Kristal Ambrose of The Bahamas has won the Goldman Environmental Prize for Islands & Island Nations in 2020. The award, handed out annually to grassroots environmental activists, is sometimes called “the green Nobel”. Ambrose received the award during a virtual ceremony earlier this year.
A trip in 2012 to study the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a mass of garbage in the northern Pacific Ocean, opened Ambrose’s eyes. She saw in the debris, “… things that I was using at home—plastic bags, Styrofoam, plastic cutlery, straws. … And it was then when I had the realization that I was a huge part of the problem. I was the biggest plastic offender that I knew, and equally so I could be a part of the solution.”
Ambrose returned home to the island of Eleuthera and founded the Bahamas Plastic Movement in 2013. She created programs to encourage local youth to become environmental leaders, and in 2018 helped draft legislation that banned single-use plastics in the archipelago. The legislation came into effect in January 2020.
Six Goldman Environmental Prizes are awarded annually to individuals in six continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America.
Source: Goldman Prize.org, CBC.ca