San José, 18 November – Costa Rican biologist and PRETOMA president Randall Arauz received the 2010 Gothenburg Award for sustainable development, recognized as the most prestigious environmental award in Europe, for his fight against shark finning.

The Award is given to individuals or organizations that develop national or international environmental projects.  Each year the selection committee chooses the winners based on a predetermined sustainability theme.  For the 11th edition of the Award, the theme was ecosystem and marine species conservation.

The fight against shark finning in Costa Rica and the implementation of international campaigns were two factors that influenced the panel’s decision to award the prize to Arauz and his work with his organization PRETOMA.  Randall Arauz is the first Costa Rican and second Latin American to achieve this honor in the city on Gothenburg, Sweden.  The achievement is tantamount to the Goldman Environmental Prize, considered to be the Noble Prize for the environment, which he received in April.

North American oceanographer Ken Sherman also received this year’s Award at a ceremony in Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg.  Along with the Award, both winners will split a 130 thousand dollar cash prize.

Past Gothenburg Award recipients include Al Gore, ex vice president of the United States, and the ex mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, Enrique Peñalosa.

The Gothenburg Award for sustainable development began in 2000.  It is financed by a coalition of important Gothenburg companies.

A short five minute movie about Arauz’s fight against shark finning will air on Monday, November 22 in the United States.  Please see the announcement below for more details:

Mill Valley Film Group teams up with Robert Redford to highlight environmental heroes – Global Focus VII – The New Environmentalists Premieres on KQED, Monday, November 22 at 7:30pm
rebroadcast Friday, November 26 at 7:30pm

Narrated by Robert Redford, Global Focus VII –The New Environmentalists is an Emmy Award winning series, featuring portraits of six passionate and dedicated activists. These are true environmental heroes who have placed themselves squarely in harm’s way to battle intimidating adversaries, while others are creating partnerships with unlikely allies. The New Environmentalists share a common goal, safeguarding the Earth’s natural resources from exploitation and pollution, while fighting for environmental justice in their communities. These stories feature:

Randall Arauz | Costa Rica – led the campaign to halt the environmentally catastrophic practice of shark finning in Costa Rica. Arauz’s awareness campaign and political actions have spawned a powerful movement to stop the massive slaughter.

Lynn Henning | USA – A courageous family farmer, who boldly exposed the polluting practices of livestock factory farms, gaining the attention of the federal EPA.

Humberto Ríos Labrada | Cuba – this visionary agronomist promoted sustainable agriculture by working with farmers to increase crop diversity, encouraging Cuba’s shift from agricultural chemical dependence.

Tuy Sereivathana | Cambodia – Tuy Sereivathana worked to mitigate human elephant conflict in Cambodia by introducing innovative low-cost solutions.

Małgorzata Górska | Poland – led the fight to protect Poland’s Rospuda Valley, one of Europe’s last true wilderness areas.

Thuli Makama | Swaziland – Thuli Makama, Swaziland’s only public interest environmental attorney, won a landmark case to include environmental NGO representation in conservation decisions.

Global Focus VII’ illustrates how ordinary people are affecting extraordinary change. The New Environmentalists employ a formidable array of weapons to wage their battles. Picket signs, guitars, legal briefs, chemistry labs, the press, and sheer determination are among their many resources.

Contact: Will Parrinello – 415-225-3910,
John Antonelli – 415-225-3909,

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