Goldman Prizes, the "Nobels of Environmentalism," Awarded to Eco-Activists Around the World

May 1, 2024

Goldman Environmental Prize Awarded to Eco-Activists

Thought Question: What actions can individuals take to help protect the environment, and how can we follow the example of people who have made a positive impact in their communities and the world? 

Much of the news about the environment is about things getting worse. It can be easy to forget that many people are making helpful changes to address the problems. The Goldman Environmental Foundation (GEF) honors difference-makers with its yearly Prize.    

The GEF seeks to honor people who worked to protect the environment. For many, the efforts came with "great personal risk,” the GEF notes on its website.

GEF awards six prizes per year. One person is chosen for each region of the world. Here are 2024’s winners:   

Andrea Vidaurre, North America. The 29-year-old led a movement to improve air quality in California. She convinced the state’s Air Resources Board to adopt standards that limit emissions from trucks and freight trains.     

Nonhle Mbuthuma and Sinegugu Zukulu, Africa. Mbuthuma, 46, and Zukulu, 54, rallied members of the Mpondo people. That's their Indigenous group. The movement stopped oil and gas drilling off the coast of South Africa. Their efforts will protect one of the most biodiverse sea regions in the world. 

Alok Shukla, Asia. The 43-year-old founded a campaign to save 445,000 acres of forest from 21 planned coal mines in central India. The forest is one of the largest in India.   

Teresa Vicente, Europe. The 61-year-old used her background as a lawyer to protect the Mar Menor ecosystem. It's Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon. Vicente argued for the “personhood” of the lagoon and won. That means the region will be shielded from the effects of development and pollution

Marcel Gomes, South and Central America. The 45-year-old worked with Repórter Brasil to look into causes of deforestation. His work found links between the world’s largest meat-packing company and deforestation in the Amazon in Brazil.    

Murrawah Maroochy Johnson, Islands and Island Nations. The 29-year-old fought the building of a coal mine in Australia. She used the courts to block mining. Her efforts saved the 20,000-acre Bimblebox Nature Refuge.      

GIF of natural stream courtesy @livingstills on GIPHY.

Which section of the article highlights the accomplishments of activists who have made significant contributions to protecting the environment? (Common Core RI.5.5; RI.6.5)
a. the introduction
b. the second paragraph
c. the list
d. A and C
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