Alfred Brownell, Lead Campaigner and Founder of Green Advocates International was named among BBC’s Five inspiring stories of dedication and change in Africa from 2019. “I’m just a messenger – the real winners are the communities,” Liberian lawyer and activist Alfred Brownell told the BBC in April after winning a major environmental prize. Historically, Alfred Brownell was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for his grassroots efforts which successfully stopped the destruction of more than 500,000 acres of rainforest in Liberia. In addition to informing the communities’ residents of their rights, Alfred Brownell also worked with them in documenting the destruction of forests and farmlands in the south-east of Liberia by palm oil company Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL). His efforts led to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil putting a “stop work” order on GVL, thus preventing any further forest clearance through freezing any expansion of the palm oil plantations. This successful activism forced Alfred Brownell to flee Liberia as he was receiving death threats in Liberia. Currently, Alfred is in exile in the United States.
“I’m just a messenger – the real winners are the communities”