Poland: Goldman prize winner cited for protecting natural area from road development

The Goldman Environmental Award is the equivalent of the Nobel prize for environmental work and it was awarded last night.  There are 6 recipients from around the world each year, who get $150,000 each plus the prestige of the prize.  This year, a woman in Poland, Małgorzata Górska, got it.

Małgorzata Górska’s leadership in the fight to stop a controversial highway project led to a significant legal precedent for the environment that resulted in the protection of Poland’s Rospuda Valley, one of Europe’s last true wilderness areas.

While development and population growth have compromised the majority of Europe’s undisturbed wilderness, in Poland’s north eastern countryside, some last vestiges of the unspoiled natural environment remain. Here, the Rospuda River winds through vast tracts of pristine primeval forest, ancient intact peat bogs and wetlands that serve as flora and fauna reservoirs for the rest of Europe. The Rospuda Valley, with its unique ecosystems teeming with biodiversity, is one of Europe’s last great wildernesses. Home to endangered eagles and other bird species, orchids, lynxes, wolves, elk, wild boars, otters and beavers, the valley is recognized widely for its beauty and environmental significance.

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