October 2, 2012
On October 14, 2012 mayoral elections will be held in Khimki, Russia and Evegenia Chirikova’s name will be on the ballot for a second time. She ran for the same office in 2010, but failed to secure the vote. Her campaign has generated great attention for her efforts to save Khimki Forest from development, and for Russian environmental politics in general. Political movements are growing fast in Russia, including those for the environment, a good sign for Chirikova’s campaign.
Chirikova was awarded the Goldman Prize in 2012 for her work to prevent a highway from being built through the heart of Khimki Forest by convincing the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank to withdraw their funding for the project, citing environmental, social and financial concerns.
Numerous past Prize winners have gone on to hold elected office. A few of them include, Bob Brown, Marina Silva and Hugo Jabini.
Brown won the Prize in 1991 after founding the Tasmanian Wilderness Society to protect Australia’s natural resources, including the Franklin River wilderness. He helped establish Australia’s Green Party in 1992, and was elected to the Australian Senate in 1996. He retired from the Senate in 2012.
Marina Silva was awarded the Prize in 1996 for for her work protecting millions of hectares of reserves in the Brazilian Amazon. She went on to become a national Senator, the Minister of the Environment, and a 2010 presidential candidate representing the Green Party of Brazil, obtaining 20% of the vote.
Hugo Jabini, 2009 Prize winner from Suriname, was elected to Suriname’s National Assembly in 2010. He won the Prize for successfully organizing local communities against logging on traditional lands, ultimately leading to a landmark ruling for indigenous and tribal peoples throughout the Americas to control resource exploitation in their territories.