23 April 2018

Goldman Environmental Prize Honors Seven Environmental Heroes Award recognizes activists from Colombia, France, Vietnam, the Philippines, South Africa, and the United States


SAN FRANCISCO, April 23, 2018 — The Goldman Environmental Foundation today announced seven recipients of the 2018 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 Environmental Prize recognizes grassroots activists for significant achievements to protect the environment.

The winners will be awarded the Prize at an invitation-only ceremony today at 5:30 pm PDT at the San Francisco Opera House (this event will be live streamed online at www.goldmanprize.org/ceremony). A ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., will follow on Wednesday, April 25, at 7:30 pm EDT.

This year’s winners are:

FRANCIA MÁRQUEZ, Colombia

A formidable leader of the Afro-Colombian community, Francia Márquez pressured the Colombian government and organized the women of La Toma, in the Cauca region, to stop illegal gold mining on their ancestral land.

CLAIRE NOUVIAN, France

A tireless defender of the oceans and marine life, Claire Nouvian led a focused, data-driven advocacy campaign against the destructive fishing practice of deep-sea bottom trawling. Her work yielded French support for a ban on the practice, securing an EU-wide ban.

MAKOMA LEKALAKALA & LIZ MCDAID, South Africa

As grassroots activists, Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid built a broad coalition to stop South Africa’s massive nuclear deal with Russia. Their work resulted in a landmark legal victory against the secret $76 billion deal, protecting South Africa from lifetimes of nuclear waste.

MANNY CALONZO, the Philippines

Manny Calonzo spearheaded an advocacy campaign that persuaded the Philippine government to enact a national ban on the production, use, and sale of lead paint. His efforts have protected millions of Filipino kids from lead poisoning.

LEEANNE WALTERS, United States

LeeAnne Walters led a citizens’ movement that tested the tap water in Flint, Michigan, and exposed the Flint water crisis, compelling the local, state, and federal governments to take action to ensure access to clean drinking water.

KHANH NGUY THI, Vietnam

Khanh Nguy Thi used scientific research and engaged Vietnamese state agencies to advocate for sustainable long-term energy projections and reduction in coal power dependency in Vietnam. Her efforts helped eliminate 115 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from Vietnam annually.

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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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