Prize Recipient
For 25 years, Hirofumi Yamashita fought a reclamation project in Isahaya Bay, one of the world’s richest wetlands, forcing the government to scale back the massive dike and reassess the reclamation’s environmental costs.
Africa 1998 Goldman Prize Recipient
Sven "Bobby" Peek skillfully united his racially divided community and succeeded in closing illegal toxic dumps in south Durban, a highly industrialized, contaminated community.
Islands and Island Nations 1998 Goldman Prize Recipient
Atherton Martin successfully organized opposition to halt a copper mine that would have devastated 10 percent of the original tropical rainforests still covering Dominica, known as Nature Island for its rich biodiversity.
South and Central America 1998 Goldman Prize Recipient
Berito Kuwaru'wa waged a nonviolent international campaign calling on multinational oil companies not to drill in the isolated, traditional homelands of his U’wa people, who consider oil to be the blood of Mother Earth.
North America 1998 Goldman Prize Recipient
At the age of 9, Kory Johnson founded Children for a Safe Environment and led the successful opposition to a proposed industrial incinerator in Phoenix, Arizona.
Europe 1998 Goldman Prize Recipient
Anna Giordano launched a campaign to save raptors being illegally shot for sport in her native Sicily. Despite violent threats and the firebombing of her car, Giordano’s efforts significantly reduced the number of birds killed.
North America 1997 Goldman Prize Recipient
Terri Swearingen fought the construction of the nation’s largest toxic waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio, proposed at a site 1,100 feet from an elementary school. Her efforts halted the construction of other incinerators around the country.
South and Central America 1997 Goldman Prize Recipient
Juan Pablo Orrego led the campaign to protect the Bio Bío, one of South America’s last major free-flowing rivers and home to the indigenous Pehuenche people, from the destruction of massive multi-dam developments.
Europe 1997 Goldman Prize Recipient
A former naval officer, Alexander Nikitin was unjustly imprisoned for almost five years for treason after revealing the potential for a nuclear catastrophe due to Russia’s aging nuclear submarines based near the Norwegian border. He was acquitted in 2000.
Asia 1997 Goldman Prize Recipient
Paramount Chief of the Bentian Tribal Council in East Kalimantan, Loir Botor Dingit led rattan farmers in sustainable forest management, a campaign that generated national attention and won government support for forest dwellers’ rights.
Islands and Island Nations 1997 Goldman Prize Recipient
Paul Cox and Fuiono Senio worked to preserve a 30,000-acre rainforest by developing economic alternatives for villagers who saw the forest as their only source for income.
Europe 1996 Goldman Prize Recipient
Albena Simeonova mobilized against environmental threats, such as the construction of ill-designed nuclear power plants, and organized a decentralized system of “eco-inspectorates” to empower citizens to address community concerns.
South and Central America 1996 Goldman Prize Recipient
A central figure in deforestation protests with the late Chico Mendes, Marina Silva helped establish a 2-million-hectare reserve managed by traditional communities.
Asia 1996 Goldman Prize Recipient
M.C. Mehta single-handedly won numerous landmark judgments from India’s Supreme Court since 1984, including introducing lead-free gasoline to India and reducing the industrial pollution fouling the Ganges and eroding the Taj Mahal.
Africa 1995 Goldman Prize Recipient
Ken Saro-Wiwa led a peaceful movement for the environmental and human rights of Nigeria’s Ogoni people whose oil-rich land has been exploited by multinational oil companies. The Nigerian government executed Saro-Wiwa in 1995.
South and Central America 1995 Goldman Prize Recipient
Founder of the Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology, Ricardo Navarro worked to restore El Salvador’s environment, decimated by 12 years of civil war.
Europe 1995 Goldman Prize Recipient
Emma Must's campaign against a nationwide road-building program resulted in the cancellation of 60 road projects and the development of new transportation policies.
Islands and Island Nations 1995 Goldman Prize Recipient
Noah Idechong protected Palau’s rich coral reefs and fisheries from development by creating an innovative model that integrates modern and traditional practices.
Asia 1995 Goldman Prize Recipient
Leader of the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement, Yul Choi popularized environmental issues and mobilized a strong anti-nuclear movement amidst powerful development pressure and at considerable personal risk.
North America 1995 Goldman Prize Recipient
An octogenarian fourth-generation Mexican-American, Aurora Castillo was the force behind Mothers of East Los Angeles, which successfully defended East L.A. from serious environmental and public health threats.
Islands and Island Nations 1994 Goldman Prize Recipient
Andrew Simmons created JEMS, a volunteer community development organization that uses literacy and skills programs to motivate communities to protect the islands' natural resources.
