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Prize Year: 1996

M.C. Mehta

M.C. Mehta single-handedly won numerous landmark judgments from India’s Supreme Court since 1984, including introducing lead-free gasoline to India and reducing the industrial pollution fouling the Ganges and eroding the Taj Mahal.

Marina Silva

A central figure in deforestation protests with the late Chico Mendes, Marina Silva helped establish a 2-million-hectare reserve managed by traditional communities.

Albena Simeonova

Albena Simeonova mobilized against environmental threats, such as the construction of ill-designed nuclear power plants, and organized a decentralized system of “eco-inspectorates” to empower citizens to address community concerns.

Ndyakira Amooti

The only journalist in Uganda reporting on environmental issues at the time, Ndyakira Amooti exposed abuses at great risk, including illegal mining and wildlife smuggling in East Africa, which led to the creation of several national parks.

Edwin Bustillos

Undeterred by local drug lords, Edwin Bustillos blocked logging in the Sierra Madre despite violent attempts on his life and founded the Advisory Council of the Sierra Madre to preserve the ecosystems that are home to the Tarahumara and Tepehuan communities.

Bill Ballantine

Bill Ballantine established unprecedented “no-take” marine reserves in New Zealand and promoted the concept internationally to protect vital resources that are quietly but quickly being depleted around the world.