From Saving Black Rhinos to Fighting Oil Corporations, Goldman Environmental Prize Winners Inspire Action (Videos)

goldman winners 2011 photo

Photo via Goldman Awards

This week we've been talking about the incredible winners of the 2011 Goldman Environmental Prize winners. This prize is one of the most esteemed in the environmental community for activism, and the winners are incredibly inspiring. Six winners are selected, each representing a continent of the world, and they are doing work from saving endangered black rhinos to fighting corporations guilty of polluting. We have interviewed several of the winners this week, and now, here are short videos of each of their projects. If you want to spend a few minutes of today becoming energized about important issues, here is your chance. TreeHugger Rachel Cernasky interviewed Raoul du Toit of Zimbabwe, an activist who has been responsible for helping to save black rhinos from poaching. Here is his story:

Dmitry Lisitsyn from Russia has fought the oil industry, demanding safety measures from one of the largest petrolium development projects in the world, all in order to protect Sakhalin Island's critical endangered ecosystems.

Rachel interviewed Ursula Sladek of Germany, who started the country's first cooperatively-owned renewable power company after becoming concerned about Germany's continued reliance on nuclear energy. In the 20+ years she has been doing this work, she has built a company that now provides power to more than 100,000 homes and businesses throughout the country.

Prigi Arisandi of Indonesia has focused efforts on water issues, fighting to stop corporations from polluting a river that provides water to 3 million people in Surabaya, Indonesia's second largest city.

This week, Rachel interviewed Hilton Kelley of the USA, who has been working for stronger environmental regulations along the gulf coast for over a decade, including advocating for better enforcement of existing regulations and improving relations generally between the community, industry, and local government.

Rachel's interview with Francisco Pineda of El Salvador is particularly unnerving -- the activist lives under constant police protection after several of his colleagues were killed during attempts on his life. All because he is fighting damaging gold mining operations in his home country.

The winners of this year's awards, and winners from years past, are a wonderful reminder of what is possible when a person takes on a cause with the full passion they're humanly capable of. When we dedicate our lives to protecting our environment and the people around us, amazing things can happen.

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