Europe 1994 Goldman Prize Recipient
Heffa Schücking traced Germany’s role in destroying tropical forests worldwide in her landmark Rainforest Memorandum, precipitating a significant reduction in Germany’s consumption of tropical timber.
South and Central America 1994 Goldman Prize Recipient
A Quichua from the Andes and president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, Luis Macas led a peaceful struggle for indigenous rights, including negotiating a 3-million-acre land transfer back to indigenous control.
Africa 1994 Goldman Prize Recipient
Laila Iskandar's work with the zabbaleen garbage collectors of Cairo demonstrated that large-scale recycling programs offer employment, generate income and improve living conditions.
North America 1994 Goldman Prize Recipient
Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Cree Indians, Matthew Coon Come led the Cree’s fight against the massive James Bay hydroelectric development project in Quebec.
Europe 1993 Goldman Prize Recipient
A modest man who inspires trust, Svet Zabelin raised public awareness of environmental problems in the former Soviet Union and helped build a grassroots environmental movement that sparked the country's democratic transformation.
North America 1993 Goldman Prize Recipient
A Lakota, JoAnn Tall helped stop proposed nuclear weapons testing in North Dakota’s Black Hills and also worked to prevent hazardous landfills from being located in the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations.
Islands and Island Nations 1993 Goldman Prize Recipient
John Sinclair successfully stopped sand mining and logging of the unique rainforest on Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island, off the coast of Queensland.
Asia 1993 Goldman Prize Recipient
Daughter of a revolutionary martyr, former missile technician and one-time intelligence agent, Dai Qing is a fearless journalist who has been outspoken in her opposition to the Chinese government's plans for the Three Gorges Dam.
South and Central America 1993 Goldman Prize Recipient
Juan Mayr united disparate groups to protect Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the world's highest coastal mountain range.
Africa 1993 Goldman Prize Recipient
Garth Owen-Smith and Margaret Jacobsohn pioneered a natural resource management program that links Namibian wildlife conservation to sustainable rural development, and has since become a model for wildlife conservation throughout Africa.
South and Central America 1992 Goldman Prize Recipient
Beto Ricardo, a founder of one of Brazil's most important social, environmental and human rights organizations, the Center for Ecumenical Documentation and Information (CEDI), has been a pioneer in advancing the links between human rights and environmental protection for over 25 years.
Asia 1992 Goldman Prize Recipient
Medha Patkar mobilized massive marches and peaceful protests against the construction of India’s Sardar Sarovar Dam, which displaced thousands of tribal peoples and submerged vast stretches of forests and farmland.
North America 1992 Goldman Prize Recipient
Colleen McCrory led an impassioned fight to protect the world's largest remaining temperate rainforest in British Columbia and the northern boreal forests.
Europe 1992 Goldman Prize Recipient
Christine Jean coordinated a successful countrywide campaign to prevent the damming of the Loire, known as the last wild river in Europe.
Africa 1992 Goldman Prize Recipient
A scientist from the Ivory Coast, Wadja Egnankou was, for a long time, the lone voice in the struggle to protect the remains of this West African country's once abundant coastal mangrove forests.
Islands and Island Nations 1991 Goldman Prize Recipient
A tireless protector of Antarctica’s fragile ecosystem, Cath Wallace advocated the ratification of the Antarctic Environmental Protocol.
South and Central America 1991 Goldman Prize Recipient
Evaristo Nugkuag, a member of Peru's Aguaruna tribe, organized his people to creative alliances at local, national and international levels to protect indigenous rights and the environment.
Africa 1991 Goldman Prize Recipient
Starting with a small tree nursery in her back yard, Wangari Maathai (d. 2011) launched Kenya's Green Belt Movement, a grassroots tree-planting organization composed primarily of women working to curtail the devastating social and environmental effects of deforestation and desertification.
North America 1991 Goldman Prize Recipient
Samuel LaBudde's films documenting the slaughter of dolphins by tuna fishing boats and the destruction of marine life by driftnet fleets led to dolphin-safe tuna and a UN ban on driftnets.
Asia 1991 Goldman Prize Recipient
Yoichi Kuroda coordinated Japan Tropical Action Network's campaign to publicly expose and reform Japan's role in tropical deforestation.
Europe 1991 Goldman Prize Recipient
Eha Kern, a teacher in rural Sweden, and her 9-year-old student, Roland Tiensuu, started a children’s movement to raise millions of dollars to purchase and preserve rainforests.
Africa 1990 Goldman Prize Recipient
Kenya’s “Rhino Man” walked thousands of miles in East Africa, Europe and North America to raise public awareness and money for the endangered black rhinoceros.
Europe 1990 Goldman Prize Recipient
A biologist, János Vargha led a campaign to save the Danube River from the ecologically-devastating Gabcikovo-Nagymaros dam.
