2020 Grants in Review

November 23, 2021

In July 2020, the Goldman Environmental Foundation announced the 2020 grant recipients, 11 Goldman Prize winner organizations committed to improving our natural world through grassroots organizing, environmental education, and community empowerment.

We are excited to share a summary of the results of 2020 grantmaking season, which began in July 2020 and concluded in July 2021.

2020 Goldman Prize Grant Projects

Listed in alphabetical order:

Bangladesh Environmental Law Association (BELA): Rizwana Hasan (Bangladesh, 2009): BELA formed a strategic alliance of community members, civil society organizations, and journalists to combat uncontrolled pollution in the Savar district near Dhaka, Bangladesh. Communities specifically identified unregulated operation of tanneries as a major source of pollution of community waterways. BELA supported the communities with the filing of legal complaints to protect Savar’s wetlands and water sources.

Centro Salvadoreño de Tecnologia Apropiada (CESTA): Ricardo Navarro (El Salvador, 1995): Nearly 100 teachers completed workshops on incorporating climate change and sustainability into school curricula in El Salvador. Outside of the classroom, CESTA helped form over 20 student environmental groups to implement projects that promote climate change resiliency, including the creation of school gardens and reforestation plots.

Greenmind Foundation: Malgorzata Gorska (Poland, 2010): In conjunction with more than a dozen NGOs, Greenmind Foundation officially presented a petition against the S16 superhighway project to the Polish government. The superhighway project would bisect Poland’s largest protected area and wetlands recognized as ecologically important under RAMSAR. Thanks to the ongoing campaign, Greenmind Foundation has effectively raised the profile of the project, making it a nationally recognized case.

Indian Law Resource Center: Rodrigo Tot (Guatemala, 2017): In July 2021, Indian Law Resource Center completed the construction of a community water cistern and distribution system to 35 households in the Agua Caliente community. Access to clean, safe drinking water will enable the community to continue to serve as the stewards of the forests against logging and mining projects.

Instituto de Buen Vivir (IBV): Evaristo Nugkuag (Peru, 1991): IBV laid important groundwork for effective community action against the ongoing proposal of mega hydroelectric projects on the Marañon River in the Peruvian Amazon. IBV directed and broadcast “Kampagkis,” a radio program that informs the Indigenous Awajun and Wampis communities about proposed projects in the area and their harmful impacts.

NATURA: Maria Elena Foronda Farro (Peru, 2003): NATURA hosted in-person and virtual meetings to unite a diverse group of stakeholders and enable them to form a collaborative fisheries network known as the “North Macro Front.” The network has given coastal communities a more prominent role in their campaigns for sustainable coastal and fishery management in northern Peru.

Onggi River Movement (ORM): Tsetsegee Munkhbayar (Mongolia, 2007): ORM created and distributed updated environmental education handbooks that focus on local environmental efforts to conserve the Onggi River among local schools. The nonprofit also developed multimedia educational tools with the support of the National University of Mongolia.

SOS Forêts: Dr. Wadja Egnankou (Ivory Coast, 1992): In collaboration with Ehotilé National Park, SOS Forêts created committees with four communities bordering the park to work with park staff on mangrove reforestation and conservation efforts. The success of this project prompted SOS Forêts and the greater National Parks agency to sign an official Memorandum of Understanding to expand the collaborative committee model to national parks across the country.

West Coast Islands Stewardship & Conservancy Society (CSCS): Humberto Rios Labrada (Cuba, 2010): CSCS launched more than 10 Agrobiodiversity Management Enterprises in the Chuquisca region of Bolivia. These initiatives focus on conserving and promoting the use of native potato and corn varieties that are critical for the long-term viability of small-scale sustainable farmers.

Wild Earth Allies: Eugene Rutagarama (Rwanda, 2001): Wild Earth Allies constructed 100 household rainwater tanks in communities bordering Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Monitoring directly after construction found that reliable local access to water not only limited household water shortages but also reduced school absences for children, who historically would spend up to four hours a day collecting clean water from rivers and streams, usually within the national park. Trips to the park declined overall, decreasing disruptive contact with endangered species like the mountain gorilla.