May 30, 2024
  • Forest and tribal rights activist Alok Shukla will receive the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize – 2024 for successfully leading a community campaign that saved 4,45,000 (4.45 lakh) acres of biodiversity-rich forests from 21 planned coal mines in Chhattisgarh.
  • Also known as the Green Nobel, the prize recognises grassroots environmental heroes from roughly the world’s six inhabited continental regions — Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America.
  • A statement from the Goldman Environmental Foundation mentioned that the government cancelled the auction of 21 proposed coal mines in Hasdeo Aranya, whose pristine forests — popularly known as the lungs of Chhattisgarh — are one of the largest intact forest areas in India.
  • Spread across 657 square miles, the dense and biodiverse Hasdeo Aranya forests form one of India’s most extensive contiguous forest tracts. They are also home to 25 endangered species, 92 bird species, and 167 rare and medicinal plant species.
  • Nearly 15,000 tribals depend on the Hasdeo Aranya forests for their livelihood, cultural identity and sustenance.
  • Meanwhile, the region contains one of India’s largest coal reserves — an estimated five billion tons of coal sit under the Hasdeo forests.


Marcel GomesBrazilSouth and Central America
Murrawah Maroochy JohnsonAustraliaIslands & Island Nations
Alok ShuklaIndiaAsia
Teresa VicenteSpainEurope
Andrea VidaurreUnited States of AmericaNorth America
Nonhle Mbuthuma and Sinegugu ZukuluSouth AfricaAfrica



  • The Goldman Environmental Prize was founded by American couple Richard and Rhoda Goldman in 1989.
  • The prize aims to honour grassroots environmental leaders, draw the international community’s attention to environmental problems, and encourage action.
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