Goldman Environmental Prize Awards $150,000 to Six Heroes of the Environment

The Goldman Environmental Foundation today announced the six recipients of the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize, a group of fearless leaders working against all odds to protect the environment and their communities.

The Goldman Environmental Prize, now in its 24th year, is awarded annually to environmental heroes from each of the world’s six inhabited continental regions. With an individual cash prize of $150,000, it is the largest award for grassroots environmental activism. The winners will be awarded the Prize at an invitation-only ceremony on Monday, April 15, 2013 at 5 p.m. at the San Francisco Opera House. A smaller ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. will follow on Wednesday, April 17.

This year’s winners are:

JONATHAN DEAL, South Africa

With no prior experience in grassroots organizing, Jonathan Deal led a successful campaign against fracking in South Africa to protect the Karoo, a semi-desert region treasured for its agriculture, beauty and wildlife.

AZZAM ALWASH, Iraq

Giving up a comfortable living and family life in California, Azzam Alwash returned to war-torn Iraq to lead local communities in restoring the once-lush marshes that were turned to dust bowls during Saddam Hussein’s rule.

ROSSANO ERCOLINI, Italy

An elementary school teacher, Rossano Ercolini began a public education campaign about the dangers of incinerators in his small Tuscan town that grew into a national Zero Waste movement.

ALETA BAUN, Indonesia

By organizing hundreds of local villagers to peacefully occupy marble mining sites in “weaving protests,” Aleta Baun stopped the destruction of sacred forestland on Mutis Mountain on the island of Timor.

KIMBERLY WASSERMAN, USA

Kimberly Wasserman led local residents in a successful campaign to shut down two of the country’s oldest and dirtiest coal plants — and is now transforming Chicago’s old industrial sites into parks and multi-use spaces.

NOHRA PADILLA, Colombia

Unfazed by powerful political opponents and a pervasive culture of violence, Nohra Padilla organized Colombia’s marginalized waste pickers to make recycling a legitimate part of waste management.

ATTENTION EDITORS: Detailed biographical information, as well as photographs and broadcast-quality video of all the winners in their home countries are available by request or online at www.goldmanprize.org/pressroom/2013

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. For additional information about the Prize and previous winners visit www.goldmanprize.org.