Goldman Environmental Prize nominators work in a broad range of fields, including environmental justice, Indigenous rights, natural resource protection, biodiversity conservation, environmental health, land management, journalism, and many more. Their on-the-ground knowledge and global reach enable us to identify many of the world’s most inspiring grassroots environmental leaders.

Prize staff researches nominations thoroughly, drawing on the resources of nominating organizations and individuals. The identities of nominees remain confidential throughout the process. Candidates cannot submit their own names for consideration and are not aware that they have been nominated unless they win the Prize. Final selections are made by the Goldman Environmental Prize Jury, which combines the commitment of the Foundation’s Board of Directors with the expertise of distinguished environmentalists.

Selection Criteria

The following premises guide the Goldman Environmental Prize Jury in selecting Prize winners:

  • Recent achievements that have enhanced the environment and inspired others are the foundation for recognition
  • Grassroots initiatives are given priority over scientific, academic, or governmental activities
  • Private citizens are given priority over executives of large NGOs
  • Government employees are eligible only for work outside the scope of their official responsibilities
  • The Prize is not a lifetime achievement award, nor is it given posthumously

Goldman Prize recipients are often:

  • Leaders in a grassroots campaign or sustained effort that seeks to have, or results in, a significant impact at the regional, national, or global level
  • Leaders who provide significant inspiration to other environmentalists or to the public
  • Leaders who are well respected by their communities and colleagues
  • Individuals who have conducted their work at great personal risk
  • Individuals whose current work or campaigns would be significantly impacted by receiving the Prize

The Goldman Environmental Prize does not accept unsolicited nominations.