Prize Winners Network at the ELAW Annual Meeting in Tanzania

July 9, 2018

This May, 23 Goldman Environmental Prize winners joined fellow defenders of the earth from 42 different countries at the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) annual international meeting, in Arusha, Tanzania. In addition to gathering an unprecedented number of Prize winners in one place, the conference was a significant meeting of the minds on environmental law and advocacy, with topics ranging from climate change to land grabs and the safety of environmental defenders. Three members of our staff also attended: Executive Director Mike Sutton, Deputy Director Lorrae Rominger, and Program Officer Myriah Cornwell. Below are our favorite quotes and photos from Prize winners during the conference.

“Being amongst the Prize winners, one could feel a particular energy, the kind of energy that made me feel privileged to be part of the group.” — Makoma Lekalakala, 2018 Prize winner from South Africa

“This was my first time meeting the most number of the Goldman Prize family members since 1990 when the Prize was given out for the first time. The experience also truly refreshed and re-energized me in my work among our communities in Malayasia.” — Harrison Ngu (1990), Malaysia

“The meeting in Arusha was a dream come true. It was a unique opportunity to acquire knowledge, gather information, and improve our network.” — Rudy Amenga-Etego (2004), Ghana

“Garth and I were highly motivated and energized by meeting you all, as well as humbled by your work and your sacrifices. And wonderful to re-unite with people we last saw nearly 20 years ago! We cannot stress how beneficial this is for all of us, it’s like meeting family.” — Margaret Jacobsohn & Garth Owen Smith (1993), Namibia

“We managed to catch up with our brothers and sisters, put faces to names and learn from each other while making new acquaintances. We do get encouraged, motivated and eager to continue to do our parts in ensuring our world becomes a better place for all – current and future generations –  when we meet like this.” — Nat Quansah (2000), Madagascar

“Of the many meetings and workshops I have attended, this one really energized me and made me feel even much stronger in my spirit to meet and see so many Goldman family members who are still dedicated to save our mother earth, despite all the difficulties and challenges we all face.” — Hammer Simwinga (2007), Zambia

“I gained enormous benefits from meeting with different Goldman Prize winners in one room and hearing first hand their struggles that they experience daily in their areas of work. More importantly it helped me realize the solidarity we can develop as a collective group.” — Desmond D’Sa (2014), South Africa

“When visiting the Ngorongoro Crater, I realized there are men and women fighting to preserve the wildlife in the crater and seeing the amazing and high numbers of large and small mammals, from now on I will fight for the national parks of Congo to follow this excellent model.” — Rodrigue Katembo (2017), Democratic Republic of Congo

“We benefited from this renewed connection and information sharing. It was also valuable to network with other winners, share our experiences and learn from one another.  Learning about the experiences of other winners was rejuvenating but also gave us some insights on strategies we can utilize.” — Fatima Jibrell (2002), Somalia

“For me and my country, it was a big achievement to host many Prize winners and have such a wonderful workshop. I learned more through fellow Prize winners and together some of us have agreed to develop shared projects in future.” — Edward Loure (2016), Tanzania

Executive Director Mike Sutton with Prize winners Fatima Jibrell, Makoma Lekalakala, and Nat Quansah

Deputy Director Lorrae Rominger with Prize winners Eugene Rutagarama and Rizwana Hassan

Prize winners convene at the conference farewell dinner. Left: Thuli Makama, Hammer Simwinga, and Samuel Nguiffo. Middle: Margaret Jacobsohn and Garth Owen-Smith. Right: Marc Ona

Wildlife at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Photo credit: Mike Sutton

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