South African environmental campaigner Jonathan Deal was today awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for his work in the fight against hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo.
Each year, the Goldman Environmental Foundation selects grassroots activists from around the world to honour them for their work. With an individual cash prize of $150 000 (close on R1.5m), it is the largest award for grassroots environmental activism in the world.
Deal received the Prize at an awards ceremony in San Francisco on Monday 15 April, 2013. He is one of six recipients of the award for 2013. Other winners were honoured for their work in marshland restoration, solid waste management, marble mining, and coal plant emissions.
Deal is the second South African to be recognized with the Goldman Prize. Bobby Peek was awarded the Prize in 1998 for his fight against industrial pollution in the South Durban region.
“This award coincided with the end of an especially difficult year in the hard fought campaign against fracking,” said Deal.
“Even though I have had to keep the news to myself since November, it has been an enormous inspiration. I have done nothing in this campaign for my personal benefit, however, the recognition from people on the other side of the world has been a great encouragement. The value of the prize has already manifested itself in our organisation, Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG), because I have been able to pay salaries to staff that have worked for two years without, and commit to other expenses that have assisted us in reaching out to rural communities.” Continue reading