Lynn Henning is the 2010 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for North America. A family farmer and activist in southern Michigan, Henning exposed the egregious polluting practices of livestock factory farms in her rural area, gaining the attention of the EPA and prompting state regulators to issue hundreds of citations for water quality violations.
The other winners from around the globe are listed below. All six grassroots leaders will be honored today in San Francisco.
Costa Rican biologist Randall Arauz, 47, is protecting endangered shark species from the horrendous practice of shark finning, in which sharks are caught (as many as tens of thousands per boat), their fins and tails sliced off and bodies tossed back in the water to die a slow and painful death, all to meet the demand for shark fin soup among China’s growing middle class.
Cambodian community organizer Tuy Sereivathana, 39, is working to save the last 250 native elephants from migrant farmers who, desperate to protect their livelihood, have killed the endangered animals that wander into their farmland, trampling and destroying their crops.
Malgorzata Gorska, a Polish conservationist, 35, enlisted the help of the EU Parliament in a case against her own country to protect the Rospuda Valley – a pristine primeval forest home to endangered bird species, orchids, eagles, lynxes, wolves, elk, wild boars, otters and beavers – from the development of a giant expressway.
Humberto Rios Labrada, Cuban folk musician and scientist, 46, is working to rebuild the island’s formerly chemical-intense agricultural system (which collapsed with the fall of the USSR) by promoting pre-industrial farming techniques that prioritize natural, sustainable methods and crop diversity.
Thuli Makama, a Swazi woman – the small monarchy’s sole environmental attorney – 40, is leading a case against Big Game Parks, a private company that controls Swaziland’s Game Act, operating the nation’s vast forests and grasslands as revenue-generating reserves and displacing and committing violent acts against the local communities who live off the land.
For more information, visit the Goldman Prize website.