Every year since 1989, the Goldman prize foundation has announced six awards for grassroots environmental activists -- one from each habitable continent. Ana Colovic Lesoska (pictured) led a seven-year campaign to stop two hydropower projects in North Macedonia's largest national park. Other 2019 winners hail from Chile, Liberia, Mongolia, Cook Islands and the USA.
At a ceremony in San Francisco, which will include an address from former US Vice President Al Gore, activists will be awarded a bronze sculpture, as well as $200,000 to help pursue their work. The foundation says that thanks to Jacqueline Evans' (above) campaign to protect marine biodiversity in the Cook Islands, the government enacted new legislation to manage and conserve all 763,000 square miles of the country's ocean territory.
The Goldman foundation says environmental lawyer Alfred Brownell stopped the clear-cutting of more than 500,000 acres of Liberia's tropical forests by palm oil plantation developers, and that he received serious threats during his campaign.
Bayarjargal Agvaantseren, from Mongolia, spearheaded a nine-year campaign to create the 1.8 million-acre Tost Tosonbumba Nature Reserve in the South Gobi Desert -- a critical habitat for the vulnerable snow leopard -- and persuaded the Mongolian government to prohibit all mining within the reserve.
Alberto Curamil campaigned to prevent the construction of two hydroelectric projects on the Cautín River in Chile. He is currently in jail for robbery, but his supporters say he was targeted by authorities for his environmental campaigning.
Linda Garcia, from the US, successfully campaigned to stop construction of the Tesoro Savage oil export terminal in Vancouver, Washington. This halted the flow of 11 million gallons of crude oil per day from North Dakota to Washington.