ELAW partner Thuli Brilliance Makama of Swaziland has been awarded the 2010 Goldman Prize!  The Goldman Prize is the highest honor a grassroots environmental advocate can receive — sort of like a “green” Nobel Prize.  ELAW is thrilled to have nominated Thuli and is thrilled that now the rest of the world will learn about her fabulous work.

Thuli told the Goldman Prize organizers:  “I defend the rights of local communities to participate in environmental decision-making so that future generations may benefit.”

The Goldman Foundation selected Thuli for the Prize because of her courageous efforts to fight Big Game Parks — a private corporation that owns and operates two game parks and has been granted authority to manage one of Swaziland’s national parks.  Thuli and her organization have been working to  ensure that local community members have a voice in the management of their environment.  Goldman notes that Thuli’s “success in challenging malpractices in environmental management is a huge step forward in the struggle to include local people in conservation efforts in Swaziland.”

ELAW staff members Lori Maddox, Jen Gleason and Liz Mitchell will attend the ceremony tonight — and have promised to send photos.