Bahamian environmentalist wins “Green Nobel Prize”

Bahamian environmentalist wins “Green Nobel Prize”
Kristal Ambrose, recipient of the 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize

Kristal Ambrose’s youth activism spurred ban on single-use plastics 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Kristal Ambrose, a marine biologist from The Bahamas, was among six environmental heroes from across the world to receive the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize.

The Goldman Environmental Prize, also called the Green Nobel Prize, honors grassroots environmental heroes from Europe, Asia, North America, Central and South America, Africa and islands and island nations.

The other winners included Chibeze Ezekiel, from Ghana; Leydy Pech, from Mexico; Lucie Pinson, from France; Nemonte Nenquimo, from Ecuador; and Paul Sein Twa, from Myanmar.

Ambrose, an Eleuthera native, was integral in raising awareness over environmental waste following her own horrific experience in helping to pull out plastic from the throat of a sea turtle.

Founder of The Bahamas Plastic Movement, Ambrose launched multiple campaigns to educate and engage the community and local youth on the impacts of plastic and later persuaded the government to enact widespread legislation, which she also helped to draft.

Last year, the government passed a compendium of environmental legislation that provides wide-ranging protections and bans single-use plastics throughout the country, including plastic bags, plastic cutlery, straws, styrofoam containers and cups.

The bills unanimously passed include: the Ministry of Environment Bill, 2019; the Environment Planning and Protection Bill, 2019; the Environment Protection (Control of Plastic Pollution) Bill, 2019; the Bahamas National Trust (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the Bahamas Protected Areas Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2019; and the Tariff (Amendment No 2.) Bill, 2019.

The Bahamas joined countries around the world to make a pledge to reduce plastic waste and tackle the issue of marine plastic pollution on January 1.

Ambrose received her award on Monday during a virtual ceremony.