Yesterday evening, nearly 70 Goldman Prize recipients, nominators, staff and colleagues gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to celebrate grassroots environmentalism and to support the work of all Goldman Prize recipients. The reception, hosted by the Goldman Environmental Foundation, also helped to reinforce the unified voice of Prize winners calling on world leaders to make real environmental commitments at Rio+20.
Many Prize winners were in attendance, including Ignace Schops, Tarcisio Feitosa, Beto Ricardo, Marina Silva, Hugo Jabini, Kaisha Atakhanova, Bobby Peek, Ricardo Navarro, Jorge Varela, Elias Diaz Pena, and Maria Elena Foronda. While many of the recipients were meeting for the first time, there was a feeling of camaraderie and warmth among them.
Geoffrey Lean, a longtime friend and member of the Prize jury, delivered welcoming remarks, while Marina Silva (1996 Prize winner from Brazil) gave a brief and stirring speech on sustainable development, saying “[it] is not just a common practice, it has to be a series of commitments. If world leaders are not willing to change, we’re not going to change our commitment to protect our homeland.”
Goldman Prize staff members Jenny Park and Melina Selverston-Scher are in Rio, attending meetings and workshops, and following the work of Prize winners who are participating in the summit. Check back often for updates and reports from the ground.