Paul Pavol, PNG activist

Paul Pavol's story

The winner of this year’s Alexander Soros Foundation prize embodies the struggle of tens of thousands of Papua New Guineans whose rainforests are being destroyed to feed the global trade in tropical timber

The winner of the 2016 Alexander Soros Foundation prize for environmental and human rights activism embodies the struggle of tens of thousands of Papua New Guineans whose rainforests are being destroyed to feed the global trade in tropical timber.

Paul Pavol travelled from the forests of Papua New Guinea to New York City to accept the award, in recognition of the bravery and tenacity he has shown in the face of the world’s largest tropical logging company, Rimbunan Hijau, and its supporters in government.

Global Witness investigations have revealed how Paul and fellow activists have been threatened and even beaten up by police for taking a stand against the logging of their forests, and many have received restraining orders banning them from their own land.