Stories from the Grassroots: The Greengrants Blog

Congratulations to the 2017 Goldman Environmental Prizewinners

Apr 24, 2017 | No Comments

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Goldman Environmental Prize for their efforts to safeguard the environment and their communities.

We’re especially proud to acknowledge Rodrigo Tot, the 2017 prizewinner from Guatemala, who helped lead his community to a landmark court decision protecting local indigenous land rights and preventing the expansion of an environmentally destructive nickel mine.

To ensure recognition of the rights of his people, the Maya Q’eqchi, from the efforts of mining companies to take over their lands, Rodrigo worked closely with an organization called Defensoria Q’eqchi.

Global Greengrants Fund has given five grants to Defensoria Q’eqchi since 2005 in support of local efforts to spread awareness of the environmental destruction the mining has caused on local lands, and help the indigenous community take legal action to protect their lands from mining companies and the Guatemalan government. Rodrigo has worked with Silvel Elias, an expert on our Central America Advisory Board, and donor Elizabeth Weber (pictured below with Rodrigo) to safeguard the rights of the community.

In 2005, $3000 was awarded to Defensoria Q’eqchi to build the capacity of communities to challenge a Canadian mining firm seeking to extract nickel resources in the region and take over their lands. The money was used to develop educational radio broadcasts and publish other informative materials to ensure that local communities were given the opportunity to participate in the public consultation process in an informed and responsible manner.

In December 2015, another grant was awarded to strengthen the process of restitution of land rights for the Q’eqchi people and support the process under review by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Using these resources, Defensoría Q’eqchi worked to satisfy the mandate from the Constitutional Court to secure land registration for the community and to file municipal records to establish legal ownership of lands for local community members. The case is still being reviewed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with an expedited status.

Most recently, in November 2016, $4,000 was awarded to provide legal and political training to indigenous communities in the region to continue to resist mining activities, sustain their livelihoods, and ensure the conservation of their natural resources.

As Rodrigo and his community continue their efforts to secure land titles, we stand in solidarity and continue to offer our support.

Congratulations again to all six prizewinners! We’d like to thank each and every one of you for your inspirational work to protect the environment and the rights of the people who call it home.

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Join the Movement for Climate Action

Apr 20, 2017 | No Comments

By Terry Odendahl, President and CEO Late last month, President Trump signed an executive order to reverse President Obama’s climate change efforts and revive the coal industry, pulling back American leadership in international efforts to take action on global warming.… Read more

From the Frontlines: Improving Access to Water in Locuto, Peru

Apr 12, 2017 | No Comments

How are communal ownership and renewable energy combined to improve access to water? A community in Locuto, Peru seems to have found the recipe for success. The province of Locuto is located in the heart of Peru’s dry forest region,… Read more

Activism around the World: Highlights from March 2017

Mar 23, 2017 | No Comments

Each year Global Greengrants Fund makes over 800 grants to environmental activists around the world, helping to support grassroots initiatives to protect the planet and the rights of the people who call these natural places home. We wish we could… Read more

Improving Access to Clean Water Worldwide $12 at a Time

Mar 22, 2017 | No Comments

Over 700 million people around the world lack access to the one thing all people need to survive – water. Today, on World Water Day, the world is recognizing efforts to tackle the water access crisis. Today also marks the… Read more

Raise Your Voice for Climate Action

Mar 21, 2017 | No Comments

Solutions to climate change exist on the front lines of the struggle to save our shared planet. On Saturday, April 29, tens of thousands of people around the world will take to the streets to demand action on climate change.… Read more

Meet an Advisor: 4 Questions with Lalaina Rakotoson

Mar 15, 2017 | No Comments

An advisor on Global Greengrants’ East Africa Advisory Board, Lalaina Rakotoson is also the founder and Executive Director of the Development and Environmental Law Center in Madagascar. She is an environmental justice lawyer and Fulbright scholar with a broad range… Read more

Supporting Local Women as Agents of Change

Mar 14, 2017 | No Comments

At Global Greengrants Fund we partner with select responsible businesses to create lasting sustainability in communities around the world. We are excited about our most recent corporate partnership with the Avery Dennison Foundation as we work together to support local… Read more

Why Fund Youth Action on Climate in the Pacific Islands

Mar 10, 2017 | No Comments

The Pacific region is home to hundreds of small islands, over 500 languages, and incredible ecological and cultural diversity. Indigenous communities and fragile ecosystems in the region are enormously threatened by the impacts of climate change, industrial logging, palm oil… Read more

4 Female Environmental Defenders Who Inspire Us

Mar 7, 2017 | One Comment

On International Women’s Day we celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. Here at Global Greengrants Fund, over half of our grantmaking dollars help… Read more