The Goldman Prize

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The Goldman Prize
The Goldman Environmental Prize: Creating Positive Change

On April 18th, six heroic grassroots environmental activists from around the globe were recognized by The Goldman Environmental Prize for their tireless efforts at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, and we at Swirl were honored to lend a helping hand.

“It just takes one person standing up to spark a fire, to say, not on our land, not in our town. One person standing up for lives and livelihoods, for those afraid to speak. One person standing up to protect our precious world.”

That’s the poignant message we crafted for this year’s video for The Goldman Prize. When the time came to select a song, we collaborated with world-famous singer, songwriter and eco-activist Michael Franti. His personal dedication to preserving our world made for a perfect fit when deciding what song to use. Along with the video, Swirl also created a print ad for The New York Times and partnered with Facebook, Nativo and Amplive to ensure we reached the greatest amount of viewers for the live streaming of the event.

When it comes to standing up for one’s right to live peacefully off their own land or starting a grassroots campaign to turn the construction site for one of the world’s largest trash-burning incinerators into a green energy farm—the Goldman Environmental Prize is here to recognize these global heroes in hopes of inspiring other ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect our natural world.

Background
The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest award recognizing grassroots environmental activists from the six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America and South & Central America. The Prize recognizes individuals who have made significant efforts to sustain, protect and enhance the natural environment—which often comes with great personal risk. The Prize views ‘grassroots’ leaders as those who are heavily involved in local efforts, to positively create change within their community and the issues that affect them. 

The Prize
• International recognition that enhances their credibility
• Worldwide visibility for the issues they champion
• Financial support of $175,000 to pursue their vision of a renewed and protected environment

This Year’s Winners
• Destiny Watford BALTIMORE, UNITED STATES
Inspired residents of an industrialized south Baltimore neighborhood to defeat plans to build the nation’s largest trash-burning incinerator less than a mile away from her high school.
 
• Edward Loure SIMANJIRO, TANZANIA
Led a grassroots organization that pioneered a way to secure land titles for communities of indigenous pastoralists and hunter-gatherers, ensuring the environmental stewardship of more than 200,000 acres.
 
• Zuzana Caputova PEZINOK, SLOVAKIA
Spearheaded a successful campaign that shut down a toxic waste dump that was poisoning the land, air and water in her community, setting a precedent for public participation in post-communist Slovakia.
 
• Leng Ouch PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
Went undercover to document illegal logging and exposed the corruption robbing rural communities of their land, causing the government to cancel large land concessions.
 
• Máxima Acuña TRAGADERO GRANDE, PERU
Stood up for her right to peacefully live off her own land, a property sought by Newmont and Buenaventura Mining, keeping the Conga Mine out of an important watershed.
 
• Luis Jorge Rivera Herrera LUQUILLO, PUERTO RICO
Helped lead a successful campaign to establish a nature reserve in the Northeast Ecological Corridor—an important nesting ground for the endangered leatherback sea turtle—and protect this biodiverse area from harmful development.