Claire’s speech at the Goldman Environmental Prize’s ceremony

The 2018 ceremony in San Francisco took place on Monday, April 23. You can watch Claire’s address online here:

Read Claire Nouvian’s speech:

Thank you. Thank you to the Goldman Family for your brave and inspiring choice to support true grassroots activists. It’s a great honor to be deemed worthy of joining the outstanding family of Goldman Prize winners.

I’m standing here alone, taking the spotlight and credit, but we all know that these fights take more than one to be won. Deep-sea bottom trawling should have never even existed in the first place, but fighting that brutal nonsense took EIGHT years. The work of many individuals led to our success, but I’ll just thank the most important ones: Matthew Gianni, Professor Les Watling and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Without them, there would be no ban on deep-sea bottom trawling in Europe today.

People have a hard time imagining what it takes to win these fights: it takes cutting sleep time, night after night, cutting social life, week-ends, vacations, It takes fighting every single lie produced by industrial lobbies,

Biased science produced by industry-funded scientists,

It takes fighting mighty corporations, governments, States, institutions, cynical political maneuvers, dark immoral individuals, all of that simultaneously, all the time. Without EVER letting go. Day after day.

It takes going way over physical limits, enduring threats, intimidation and insults…

Very few people can take the physical, moral and financial stress for so long. With that in mind, I want to give a very special ovation to an exceptionally perseverant, rock-solid woman – that is my collaborator, Sabine Rosset.

Together we have weathered all storms. We ended up as wrecks but we managed to turn around a situation where ALL the odds were stacked against us.

And we’ll do it again. And Again.

Because we’d rather die than to cave in to the rampant corruption of systems and hearts, than to stop fighting for a better world with our own weapons: data, transparency, integrity and determination.

But now, we need you. We need EVERYONE getting involved.

15 000 scientists warned humanity that the natural world was going to hell, and that when the natural world goes down, when life-support systems go down, humanity goes down with them.

Now is the time to WAKE UP. To BELIEVE in the catastrophe – otherwise we won’t be able to avoid it. Now is the time to mobilize as if this were a time of war, because it is!

All of us tonight are going to show you that, YES, we can win battles.

But to win the war, that’s a completely different story.

Winning the war takes everyone.

It requires corporations and the financial sector to take responsibility,

to act with dignity and morality,

to stop funding the destruction of our world,

to stop eluding fiscal responsibility..

We also need to become a lot more generous at individual level, to donate a significant part of our income, like 20%, we can all do it, to urgently fix the planet before it’s too late.

Now for the ocean, comes an overarching, structural fight: cutting fisheries subsidies. SDG 14.6 has reignited…WTO 2020…

This is going to be the fight of the century. There will be NO sustainable fishing as long as we keep providing the financial incentives with our tax money to keep unviable destructive fisheries afloat.

The fishing industry has the ear of governments as you know, so citizens, NGOs, small-scale fishers, institutions, will need to seriously unite to win this. If you’re looking for something to fund to make a huge difference, this is it.

Now let’s get to work, together.



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