Asia 1990 Goldman Prize Recipient
A Kayan tribe member and organizer in the indigenous people’s fight to save the Sarawak rainforests, he used his prize money to finance an election campaign that won him a seat in Malaysia’s parliament.
South and Central America 1990 Goldman Prize Recipient
Janet Gibson helped establish the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Central America's first marine reserve, to protect the barrier reef off Belize, one of the world's largest coral reefs.
North America 1990 Goldman Prize Recipient
Lois Gibbs led the struggle to have 800 families from her Niagara Falls community evacuated and relocated after discovering that tons of chemical waste material was buried in nearby Love Canal.
Islands and Island Nations 1990 Goldman Prize Recipient
Bob Brown gave up his medical practice to launch a successful national grassroots campaign against the damming of Tasmania's Franklin River, Australia's last free-flowing river.
Africa 2014 Goldman Prize Recipient
Desmond D’Sa rallied south Durban’s diverse and disenfranchised communities and successfully shut down a toxic waste dump that was exposing nearby residents to dangerous chemicals and robbing them of their constitutionally protected right to a safe and clean environment.
Europe 2014 Goldman Prize Recipient
An internationally recognized bat expert and zoologist, Suren Gazaryan led multiple campaigns exposing government corruption and illegal exploitation of federally protected forestland along Russia’s Black Sea coast.
Islands and Island Nations 2014 Goldman Prize Recipient
A biologist by training, Rudi Putra led communities in dismantling illegal palm oil plantations that are causing massive deforestation in northern Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem, protecting the habitat of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino.
North America 2014 Goldman Prize Recipient
Using a clause in the state constitution that gives municipalities the right to make local land use decisions, Helen Slottje provided pro-bono legal assistance, helping towns across New York defend themselves from oil and gas companies by passing local bans on fracking.
South and Central America 2014 Goldman Prize Recipient
Overcoming a history of traumatic violence, Ruth Buendía united the Asháninka people in a powerful campaign against large-scale dams that would have once again uprooted indigenous communities still recovering from Peru’s civil war.
Africa 1997 Goldman Prize Recipient
Using sparse resources, Nick Carter brought together six African countries to create the world’s first multinational enforcement body to fight rampant illegal wildlife trafficking.
Africa 1996 Goldman Prize Recipient
The only journalist in Uganda reporting on environmental issues at the time, Ndyakira Amooti exposed abuses at great risk, including illegal mining and wildlife smuggling in East Africa, which led to the creation of several national parks.
Asia 2005 Goldman Prize Recipient
A biologist, Kaisha Atakhanova successfully challenged a government plan to import and store foreign radioactive waste in Kazakhstan.
Islands and Island Nations 1992 Goldman Prize Recipient
Jeton Anjain organized the evacuation of his Marshall Islands homeland, Rongelap, contaminated by the United States’ 1954 hydrogen bomb tests. He died in 1993 from cancer, most likely caused by testing.
Asia 1994 Goldman Prize Recipient
Tuenjai Deetes' sustainable agriculture and reforestation projects with northern Thailand hill tribes have become national models in resource conservation.
Asia 2013 Goldman Prize Recipient
Giving up a comfortable living and family life in California, Azzam Alwash returned to war-torn Iraq to lead local communities in restoring the once-lush marshes that were turned to dust bowls during Saddam Hussein’s rule.
Asia 2001 Goldman Prize Recipient
Mama Yosepha Alomang organized resistance to the world’s largest gold mining operation. Despite inhumane confinement and torture, she continued to promote traditional cultures, collective action and the well-being of indigenous peoples.
Asia 2014 Goldman Prize Recipient
With a small internet café as his headquarters, Ramesh Agrawal organized villagers to demand their right to information about industrial development projects and succeeded in shutting down one of the largest proposed coal mines in Chhattisgarh.
Asia 2002 Goldman Prize Recipient
Pisit Charnsnoh's work has led to the restoration and protection of the mangroves and improved yields for local fishers. As a result, the Thai government has allowed local sustainable management of environmental resources.
Europe 2001 Goldman Prize Recipient
Biologists by training, Giorgos Catsadorakis and Myrsini Malakou led the creation of the first trans-boundary protected area in the Balkans, an area better known for conflict than cooperation, at the borders of Greece, Albania and Macedonia.
Islands and Island Nations 1996 Goldman Prize Recipient
Bill Ballantine established unprecedented “no-take” marine reserves in New Zealand and promoted the concept internationally to protect vital resources that are quietly but quickly being depleted around the world.
North America 1996 Goldman Prize Recipient
Undeterred by local drug lords, Edwin Bustillos blocked logging in the Sierra Madre despite violent attempts on his life and founded the Advisory Council of the Sierra Madre to preserve the ecosystems that are home to the Tarahumara and Tepehuan communities.