Extraordinary Conservationists Win 2007 Goldman Prizes

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
24 April 2007, at 1:00am

US - An Irish farmer jailed for his work in opposing Shell Oil's gas pipeline through his land and an Icelandic entrepreneur saving North Atlantic wild salmon by brokering innovative fishing rights buyouts, are among the winners of this year's prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize.

Orri Vigfússon

Willie Corduff
"This year's Prize recipients have succeeded in combating some of the most important environmental challenges we face today," said Goldman Prize founder Richard Goldman. "Their commitment in the face of great personal risk inspires us all to think more critically about what ordinary people can do to make a difference." The $125,000 Goldman Environmental Prize, now in its 18th year, is awarded annually to six grassroots environmental heroes and is the largest award of its kind in the world.

The winners were presented with their awards in San Francisco's Opera House. They will also be honoured at a ceremony in National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, DC, later this week.

Willie Corduff, from the small farming community of Rossport, in Ireland won the European prize. Together with a group of local residents and landowners successfully forced Shell Oil to halt construction on an illegally-approved pipeline through their land.

Orri Vigfússon from Iceland as presented with the Islands and Island Nations award. He brokered huge international fishing rights buyouts with governments and commercial interests, and helped reverse the near-extinction of wild North Atlantic salmon.

The Goldman Environmental Prize was established in 1990 by San Francisco civic leader and philanthropist Richard Goldman and his late wife, Rhoda Goldman. Since its launch it has been awarded to 119 people from 70 countries.

Prize winners are selected by an international jury from confidential nominations submitted by a worldwide network of environmental organizations and individuals. Details on the other award winners can be found at www.goldmanprize.org