The Goldman Environmental Prize announced its 2021 winners, recognizing grassroots climate justice activism across the world. Vietnam’s Thai Van Nguyen is combating illegal wildlife trade and poaching. Kimiko Hirata is a climate activist working to halt Japan’s use of coal power. Maida Bilal led a blockade to cancel two proposed dams in protected areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here in the U.S., Sharon Lavigne activated her community in Louisiana to stop a hazardous plastics plant from being built. In Peru, Liz Chicaje Churay helped found the Yaguas National Park, which protects more than 2 million acres of Amazon rainforest. Gloria Majiga-Kamoto spearheaded a campaign which led the government of Malawi to impose a ban on thin plastics, a type of single-use plastic. She spoke at Tuesday’s virtual award ceremony.
Gloria Majiga-Kamoto: “Many countries around the world are regulating quantities and types of plastics being produced and used. But we’re still drowning in plastic. You and me need to start making these policies a reality. We need to start making different choices, different decisions. We need to start refusing plastics and start reducing our part of the waste.”