Skip to content

Honoring the Earth’s Heroes for 30 Years

January 3, 2019

Dear friends and colleagues:

Happy New Year to all. We hope that 2019 will be a year of victories and progress toward protecting our planet and restoring ecosystems that have been damaged by human activities. Here’s one victory to share with you: 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Goldman Environmental Prize. The Goldman family and staff are all thrilled that we have not only come this far but taken what was once a radical idea and transformed it into a dynamic, international community of environmental champions and advocates, united in their devotion to our planet and its multitude of life.

When the idea for the Goldman Prize was first conceived by Rhoda and Richard Goldman in 1989, there were relatively few environmental NGOs and no major awards for grassroots activists. Today, the world is different. While the threats to our planet have not abated—and are arguably more dire today—there are hundreds of environmental organizations around the world, and thousands of advocates, activists, and philanthropists in every corner who inspire and educate the world about the critical environmental issues before us. And, as you know, environmental issues today are frequently commingled with human rights, public health, environmental justice, and sustainable development.

Today, 30 years on, there are 188 Goldman Environmental Prize winners from 87 countries who are connected to a global network of advocacy for positive change. Our reach has been broad and our collective impact enormous. We are so proud to be a force for good in the world—honoring, connecting, and inspiring through the work of these amazing Prize winners.

Over the next 12 months, in celebration of our anniversary, we will be sharing with you a series of articles, videos, and other materials about the last 30 years—and anticipating the next 30.

Thank you for all that you do for our global environmental community. Here’s to another 30 years of success!

In solidarity,

Michael Sutton

Michael Sutton

About the author

Michael Sutton

Executive Director

Mike is a respected environmental conservation leader with extensive experience managing nonprofit organizations, influencing public policy, advocating for natural resources, and guiding successful philanthropic efforts. His distinguished career has ranged from work with the National Park Service to senior conservation roles at the World Wildlife Fund, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the California Fish & Game Commission, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and National Audubon Society. Mike received his BS in Wildlife Biology at Utah State University; did graduate studies in Marine Biology at the University of Sydney, Australia; and, received a law degree with honors from George Washington University’s National Law Center. He joined the Prize in 2018.

Related Posts

Support the Activism of the 2019 Goldman Environmental Prize Winners

May 28, 2019

Last month, we announced the 2019 Goldman Environmental Prize winners. Their stories of grassroots environmental activism, achievement, and persistence have inspired people around the world. You can support their work by checking out their calls to action below, and by visiting their profile pages. Africa: Alfred Brownell Become educated and help spread the word about…

Read more

Introducing the 2019 Goldman Environmental Prize Winners

April 29, 2019

Meet these six extraordinary individuals who have moved mountains to protect our planet. Join us in celebrating the winners by watching the 30th anniversary Ceremony live today at 5:30 pm PDT on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and follow #GoldmanPrize30 on social media for updates. Alfred Brownell, Liberia Under threat of violence, environmental lawyer Alfred Brownell stopped the clear-cutting of Liberia’s tropical forests by palm…

Read more

Movers and Shakers: Three Women Who Won the Goldman Environmental Prize and Changed the World

March 11, 2019

Not surprisingly, nearly half of the 188 Goldman Prize winners have been women. To commemorate Women’s History Month, the Goldman Environmental Prize is celebrating the work of the 79 extraordinary women who won the Prize. Here are three of their stories. Phyllis Omido (Kenya, 2015) Phyllis Omido is sometimes called “the East African Erin Brockovich”…

Read more