Environment defenders celebrated by Bob Brown Foundation

Today’s winners of Bob Brown Foundation’s 11th annual Environment Awards are recognised for their real achievements for a world in environmental crisis. The awards are presented on national Threatened Species Day, which commemorates the death of the last Tasmanian Tiger and the onrush of extinction due to habitat loss. At the core of BBF’s work is the protection of endangered species’ habitat from destruction at the hands of governments and big business.

The awards were established in 2012 to recognise people who have demonstrated resolute courage and conviction in taking a stand for environmental protection, preservation and justice.

The 2022 winners from across Australia include Environmentalist of the Year, Wangan and Jagalingou man Coedie McAvoy who has spent the past 365 days on country, to protect his people’s land and water from the Adani Carmichael mine in Central Queensland. Mali Cooper, from flood-ravaged Lismore in northern New South Wales, is Young Environmentalist of the Year for her courage, taking action on the streets of Sydney for climate and the environment earlier this year. Mali has been prevented from coming to Hobart for the ceremony due to draconian bail conditions restricting her from freedom of movement to travel interstate.

The Deni Greene Award, for professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to protecting Australia’s environment, goes to Dr Matthew Webb who has documented the tragic destruction of the critically endangered Swift Parrot’s habitat like no one else. His scientific work on this critically endangered species has highlighted its decline in the Tasmanian forests, the bird’s only breeding habitat.

Tasmania’s Planning Matters Alliance (PMAT) is the winner of the Community Group Award for its outstanding contribution to ensuring development in Tasmania does not come at the cost of destroying nature. PMAT has won previous state and national recognition for planning innovation to protect the natural environment.

BBF Patron Bob Brown, who will take the winners to see some of Tasmania’s wild forests tomorrow, says the winners are inspiring Australians in an age of epic environmental destruction.

“Each, in their own wonderful way, has taken action in a world where most do nothing and governments aid and abet the destruction. And as weak governments give in to corporate extractors and legislate to criminalise effective environmental advocacy, these winners have cut through: they are intelligent, gutsy and inspiring. We are proud to recognise all their good works.”

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