Skip to content

Register Now to Meet this Year’s Heroes of the Environment

WATCH THE 2022 AWARD CEREMONY

Jorge Varela Announces His Retirement

February 1, 2013

Jorge Varela was awarded the Goldman Prize in 1999 for his marine conservation work in Honduras, particularly his efforts to protect the ecological diversity of the Gulf of Fonseca from the unsustainable practices of industrial shrimp farming. Located on the Pacific coast, the Gulf of Fonseca is shared by Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

In 1988, Varela founded the Committee for the Defense and Development of Flora and Fauna of the Gulf of Fonseca (CODDEFFAGOLF), as part of an emerging grassroots movement challenging the appropriation of natural resources in Central America. CODDEFFAGOLF has grown to become one of the most effective and well-respected NGOs in all of Central America.

Now, after nearly 25 years of service, Varela is retiring from CODDEFFAGOLF, though he will continue to be a powerful and inspirational advocate both in Honduras and internationally for the protection of wetlands and marine ecosystems.

In a message to friends and partners, Varela reflected on his retirement, “My time at CODDEFFAGOLF has come to an end, but my struggle continues as always in favor of artisanal fisheries, the environment in general and in particular the protection of coastal-oceanic biodiversity, mitigation of climate change and, within the context of sustainable development, the pursuit of fishing, mining, forestry, and other extractive industries that must be more respectful of human rights, the environment, and National sovereignty and food sovereignty. LONG LIVE CODDEFFAGOLF AND MAY GOD GUIDE ITS PATH!”

Related Posts

Prize Winners Today: Jean Wiener Champions Sustainable Development and Marine Conservation in Haiti


February 16, 2022 – By Ellen Lomonico

Colorful fish dotted the walls of Jean Wiener’s home office as he logged on to our interview. Outside in Washington, D.C., it was a high of 27 degrees Fahrenheit. Just a few weeks earlier, snow had blanketed the ground, giving the capitol city a white Christmas. It’s a far cry from the tropical climate of…

Read more

Three Indigenous Leaders Protecting the Amazon


October 4, 2021

In early September, members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress approved a motion requesting a global commitment to protect 80% of the Amazon Basin by 2025. The campaign behind the initiative, Amazonia for Life: 80% by 2025, acknowledges the critical role of the Amazon in stabilizing the global climate…

Read more

How Grassroots Environmental Activism Has Changed the Course of History


September 1, 2021

Environmental activism is more mainstream today than ever before. In the last several years, activists like Greta Thunberg have become media stars and household names; national news outlets have ramped up their coverage of climate campaigns; and politicians have become increasingly outspoken about how environmental issues affect policy decisions. The surge in awareness of environmental…

Read more