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Land Conservation

Protecting life and biodiversity from exploitation and destruction

Frozen peaks, vast desserts, and teeming rainforests—our natural landscapes contain our planet’s vast biological and geological diversity.

The conservation of our land—and the habitats, life, and territories within—is essential for the health and survival of all species. As we adapt our conservation practices to meet a changing world, we celebrate the protection of land and honor traditional methods of land management as practiced by Indigenous peoples. 

The Earth does not expect you to save her, she expects you to respect her. And we, as Indigenous peoples, expect the same.

Ecuador, 2020
Nemonte Nenquimo

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Goldman Prize Winners awarded for Land Conservation

Paul Sein Twa

2020 Goldman Prize Winner
Land Conservation

Seeking to preserve both the environment and Karen culture in Myanmar, in December 2018 Paul Sein Twa led his people in establishing a 1.35-million-acre peace park—a unique and collaborative community-based approach to conservation—in the Salween River basin. The Salween River basin is a major biodiversity zone and home to the indigenous Karen people, who have long sought self-determination and cultural survival. The new park represents a major victory for peace and conservation in Myanmar.

Edward Loure

Edward Loure

2016 Goldman Prize Winner
Land Conservation

Edward Loure led a grassroots organization that pioneered an approach that gives land titles to indigenous communities—instead of individuals—in northern Tanzania, ensuring the environmental stewardship of more than 200,000 acres of land for future generations.

Malgorzata Gorska

Małgorzata Górska

2010 Goldman Prize Winner
Land Conservation

Małgorzata Górska’s leadership in the fight to stop a controversial highway project led to a significant legal precedent for the environment that resulted in the protection of Poland’s Rospuda Valley, one of Europe’s last true wilderness areas.

Ignace Schops

Ignace Schops

2008 Goldman Prize Winner
Land Conservation

Raising more than $90 million by bringing together private industry, regional governments, and local stakeholders, Ignace Schops led the effort to establish Belgium’s first and only national park, protecting one of the largest open green spaces in the country.

Libia Grueso

2004 Goldman Prize Winner
Land Conservation
South & Central America

Libia Grueso, a social worker and co-founder of the Process of Black Communities (PCN), has been called one of the most prominent intellectual-activists in the Afro-Colombian civil rights movement. In the early 1990s, together with other movement leaders, she led a campaign that secured more than 5.9 million acres in territorial rights for Colombia’s black rural communities. Grueso also focused on protecting Colombia’s Pacific rainforest, a region facing the escalating threat of armed conflict, environmental ruin, and the mass displacement of Afro-Colombian villagers.

Edwin Bustillos

Edwin Bustillos

1996 Goldman Prize Winner
Land Conservation
North America

Undeterred by local drug lords, Edwin Bustillos (d. 2003) 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.

Partners in Land Conservation

The Goldman Prize is honored to partner with a variety of environmental organizations around the world, each of them united in the goal of protecting our planet. From our nominating partners to global organizations to grassroots NGOs led by Prize winners, they are all essential parts of the environmental community.

  • The Nature Conservancy logo
  • Conservation International logo
  • Rights and Resources logo
  • Euro Nature logo
  • Maliasili logo
  • Ujamaa Community Resource Team logo
  • https://krugzivota.ba/ logo
  • https://ekosvest.com.mk/ logo