Goldman Environmental Prizes 2016 awarded to six activists

April 19, 2016

Six environmental activists from around the world received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize at a ceremony in San Francisco on 18 April 2016. This prize does not always go to human  rights defenders in the traditional sense of the word, but several well-known ones are among the recipients such as the recently killed Berta Carceres []. This year’s winners are: 

Destiny Watford was planned a movement to block what would have been the nation’s largest trash incinerator near her home in Baltimore USA. Watford says she and her friends were studying human rights when they decided that conditions in their heavily industrialized neighborhood weren’t fair. “Especially this human right of believing that everyone has the right to live in a healthy community and breathe clean air,” said Watford.

For Luis Jorge Rivera-Herrera, the struggle was to keep one of the most bio-diverse areas in Puerto Rico safe from pollution and development. The island’s northeast corridor is a nesting ground for the endangered leatherback sea turtle. Rivera-Herrera said developers were pushing two mega-resorts, which could have altered the landscape dramatically. “One of the projects, this mega-resort, they were even proposing to channelize one of the rivers,” explained Rivera-Herrera.

For public interest lawyer Zuzana Caputova, shutting down a toxic waste dump in her home city in Slovakia was a family affair. Beyond rallying support in the community, she also involved her own daughters, 12 and 15 years old. “They were participating in the protests, they were living my life, ” she said.

For Edward Loure pioneered a system in Tanzania to give ownership title for lands to entire indigenous communities instead of individuals. He said his approach protects the communal lifestyle and their ability to live off their lands for future generations. But the sudden recognition still took him by surprise. “I was too much happy. All of a sudden I had the Goldman Prize,” he said smiling.

Leng Ouch from Cambodia and Maxima Acuna from Peru received both the award for their struggles to protect rural lands from development such as logging and mining.


Prestigious Goldman Environmental Prizes awarded In San Francisco |

One Response to “Goldman Environmental Prizes 2016 awarded to six activists”

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