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Russian Ecologist Wins “Green Nobel Prize”

11. April 2011 by Christy 0 Comments

Russian ecologist Dmitry Lisitsyn was one of six people honored with the 2011 Goldman Environmental Prize, an award commonly referred to as the “Green Nobel Prize.”


Lisitsyn was selected for the honor for his continued efforts to protect the endangered ecosystem of Sakhalin Island, a pristine island in eastern Russia threatened by Shell and Exxon drilling projects. The Russian met British environmentalist Emma Wilson in 1996 and quickly convinced her to found the Sakhalin Environment Watch group. The chance meeting, Lisitsyn says, greatly changed his life and the future Sakhalin Island.


"It took all of 30 seconds for her to convince me to invest my efforts in conserving the land and wildlife here," he said. "It is one of the last model ecosystems in the world that still exists as if humans had not yet come and changed things."


Lisitsyn and his colleagues lobby for strict regulation and cleanup of toxic waste on land and sea, efforts that have helped protect thousands of acres of forests and marine life.


Established in 1990, the Goldman Environmental Prize is an annual award honoring "women and men from isolated villages or inner cities who chose to take great personal risks to safeguard the environment.” A woman from El Salvador and men from Germany, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and the United States are among the winners of the $150,000 prize created by the late San Francisco philanthropists Richard N. Goldman and his wife, Rhoda H. Goldman.