“How we fought to protect the Environment against powerful interests”: all the winners of the 2024 Goldman Environmental Prize

These activists were awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize 2024 for their commitment and dedication to protecting the environment, fighting against economic and political interests

The Goldman Environmental Prize 2024 has recognized six extraordinary individuals for their courage and dedication in protecting the environment against powerful economic and political interests. These activists have achieved significant victories, demonstrating that commitment and determination can lead to meaningful change. Let’s meet the 2024 winners.

Marcel Gomes, Brazil

Marcel Gomes conducted an in-depth investigation into the Brazilian beef supply chain, exposing illegal deforestation practices in the Amazon, Cerrado, and Pantanal regions. His findings led six major European retailers to remove beef sourced from JBS, the world’s largest beef producer, from their shelves. This action raised public awareness about the environmental impact of the meat industry.

Murrawah Maroochy Johnson, Australia

Murrawah Maroochy Johnson, an activist from the Birri Gubba Aboriginal people and co-director of the NGO Youth Verdict, led a legal battle against Waratah Coal. She successfully prevented the construction of a massive coal mine that would have devastated the Bimblebox Nature Reserve. Her victory set an important legal precedent in Australia, protecting the human and cultural rights of indigenous peoples.

Alok Shukla, India

Alok Shukla has led local communities in Hasdeo Aranya in their fight against government mining concessions. Through organizing protests, marches, and social media campaigns, he succeeded in having all mining concessions in the region canceled, thereby protecting elephant habitats and vital natural resources for local communities.

Teresa Vicente, Spain

University professor and activist Teresa Vicente fought for the legal recognition of Mar Menor, a coastal lagoon in Murcia, Spain. Through her determination and the collection of over 600,000 signatures, Mar Menor is now legally recognized and protected. This is a unique achievement in Europe that ensures the conservation of its species and habitats.

Andrea Vidaurre, United States

Andrea Vidaurre mobilized communities in the Inland Empire, California, against air pollution caused by freight traffic. She worked with unions and environmental justice organizations, influencing the California Air Resources Board to implement regulations to reduce emissions from heavy transport and promote zero-emission vehicles.

Sinegugu Zukulu and Nonhle Mbuthuma, South Africa

Sinegugu Zukulu and Nonhle Mbuthuma, two activists from the Amadiba community, opposed Shell’s seismic testing along South Africa’s Wild Coast, a biodiversity-rich marine area. By organizing the community and raising public awareness, they successfully halted the tests that would have threatened the marine ecosystem and local livelihoods.

Source: Goldman Environmental Prize

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