Jean WienerWe are delighted to announce that 2014 Whitley Gold Award winner, Jean Wiener has today been announced as winner of the prestigious 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize for Islands and Island Nations.

The Prize is given in recognition of Jean’s efforts to establish Haiti’s first Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by empowering communities to see the long-term value in sustainably managing fisheries and mangrove forests.

Kids planting mangrove nurseryIn 2014 WFN nominated Jean for the Goldman Environmental Prize which is worth $175,000 in funding and will provide international visibility and recognition for him and his work. Jean will receive his Prize in front of 3,000 people at a packed ceremony in San Francisco later today, 20th April 2015. You can watch the ceremony, which starts at 5.30pm PDT, live via the Goldman Prize YouTube channel.

In 1992, Jean started the Foundation for the Protection of Marine Biodiversity (FoProBiM) – Haiti’s first environmental NGO. He received a Whitley Award in 2008 and has since provided data to support the creation of the country’s first two MPAs covering 2,100 square kilometres, and pushed through legislation to protect all of Haiti’s mangroves.

Jean Wiener with FishermenIn recognition of his outstanding work, Jean received the Whitley Gold Award in 2014 to support the expansion of his project to provide more coastal communities with eco-friendly livelihoods, and advance plans to develop the Caribbean’s first bi-national MPA with neighbouring Dominican Republic.

His 2015 Goldman Prize will support the implementation and community management of Haiti’s MPAs.

Several other Whitley Award winners have gone on to receive this honour since winning their Whitley Awards, including: Randall Arauz (sharks and turtles, Costa Rica), Dmitry Lisitsyn (rivers and wetland conservation, Russia), Alexander Peal (pygmy hippopotamus conservation, Liberia), Silas Siakor (forest conservation, Liberia), Hammer Simwinga (wildlife conservation, Zambia), and Ka Hsaw Wa (indigenous communities and natural resources, Burma).

UK media can read more about this exciting announcement in our official Press Release here.