Indonesian activist Rudi Putra. Photo: Goldman Prize

Indonesian biologist, activist Rudi Putra won Goldman Environmental Prize that carry cash prize of US$175,000 (RM570,938).

Putra was selected as the “Islands and Island Nations” winner.

“He has always struck me as one of the most focused and dedicated Indonesian conservationists I have ever met,” Singleton told Mongabay.com.

“He is certainly not one to make a song and dance of things, and instead keeps a low profile, plugging away at an issue until eventually his hard work pays off.”

Putra was recognized for his campaign to dismantle illegal oil palm plantations within Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem, a habitat for critically endangered orangutans, tigers, rhinos, and elephants, as well as his activism around a plan to remove protected status for vast areas of forest across Aceh.

That activism culminated in 2013 with a petition asking the Indonesian government to enforce conservation laws and reject Aceh’s proposal.

The petition was signed more than 1.4 million times, catalyzing broader awareness of the issue and sparking intense international outcry.