Every year since 1989, the Goldman Environmental Prize has been awarded to six “under the radar” individuals from inhabited continental regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South and Central America) for their work in “protecting endangered ecosystems and species, combating destructive development projects, promoting sustainability, influencing environmental policies and striving for environmental justice. Prize winners are often women and men from isolated villages or inner cities who chose to take great personal risks to safeguard the environment.” The $150,000 Goldman Environmental Prize is the largest award in the world for grassroots environmental work, and this year’s six recipients will be honored tonight at the San Francisco Opera House in California.

Profile videos are available for each of the recipients. Check out this spotlight on the work of Randall Arauz from Costa Rica, one of the 2010 Goldman Environmental Prize winners (more videos can be found here):


Video footage of the ceremony will be available after April 20, 2010. We hope you'll take a moment to appreciate the inspiring work that these grassroots activists are doing all over the world.

This year's winners are:

Thuli Brilliance Makama, Swaziland

Thuli Makama, Swaziland’s only public interest environmental attorney, won a landmark case to include environmental NGO representation in conservation decisions and continues to challenge the forced evictions and violence perpetrated against poverty-stricken communities living on the edges of conservation areas.

Tuy Sereivathana , Cambodia 

Tuy Sereivathana worked to mitigate human elephant conflict in Cambodia by introducing innovative low-cost solutions, empowering local communities to cooperatively participate in endangered Asian elephant conservation.

Małgorzata Górska, Poland 

Małgorzata Górska led the fight to protect Poland’s Rospuda Valley, one of Europe’s last true wilderness areas, from a controversial highway project that would have destroyed the region’s sensitive ecosystems.

Humberto Ríos Labrada, Cuba

A scientist and biodiversity researcher, Humberto Ríos Labrada promoted sustainable agriculture by working with farmers to increase crop diversity and develop low-input agricultural systems that greatly reduce the need for pesticide and fertilizer, encouraging Cuba’s shift from agricultural chemical dependence.

Lynn Henning, USA 

Family farmer in rural Michigan, Lynn Henning exposed the egregious polluting practices of CAFOs –concentrated animal feeding operations- gaining the attention of the federal EPA and prompting state regulators to issue hundreds of citations for water quality violations.

Randall Arauz, Costa Rica

Drawing international attention to the inhumane and environmentally catastrophic shark finning industry, Randall Arauz led the campaign to halt the practice in Costa Rica, making his country the new international model for shark protection.