Last night San Francisco paid tribute to the Goldman Prize's late founder, Richard Goldman, who passed away late last year. The 2011 recipients of the annual Goldman Environmental Prize took the stage at the War Memorial Opera House in his honor. Six winners, one from each inhabitable continent, were recognized for their outstanding achievements in conservation on a global level. Without further ado, here are this year's awardees:
1. Africa: Raoul du Toit coordinated conservation initiatives that have helped to develop and maintain the largest remaining black rhino populations in Zimbabwe.
2. Asia: Dmitry Lisitsyn fought to protect Sakhalin Island’s critical endangered ecosystems while also demanding safety measures from one of the world’s largest petroleum development projects.
3. Europe: In response to Germany’s expanded reliance on nuclear energy, Ursula Sladek created her country’s first cooperatively-owned renewable power company.
4. Islands: Biologist Prigi Arisandi initiated a local movement to stop industrial pollution from flowing into a river that provides water to three million people.
5. North America: Now leading the battle for environmental justice on the Texas Gulf Coast, Hilton Kelley fights for communities living in the shadow of polluting industries.
6. South and Central America: Living under the constant threat of assassination, Francisco Pineda led a citizens’ movement that stopped a gold mine from destroying El Salvador’s dwindling water resources.
Check out these video profiles for a closer look at each recipient's work.