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2015 press release

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Goldman Environmental Prize Honors Six Heroes of the Environment

2015 recipients come from Kenya, Myanmar, Scotland, Haiti, Canada, and Honduras

SAN FRANCISCO, April 20, 2015 — The Goldman Environmental Foundation today announced the six recipients of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest award for grassroots environmental activists.

Awarded annually to environmental heroes from each of the world’s six inhabited continental regions, the Goldman Prize recognizes fearless grassroots activists working against all odds to protect the environment and their communities. They often work in countries where violence and death threats against environmental defenders are on the rise, as documented in a report from Global Witness released today.

The winners will be awarded the Prize at an invitation-only ceremony on Monday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Opera House (this event will be live streamed online) A ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. will follow on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.

This year’s winners are:

PHYLLIS OMIDO, Kenya
After learning her own breast milk was making her baby sick—and realizing her child wasn’t the only one suffering from lead poisoning—Phyllis Omido galvanized the community in Mombasa to shut down the smelter that was exposing people to dangerous chemicals.

MYINT ZAW, Myanmar
Facing heavy government scrutiny and restricted use of tools like email or social media, Myint Zaw launched a national movement that successfully stopped construction of the Myitsone Dam on Myanmar’s treasured Irrawaddy River.

HOWARD WOOD, Scotland
Howard Wood spearheaded a campaign that established the first community-developed Marine Protected Area in Scotland, giving citizens a voice in a debate that has been dominated by the commercial fishing industry.

JEAN WIENER, Haiti
In a country plagued by extreme poverty and political instability, Jean Wiener led community efforts to establish the nation’s first Marine Protected Areas by empowering Haitians to see the long-term value in sustainably managing fisheries and mangrove forests.

MARILYN BAPTISTE, Canada
A former chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, Marilyn Baptiste led her community in defeating one of the largest proposed gold and copper mines in British Columbia that would have destroyed Fish Lake—a source of spiritual identity and livelihood for the Xeni Gwet’in.

BERTA CÁCERES, Honduras
In a country with growing socioeconomic inequality and human rights violations, Berta Cáceres rallied the indigenous Lenca people of Honduras and waged a grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam.

About the Goldman Environmental Prize
The Goldman Environmental Prize was established in 1989 by late San Francisco civic leaders and philanthropists Richard and Rhoda Goldman. Prize winners are selected by an international jury from confidential nominations submitted by a worldwide network of environmental organizations and individuals.

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