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Introducing the 2024 Goldman Environmental Prize Winners

April 29, 2024

We are honored to announce the 2024 Goldman Environmental Prize winners. These grassroots environmental leaders prove that ordinary people can have an extraordinary impact on the planet.

Join us tonight, April 29, 2024, at 5:30 pm PDT (8:30 pm EDT) in celebrating this year’s winners. Tune into the livestream of the San Francisco ceremony on the Goldman Prize YouTube channel. The ceremony will be hosted by Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro, and feature live entertainment from Jazz Mafia. Actor and environmentalist Sigourney Weaver will be narrating the Prize winner videos.

Sinegugu Zukulu and Nonhle Mbuthuma

South Africa / Africa

In September 2022, activists Nonhle Mbuthuma and Sinegugu Zukulu stopped destructive seismic testing for oil and gas off South Africa’s Eastern Cape, in an area known as the Wild Coast. Organizing their community, Mbuthuma and Zukulu secured their victory by asserting the rights of the local community to protect their marine environment. By halting oil and gas exploration in a particularly biodiverse area, they protected migratory whales, dolphins, and other wildlife from the harmful effects of seismic testing.

Alok Shukla

India / Asia

Alok Shukla led a successful community campaign that saved 445,000 acres of biodiversity-rich forests from 21 planned coal mines in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. In July 2022, the government canceled the 21 proposed coal mines in Hasdeo Aranya, whose pristine forests—popularly known as the lungs of Chhattisgarh—are one of the largest intact forest areas in India.

Teresa Vicente

Spain / Europe

Teresa Vicente led an unprecedented grassroots campaign to save the unique ecosystem of the Mar Menor—Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon—from collapse, resulting in a September 2022 decision by the Spanish Parliament that protects the lagoon by granting it unique legal rights. Considered to be the most important saltwater coastal lagoon in the western Mediterranean, the once-pristine waters of the Mar Menor have become polluted from agricultural runoff and a boom in tourism infrastructure.

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Murrawah Maroochy Johnson

Australia / Islands & Island Nations

Murrawah Maroochy Johnson blocked development of the Waratah coal mine, which would have destroyed the nearly 20,000-acre Bimblebox Nature Refuge and added 1.58 billion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere over its lifetime. Johnson’s case, which overcame an appeal in 2023, set a precedent that now enables other First Nations people to halt coal projects by linking climate change to Indigenous rights. Her victory resulted in the first-ever court-sanctioned linkage between Indigenous rights and climate change to successfully stop an Australian coal mine.

Andrea Vidaurre

United States / North America

In April 2023, Andrea Vidaurre’s grassroots leadership persuaded the California Air Resources Board to adopt two historic transportation regulations that significantly limit trucking and rail emissions. The new regulations—the In-Use Locomotive Rule and the California Advanced Clean Fleets Rule—include the nation’s first emission rule for trains and a path to 100% zero emissions for freight truck sales by 2036, respectively. The groundbreaking regulations—a product of Vidaurre’s policy work and community organizing—will substantially improve air quality for millions of Californians while accelerating the country’s transition to zero-emission vehicles.

Marcel Gomes

Brazil / South & Central America

Marcel Gomes coordinated an international campaign that directly linked beef from JBS, the world’s largest meatpacking company, to illegal deforestation in Brazil’s most threatened ecosystems. Armed with the evidence from his breakthrough investigative report, Gomes pressured global retailers to stop selling the illegally sourced meat, leading six major European supermarket chains in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom to indefinitely boycott the sale of JBS products in December 2021.

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