Goldman Prize Awards $150,000 to Six Environmental Leaders

SAN FRANCISCO, California, April 15, 2013 (ENS) – The Goldman Environmental Foundation today announced the six recipients of the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize, a group of grassroots leaders working to protect the environment and their communities.

The Goldman Environmental Prize, now in its 24th year, is awarded annually to environmental leaders from each of the world’s six inhabited continental regions. With an individual cash prize of $150,000, it is the largest award for grassroots environmental activism. The prize recognizes achievements in marshland restoration, solid waste management; fighting fracking, marble mining, and coal plant emissions. This year’s recipients hail from: Colombia, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, South Africa and USA

The winners were awarded the prize today at an invitation-only ceremony at the San Francisco Opera House. A smaller ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17.

This year’s winners are:

Jonathan Deal, South Africa
With no prior experience in grassroots organizing, Jonathan Deal led a successful campaign against hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in South Africa to protect the Karoo, a semi-desert region treasured for its agriculture, beauty and wildlife.

Azzam Alwash, Iraq
Giving up a comfortable living and family life in California, Azzam Alwash returned to war-torn Iraq to lead local communities in restoring the once-lush marshes that were turned to dustbowls during Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Rossano Ercolini, Italy
An elementary school teacher, Rossano Ercolini began a public education campaign about the dangers of incinerators in his small Tuscan town that grew into a national Zero Waste movement.

Aleta Baun, Indonesia
By organizing hundreds of local villagers to peacefully occupy marble mining sites in “weaving protests,” Aleta Baun stopped the destruction of sacred forestland in Mutins Mountain on the island of Timor.

Kimberly Wasserman, United States
Kimberly Wasserman led local residents in a successful campaign to shut down two of the country’s oldest and dirtiest power plants–and is now transforming Chicago’s old industrial sites into parks and multi-use spaces.

Nohra Padilla, Colombia
Unfazed by powerful political opponents and a pervasive culture of violence, Nohra Padilla organized Colombia’s marginalized waste pickers to make recycling a legitimate part of waste management.

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.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2013. All rights reserved.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.