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Goldman Environmental Prize 2024

Goldman Environmental Prize 2024:

Alok Shukla, a forest and tribal rights activist, has been awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize 2024 for his successful campaign that saved 4.45 lakh acres of biodiversity-rich forests from 21 planned coal mines in Chhattisgarh’s Hasdeo Aranya region.

  • The forest of the Hasdeo Aranya is spread over 1.70 lakh hectares across the districts of Korba, Surajpur, and Surguja in Chhattisgarh, known as the “lungs of Chhattisgarh”, with rich biodiversity and home to 25 endangered species, 92 bird species, and 167 rare and medicinal plant species.
  • The Hasdeo River, which flows into the Mahanadi River, is fed by these forests and supplies water to the Hasdeo Bango reservoir, irrigating 741,000 acres of farmland.
  • Chhattisgarh, where 44% of the land is forested, has the third largest forest coverage in India.
  • Furthermore, nearly 15,000 Indigenous peoples rely on the Hasdeo Aranya forests for their livelihood, cultural heritage, and food.
  • The Goldman Environmental Prize also known as the Green Nobel Awards awarded by the Goldman Environmental Foundation.
  • The Prize was founded by Richard and Rhonda Goldman in 1989.
  • It recognises grassroots environmental leaders from six regions (Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South and Central America) and lastly, islands and island nations.
  • The winners are selected by an international jury and awarded USD 200,000 as prize money.