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Goldman Environmental Prize and SF Jewish Federation Collaborate on International Grants to Support Grassroots Environmental Activism

July 22, 2015

For the first time, the Goldman Environmental Prize and the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund (the Federation) have partnered on a pilot grantmaking program for international organizations committed to grassroots environmental change. The 12 grantees are past Goldman Environmental Prize winners that have applied for new programmatic grants. A total of $484,700 was granted through the Prize’s Donor Advised Fund at the Federation. This new pilot initiative underscores the Prize’s commitment to grassroots environmental leadership through its continued support for Prize winners. It is the Federation’s first involvement with global expenditure responsibility grants through its Donor Advised Fund Program. The process marks an important new collaboration between the Goldman Prize and the Jewish philanthropic world.

“We continue to be inspired by the leadership demonstrated by the winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize around the world,” said David Gordon, executive director of the Goldman Environmental Foundation. “We are grateful to the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund for partnering with us to make this support possible. The partnership makes it possible for everyone to support these critically important initiatives.”

“I am thrilled to partner with the Goldman Environmental Prize to support these 12 important global grantees,” said Danny Grossman, CEO of the Federation. “The environmental work that each of these organizations is conducting in their own backyards is nothing short of revolutionary when it comes to preserving our fragile planet and making a positive impact. I am proud of these grantees, of the crucial work of the Goldman Environmental Prize, and of the Jewish community’s role in supporting these critical grassroots initiatives.”

This joint pilot grantmaking program between the Prize and the Federation seeks to advance environmental campaigns and inspire community members to engage in grassroots environmental activism. Following a rigorous Request for Proposals process begun in 2014, the 12 grantees are:

African Development Solutions/Adeso ($35,000): To restore fisheries in Somalia’s coast by training communities in sustainable fishing practices, revitalizing critical habitat such as mangroves and coral reefs, and developing community-led responses to illegal fishing. Led by 2002 Goldman Prize winner Fatima Jibrell (Somalia).

BaliFokus ($40,000): To train health workers and women in Indonesia’s artisanal and small-scale gold mining hotspots to reduce the community’s risk of exposure to mercury, a metal used in gold extraction, and identify early symptoms of mercury poisoning. Led by 2009 Goldman Prize winner Yuyun Ismawati (Indonesia).

Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association/BELA ($45,000): To support the implementation of court rulings requiring industry to clean up contamination from leather tanneries and shipbreaking operations. Led by 2009 Goldman Prize winner Rizwana Hasan (Bangladesh).

Bob Brown Foundation ($40,000): To protect Tasmania’s Tarkine Wilderness from a renewed push for mining in the region and lay the groundwork for its permanent protection as a national park, to be managed by Aboriginal leaders. Led by 1990 Goldman Prize winner Bob Brown (Australia).

Community In-power and Development Association/CIDA ($35,000): To empower young people in Port Arthur, Texas to tell the stories of communities fighting industrial pollution and become champions of their own health and environmental rights by producing and performing a play. Led by 2011 Goldman Prize winner Hilton Kelley (USA).

Eco-Accord ($40,000): To build grassroots support for the ratification and implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where mercury pollution from decommissioned industrial plants pose serious health hazards. Led by 2009 Goldman Prize winner Olga Speranskaya (Russia).

Fundación Abril ($35,000): To restore Bolivia’s polluted Rocha River, a source of irrigation water for local farms, by training local students and neighbors to manage a water treatment plant, reforest riverbanks with native vegetation, and build a composting system. Led by 2001 Goldman Prize winner Oscar Olivera (Bolivia).

Instituto Socioambiental ($35,000): For youth education programs that promote sustainable development in Brazil’s Ribeira Valley, where Western conservation models are squeezing out traditional agricultural practices that have sustained the land for generations of families. Led by 1992 Goldman Prize winner Beto Ricardo (Brazil).

Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation/IRDNC ($40,000): To stop rhinoceros poaching in Namibia’s Kunene region through community-led conservation efforts that provide training and jobs for local rangers and game guards. Led by 1993 Goldman Prize winner Margaret Jacobsohn (Namibia).

JEMS Progressive Community Organization ($45,000): To organize trainings and programs that encourage community members to take action against climate change, the biggest threat facing their island nation, culminating in a national week of climate action. Led by 1994 Goldman Prize winner Andrew Simmons (St. Vincent & the Grenadines).

Sustainable Development Institute/SDI ($49,700): To combat deforestation from palm oil development in Liberia by training forest communities to track and report illegal logging using an innovative smartphone application named TIMBY (This Is My Backyard). Led by 2006 Goldman Prize winner Silas Siakor (Liberia).

Urgewald ($45,000): To organize grassroots engagement aimed at getting commercial banks to stop financing destructive coal mining in Colombia, India, and the United States/Appalachia. Led by 1994 Goldman Prize winner Heffa Schucking (Germany).

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