Chibeze Ezekiel from Ghana, Kristal Ambrose from The Bahamas, Leydy Pech from Mexico, Lucie Pinson from France, Nemonte Nenquimo from Ecuador, and Paul Sein Twa from Myanmar were announced as the six winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize for 2020 were announced recently. These activists have worked tremendously and fought against all odds to ensure that the environment is greener and cleaner.
Read on to know more about what these environmental activists have done.
Chibeze Ezekiel from Ghana worked on a campaign to pressurize the government of Ghana to cancel the construction of a 700-megawatt (MW) coal power plant and adjoining shipping port to import coal. As a result of his efforts and activism, the coal plant’s construction was called off and the nation moved away from this fossil fuel.
In today’s times when plastic pollution is inflicting much damage to the environment, Kristal Ambrose from The Bahamas urged the government prohibit the use of single-use plastic bags, plastic cutlery, straws, and Styrofoam containers and cups. Her activism resulted in a nationwide ban on these plastic items in January 2020.
Leydy Pech from Mexico led a coalition that worked to successfully halt the planting of genetically modified soybeans in southern Mexico by Monsanto, an American agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation. Due to the efforts of the coalition, the Supreme Court of Mexico suspended the planx`ting of genetically modified soybeans and Monsanto’s permit to grow genetically modified soybeans in seven states was rescinded.
Lucie Pinson from France successfully compelled the three largest banks in France to stop providing financial aid for new coal projects and coal companies. She then pressurized French insurance companies to follow the same. Her efforts resulted in mega insurers such as AXA and SCOR announcing plans to end insurance coverage for coal projects.
Nemonte Nenquimo from Ecuador successfully campaigned for ensuring that 500,000 acres of Amazonian rainforest and Waorani territory were protected from oil extraction.
Paul Sein Twa from Myanmar brought about a beautiful confluence between the environment and Karen culture by establishing a 1.35-million-acre peace park in the Salween River basin, which is a major biodiversity zone and home to the indigenous Karen people.
What is the Goldman Environmental Prize?
The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. It honours grassroots environmental heroes from roughly the world’s six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America.
To read in detail about the work of each of these winners, click here.