2019 Grants in Review

June 18, 2020

We are pleased to share the projects supported by the Goldman Environmental Prize’s Grantmaking program during the 2019 grant year (May 2019 – May 2020).

Launched in 2015, the Grantmaking program is designed to support past Prize winners to further their grassroots environmental work. Past grants have supported work in conservation, environmental justice, environmental education, and more.

2019 Goldman Prize Grant Projects

Listed in alphabetical order:

Cambodia Human Rights Task Forces (CHRTF): Deforestation in Cambodia remains high as the country looks to satisfy increased global timber demand. Goldman Prize winner Leng Ouch (Cambodia, 2016) and his team at CHRTF mapped illegal logging operations resulting in the shutdown of 10 sawmill operators in protected areas.

Environment-People-Law (EPL): Cetaceans (the order of mammals that includes dolphins, porpoises, and whales) in the northern Black Sea and the Azov Sea of Ukraine are increasingly threatened due to unsustainable fishing practices, outdated policy, and low civic awareness. In response, Goldman Prize winner Olya Melen (Ukraine, 2006) and the organization EPL developed a multifaceted conservation plan to unify Ukrainian stakeholders in cetacean conservation. Through their research, EPL compiled a complete inventory of endangered dolphin species held illegally throughout Ukraine.

Foundation for the Protection of Marine Biodiversity (FoProBiM): The Three Bays Marine Managed Area (AP3B), located in northeastern Haiti, is considered by many experts to be the country’s most productive coastal ecosystem. Goldman Prize winner Jean Wiener (Haiti, 2015) and local NGO FoProBiM increased conservation activities in AP3B through community participation. Activities included the development of community apiculture and mangrove nurseries.

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA): The members of GAIA form an extensive international network focused on grassroots community organizing. Several Goldman Prize winners are members of GAIA, including Von Hernandez (The Philippines, 2013), who leads the Break Free from Plastic campaign. With support from the grant, in 2019 GAIA held four regional member meetings in Africa, Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific for more than 150 activists and organizers.

JanMitram: In 2012, Goldman Prize winner Ramesh Agrawal (India, 2014) successfully shut down one of the nation’s largest proposed coal mines in the Tamnar block in Chhattisgarh, India. Today, the area continues to be a focal point of conflicts between community land rights and coal plant development. With the support of grassroots organization JanMitram, Ramesh laid out a wide-reaching campaign to build the capacity of tribal villages to protect these lands. The campaign forced public hearings on multiple coal projects with thousands of participating community members.

Onggi River Movement (ORM): Goldman Prize winner Tsetsegee Munkhbayar (Mongolia, 2007) and his organization, ORM, sued Mongolia’s Ministry of Environment and received a favorable ruling, stating that environmental rehabilitation by mining corporations had not been enforced. He continues to fight for healthy waterways free from contamination by mining companies.

Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (SRAP): Goldman Prize winner Lynn Henning (United States, 2010) continues to work to ensure that Michigan water and air quality laws are enforced for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Facing ongoing threats from factory farm expansion, SRAP created the citizen watchdog group CAFO Busters. With more than 50 participating members, CAFO Busters has participated in the permitting process for 91 proposed CAFOs in Michigan.

Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT): Pioneered by Goldman Prize winner Edward Loure (Tanzania, 2016) and his organization, UCRT, the Certificate of Customary Right of Occupancy (CCRO) provides Maasai communities with a means to legally secure rights to their ancestral grazing lands. A CCRO legally protects the land from external development and internal fragmentation. With the support of the Ministry of Lands, UCRT secured CCROs for three Maasai communities along the Ruvu River in Tanzania.

United Workers Association (UW): The BRESCO incinerator in South Baltimore burns 80% of the region’s trash. UW and Goldman Prize winner Destiny Watford (United States, 2016) promoted a Fair Development Campaign for Zero Waste in anticipation of the expiration of the BRESCO incinerator’s contract in 2021. This included the development of the largest community-led composting network in Baltimore.

Urgewald: There are over 1,300 new coal-fired power stations under development worldwide. If built, they would increase coal-fired global capacity by 33%. Urgewald, a German environmental and human rights organization founded by Goldman Prize winner Heffa Schucking (Germany, 1994), targeted European banks and insurance companies responsible for financing future coal projects. Their campaigning passed a critical milestone in 2019—European investors representing more than $10 trillion in assets are applying at least one of Urgewald’s divestment criteria to screen coal companies out of their portfolios.


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