fbpx
Skip to content

Introducing the 2023 Goldman Environmental Prize Winners

April 24, 2023

We are honored to announce the 2023 Goldman Environmental Prize winners. These six grassroots environmental leaders prove that ordinary people can have an extraordinary impact on the planet.

Join us tonight, April 24, 2023, at 5:30 pm PDT (8:30 pm EDT) in celebrating this year’s winners. Tune into the livestream of the San Francisco ceremony on the Goldman Prize YouTube channel. The ceremony will be hosted by Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro, and feature live entertainment from Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc. Actor and environmentalist Sigourney Weaver will be narrating the Prize winner videos.

Chilekwa Mumba

Zambia / Africa

Alarmed by the pollution produced by the Konkola Copper Mines operation in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia, Chilekwa Mumba organized a lawsuit to hold the mine’s parent company, Vedanta Resources, responsible. Chilekwa’s victory in the UK Supreme Court set a legal precedent—it was the first time a British company was held liable for the environmental damage caused by subsidiary-run operations in another country. This precedent has since been applied to hold Shell Global—one of the world’s 10 largest corporations by revenue—liable for its pollution in Nigeria.


Zafer Kizilkaya

Turkey /Asia

In collaboration with local fishing cooperatives and Turkish authorities, Zafer Kizilkaya expanded Turkey’s network of marine protected areas (MPAs) along 310 miles of the Mediterranean coast. The newly designated areas were approved by the Turkish government in August 2020 and include an expansion of the MPA network by 135 square miles (350 sq km) of no trawling/no purse seine, and an additional 27 square miles (70 sq. km) of no fishing zones. Turkey’s marine ecosystem has been severely degraded by overfishing, illegal fishing, tourism development, and the effects of climate change—and these protected areas help mitigate these challenges.


Tero Mustonen

Finland / Europe

Since April 2018, Tero Mustonen led the restoration of 62 severely degraded former industrial peat mining and forestry sites throughout Finland—totaling 86,000 acres—and transformed them into productive, biodiverse wetlands and habitats. Rich in organic matter, peatlands are highly effective carbon sinks; according to the IUCN, peatlands are the largest natural carbon stores on Earth. Roughly one-third of Finland’s surface area is made up of peatlands.


Delima Silalahi

Indonesia / Islands & Island Nations

Delima Silalahi led a campaign to secure legal stewardship of 17,824 acres of tropical forest land for six Indigenous communities in North Sumatra. Her community’s activism reclaimed this territory from a pulp and paper company that had partially converted it into a monoculture, non-native, industrial eucalyptus plantation. The six communities have begun restoring the forests, creating valuable carbon sinks of biodiverse Indonesian tropical forest.


Diane Wilson

United States / North America

In December 2019, Diane Wilson won a landmark case against Formosa Plastics, one of the world’s largest petrochemical companies, for the illegal dumping of toxic plastic waste on Texas’ Gulf Coast. The $50 million settlement is the largest award in a citizen suit against an industrial polluter in the history of the US Clean Water Act. As a part of the settlement, Formosa Plastics agreed to reach “zero-discharge” of plastic waste from its Point Comfort factory, pay penalties until discharges cease, and fund remediation of affected local wetlands, beaches, and waterways.


Alessandra Korap Munduruku

Brazil / South & Central America

Alessandra Korap Munduruku organized community efforts to stop mining development by British mining company Anglo American in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. In May 2021, the company formally committed to withdraw 27 approved research applications to mine inside Indigenous territories, including the Sawré Muybu Indigenous Territory, which contains more than 400,000 acres of rainforest. The decision protects a critically threatened area of the Amazon—the world’s largest rainforest and a globally significant carbon sink—from further mining and deforestation.


Stay up to date with the Goldman Prize community by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Recent Posts

Three Black Environmental Leaders You Should Know


February 20, 2024

We celebrate the contributions of Black leaders to the environmental movement in the United States and around the world. Join us in learning about some of their stories. Sharon Lavigne Environmental justice advocate Sharon Lavigne (United States, 2021) successfully stopped the construction of a $1.25 billion plastics manufacturing plant in St. James Parish, Louisiana. The…

Read more

The 35th Goldman Environmental Prize is Monday, April 29, 2024


January 9, 2024

The Goldman Environmental Prize is excited to share that the 2024 Prize winners will be announced on Monday, April 29. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Goldman Prize. The Prize winners will be celebrated at live ceremonies following Earth Week: at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco on Monday, April 29, and at…

Read more

35 Years of Celebrating Grassroots Environmental Leaders—A Message from our Executive Director


January 2, 2024 – By Michael Sutton

Happy New Year to our global community. It’s often said that optimism in the face of daunting odds is a prerequisite for all environmentalists. So, in a very challenging year for both environmentalists and humanity in general, I want to focus on what brings us hope in the coming months. For us, the antidote to…

Read more