Environmental Heroes Awarded

Clockwise, from top left: 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize winners Khanh Nguy Thi, Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid, Claire Nouvian, Manny Calonzo, LeeAnne Walters, and Francia Márquez.

The Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest award honoring grassroots environmental activists, has announced the winners for 2018. Founded in 1989 by Richard Goldman and his wife, Rhoda Goldman, it recognizes ordinary individuals working at the grassroots level who protect and enhance the environment.

The 2018 winners are:

* Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid, South Africa – Built a broad coalition to stop the South African government’s secret nuclear deal with Russia. The High Court ruling, on April 26, 2017, that the $76 billion nuclear project was unconstitutional protected South Africa from unprecedented expansion of the nuclear industry and production of radioactive waste.

* Khanh Nguy Thi, Vietnam – Used scientific research and worked with Vietnamese state Agencies to advocate for sustainable long-term energy projections in Vietnam. She partnered with state officials to reduce coal dependency and move toward a greener energy future.

* Claire Nouvian, France – Led a data-driven advocacy campaign against destructive fishing practices of deep-sea bottom trawling. She convinced Intermarché, a French supermarket and fleet owner, to change its fishing practices and, with her coalition of advocates, secured a French ban on deep-sea bottom trawling that led to a European-Union-wide ban.

* Manny Calonzo, The Philippines – Led an advocacy campaign that persuaded the Philippine government to enact a national ban on the production, use, and sale of lead paint. He also managed the development of a third-party certification program to ensure that paint manufacturers meet this standard.

* LeeAnne Walters, United States – Headed a citizens’ movement that tested the tap water in Flint, Michigan, exposing the Flint water crisis. She also convinced the government to take action and ensure that residents of Flint have access to clean water.

* Francia Márquez, Colombia – Organized the women of La Toma and stopped illegal gold mining on their ancestral land. She spearheaded a 10-day, 350-mile march to the nation’s capital, which resulted in the removal of all illegal miners and equipment from her community.

For additional information on the Goldman Environmental Prize, visit them online.

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