Goldman Environmental Prize: Know about Indian winners

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 22, 2023, 12:26

The Goldman Environmental Prize is an annual prize given to grassroots environmental activists from each of the world's six geographical regions: Europe, Asia, Africa, Islands and Island Nations, North America, South, and Central America. This award is also known as the Green Nobel. It is given by the Goldman Environmental Foundation headquarters, established in San Francisco, California. 

Detailed information about the Goldman Environmental Prize

  • The Goldman Environmental prize money comprises a cash prize of $200,000.
  • The Goldman Environmental Prize, established in 1989, was created by two philanthropists and civil leaders named Rhoda H. Goldman and Richard N. Goldman. 
  • An international jury chooses the winners.
  • The nominations are received confidentially through a worldwide network of environmental organizations and individuals. 

On what criteria are the Goldman Environmental Prize winners selected?

The Goldman Environmental Prize winners are selected based on the following:

  • Those who have recently achieved something towards the enhancement of the environment and have inspired others to do the same too
  • Individual initiatives on the grassroots level by individuals are given more importance over scientific, academic, or governmental activists.
  • Private citizens are given more weightage over prominent NGO executives
  • Government officials are eligible for work conducted outside the scope of their official responsibilities

Highlights of Goldman Environmental Prize

  • The Goldman Environmental Prize winners tour San Francisco and Washington DC for ten days. 
  • They are felicitated in an award ceremony and presentation conducted in their honour. 
  • They even participate in news conferences, media briefings, and meetings with political, public policy, financial and environmental leaders from all across the globe. 
  • A short documentary video is featured on each winner

Goldman Environmental Prize Indian winners

The Goldman Environmental Prize India winner was last presented to an activist named Prafulla Samantara as the Asia recipient for championing the cause of Odisha's Dongria Kondh tribals and for protecting their culture and land. 

He was the sixth Indian to be felicitated with this award so far. He led a 12-year historic legal battle to affirm the land rights of the Dongria Kondh. As a result, he stopped making a massive open-pit aluminium ore mine to be set up in the Niyamgiri Hills in Odisha by Vendanta Resources. 

Goldman Environmental Prize winners for 2021

The winners of the 2021 edition for the Goldman Environmental Prize are 

  • Gloria Majiga-Kamoto from Malawi, Africa for Pollution and Waste
  • Thai Van Nguyen from Vietnam, Asia for Wildlife Protection
  • Maida Bilal from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Europe for Freshwater
  • Kimiko Hirata from Japan, islands and island nations, for Climate and Energy
  • Sharon Lavigne from the United States, North America, for Environmental Justice and 
  • Liz Chicago Churay from Peru, South and Central America for Forests
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FAQs about Goldman Environmental prize

How much is the Goldman Environmental Prize?

Ans: The Goldman Environmental Prize award is of cash money of $200,000 

Since how many years is the Goldman Environmental Prize being given?

Ans: The Goldman Environmental Prize has been given for 32 years now.

How many people are awarded each year for Goldman Environmental Prize?

Ans: The Goldman Environmental Prize is given to six winners, one from each inhabited continent of the world.