Thuli Brilliance Makama is not everyone’s idea of an environmental hero. An attorney in Swaziland, Africa’s last absolute monarchy, she has made her name not as a conservationist but by investigating the deaths of suspected poachers.
Yesterday she was named as among the winners of the most prestigious environmental award in the world: the $150,000 Goldman Prize. Leading the Swazi green group Yonge Nawe, she has worked with local communities to help them to file lawsuits against the kingdom’s flourishing private game parks.
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About The Goldman Environmental Prize
Grassroots environmental heroes too often go unrecognized. Yet their efforts to protect the world’s natural resources are increasingly critical to the well-being of the planet we all share. Thus, in 1990 San Francisco civic leaders and philanthropists Richard N. Goldman and his late wife, Rhoda H. Goldman (1924-1996) created the Goldman Environmental Prize. The Goldman Prize continues today with its original mission to annually honor grassroots environmental heroes from the six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South and Central America. The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. Each winner receives an award of $150,000, the largest award in the world for grassroots environmentalists. The Goldman Prize views “grassroots” leaders as those involved in local efforts, where positive change is created through community or citizen participation in the issues that affect them. Through recognizing these individual leaders, the Prize seeks to inspire other ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect the natural world.