ALFRED BROWNELL,an environmental lawyer,through his campaign he was able to stop the clear-cutting of Liberia’s tropical forests by palm oil company Golden Veroleum Liberia. He saved 513,500 acres of primary forest that constitute one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots.

ANA COLOVIC LESOSKA,her struggle of sevens years ended when she got success in cut off international funding for two large hydropower plants planned for inside Mavrovo National Park, oldest and largest national park. The park is home to rare trout species, wolves, bears, golden eagles, and otters and 1000 species of plants that includes beech forests and alpine meadows.The habitat of the endangered Balkan lynx.She became the first North Macedonian to win this award.

BAYARJARGAL AGVAANTSEREN, she fought to create the 1.8 million-acre Tost Tosonbumba Nature Reserve in the South Gobi Desert a habitat for the vulnerable snow leopard.In April 2016, then succeeded in persuading the Mongolian government to cancel all 37 mining licenses within the reserve.

ALBERTO CURAMIL, an indigenous Mapuche, he organized the people of Araucania to stop the construction of two hydroelectric projects on the Cautin River. This projects would have diverted hundreds of millions of gallons of water from the river each day, the ecosystem and exacerbating drought conditions in the region.

LINDA GARCIA,she organized Fruit Valley residents to stop the construction of the Tesoro Savage oil export terminal in Vancouver, Washington.Her struggle not only protected the residents from harmful air pollution but also the environment of the Columbia River Gorge. It prevented the North America’s largest oil terminal from being built, this halted the flow of 11 million gallons of crude oil per day from North Dakota to Washington.

JACQUELINE EVANS, She tirelessly worked for five years and got success in enactment of new legislation- MARAE MOANA.For sustainable management and conservation of 763,000 square miles of the country’s ocean territory.
That includes the marking of marine protected areas (MPAs) 50 nautical miles around the islands.It protects 125,000 square miles of ocean from large-scale commercial fishing and seabed mining. She became the first person to win the prize for the Cook Islands.


MEDHA PATKAR,1992,she mobilized massive marches and peaceful protests against the construction of India’s Sardar Sarovar Dam, which displaced thousands of tribal peoples and submerged vast stretches of forests and farmland.

M.C.MEHTA,1996,he single-handedly won numerous landmark judgments from India’s Supreme Court since 1984, including introducing lead-free gasoline to India and reducing the industrial pollution fouling the Ganges and eroding the Taj Mahal.

RASHIDA BEE AND CHAMPA DEVI SHUKLA,2004, On the 20th anniversary of the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak that killed 20,000 and injured more than 150,000 in Bhopal, Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla led a class action suit demanding cleanup and compensation for affected individuals.

RAMESH AGRAWAL,2014, With a small internet cafe as his headquarters, he organized villagers to demand their right to information about industrial development projects and succeeded in shutting down one of the largest proposed coal mines in Chhattisgarh.

PRAFULLA SAMANTARA,2017,An iconic leader of social justice movements in India,he led a historic 12-year legal battle that affirmed the indigenous Dongria Kondh’s land rights and protected the Niyamgiri Hills from a massive, open-pit aluminum ore mine.



Philanthropic couple Richard and Rhoda Goldman,founded the Goldman Environmental Prize in San Francisco.It is the world’s largest award honoring the grass root activists.The first award was given on 16th April 1990 on the 70th birthday of Richard Goldman. The date coincides with the Earth Day.The couple instituted this award to draw the attention of the world on the international nature of the environmental problems and to felicitate to those ordinary people who fought at the grass root level for the conservation of the environment and inspire others too.


The nominators work in various of fields, that includes environmental justice, indigenous rights, natural resource protection, biodiversity conservation, citizen advocacy, environmental health, land management, human rights, etc. Their on-the-ground knowledge and global reach enable us to identify many of the world’s most inspiring grassroots environmental leaders.The scrutiny is done by the foundation’s staff keeping the identities confidential of the nominees.The final selection is done by the jury.


  • Recent achievements that have enhanced the environment and inspired others are the foundation for recognition.
  • Grassroots initiatives are given priority over scientific, academic, or governmental activities.
  • Individual person is given priority over NGOs.
  • Government employees are eligible but only for work outside the purview of their official responsibilities.
  • It is not a lifetime achievement award, nor is it given posthumously.

The Recipients Generally Are.

  • A leader in a grassroots campaign that seeks to have, a significant impact at the regional, national, or global level.
  • A leader who inspires the other environmentalists or the public.
  • A leader who is respected by their communities and colleagues.
  • An individual who has conducted his work at own risk.
  • An individual whose current work would be significantly impacted by receiving the Prize.

Madhvendra Mishra

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