2009 Goldman Prize Winners

Goldman Prize WinnersSix relatively unknown grassroots activists from around the globe receive a moment in the spotlight when the Goldman Environmental Prize announces its list of annual recipients. The prize, now in its 20th year, is considered the Nobel Prize for the environment. Past recipients include Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, former Brazilian environment minister Marina Silva, and Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was killed seven months after his recognition.

The Worldwatch Institute is honoring this year's prize winners with a series of profiles based on personal interviews.

Suriname Tribe Protects Land, Ensures Rights May 4, 2009
Hugo Jabini and Wanze Eduards, the 2009 Goldman Environment Prize co-recipients for Central and South America, fought logging concessions in their territory. An international court victory set precedent for tribal land rights.

U.S. Activist Battles West Virginia Coal Industry May 1, 2009
Maria Gunnoe, the recipient for North America, has withstood floods, contamination of her land, and death threats to challenge the coal industry's practice of mountaintop removal mining.

Russian Activist Seeks End to Soviet Toxic Legacies April 30, 2009
Olga Speranskaya, the recipient for Europe, leads an effort to rid former Soviet states of their persistent organic pollutants.

In Gabon, Activists Challenge Chinese Mine April 28, 2009
Marc Ona Essangui, the recipient for Africa, pressured Gabon to revise a Chinese mining deal so that his country receives greater economic benefit and enhanced forest protection.

Bangladeshi Lawyer Fights Toxic Ship-Breaking April 24, 2009
Riswana Hasan, the recipient for Asia, led a legal battle to prevent Western nations from depositing toxin-laden ships on Bangladesh's shores.

Indonesian Activist Targets Community Waste April 21, 2009
Yuyun Ismawati, the recipient for islands and island nations, works with poor Indonesian communities to develop collective waste management services.