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Goldman Environmental Prize Blog

Latest Posts pg. 2

Prize Winners Today: Heffa Schücking Holds Banks Accountable for their Role in Climate Change

January 19, 2022 – By Ellen Lomonico

Our interview started with good news: Heffa Schücking (Germany, 1994) was celebrating the birth of her first grandson. When asked about the recent United Nations COP26 conference, the new grandmother laughed, saying, “I was rather afraid you’d ask this. I’ve been spending the days admiring my grandchild and changing diapers!” It was the first time…

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Goldman Prize Executive Director Michael Sutton on Why Grassroots Environmentalists Give Him Hope for Our Planet

January 5, 2022 – By Michael Sutton

When I reflect on our work at the Goldman Environmental Prize, I occasionally catch myself wondering: Is our collective progress too incremental? What impact can a grandmother in Louisiana, a lawyer in Liberia, or a student in Malawi have on our global climate or the protection of natural resources? Is it enough? It usually doesn’t…

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What Environmental Justice Means—and Why it Matters

January 4, 2022

Environmental activism isn’t just about protecting the natural world—it’s also about protecting people. Nowhere is this concept better illustrated than with the environmental justice movement. At its most basic level, environmental justice asserts that environmental issues and social justice are inextricably linked. What is Environmental Justice? Environmental justice is the idea that people of all…

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The Legacy of Wangari Maathai

December 1, 2021

Among the most prominent environmental activists of the last century is the late Professor Wangari Maathai, who founded the Green Belt Movement and inspired hundreds of thousands of people around the world to push for environmental progress. In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of her 1991 Goldman Prize win—and the 10th anniversary of her passing—we’re…

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2020 Grants in Review

November 23, 2021

In July 2020, the Goldman Environmental Foundation announced the 2020 grant recipients, 11 Goldman Prize winner organizations committed to improving our natural world through grassroots organizing, environmental education, and community empowerment. We are excited to share a summary of the results of 2020 grantmaking season, which began in July 2020 and concluded in July 2021.…

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Goldman Prize Winners Complete Virtual Leadership Program

November 17, 2021

Four Goldman Prize winners recently completed a six-week personal and professional development leadership program. In the absence of in-person networking and international development opportunities typically provided to Prize winners as part of the Goldman Environmental Foundation’s programming, the Foundation teamed up with Design Pathways to support Prize winners virtually. An experienced leadership training organization, Design…

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Prize Winners Today: How Hilton Kelley is Building Community against a Backdrop of Environmental Injustice

October 19, 2021 – By Ellen Lomonico

The day before our interview, environmental justice champion Hilton Kelley (United States, 2011) was celebrating his granddaughter’s birthday—“the big 10.” With powerful, broad shoulders and a thick, white beard, it’s easy to see how the former actor embodies the role of a slightly intimidating but nonetheless jovial grandfather. It’s a responsibility that he holds for…

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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…

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Prize Winners Today: Protecting the Balkans with Ana Colovic Lesoska

September 21, 2021 – By Ellen Lomonico

“The Blue Heart of Europe.” It’s a nickname for the Balkans that evokes identity and nostalgia, purity and beauty. But as unearthed in our interview with conservationist Ana Colovic Lesoska (North Macedonia, 2019), the Balkans are also rife with lingering civil unrest and opaque financial dealings. The region’s free-flowing and stunning waterways have ironically made…

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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…

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