Vera Mischenko, a lawyer who established Russia’s first public-interest environmental law firm, is one of eight grassroots activists from around the world who today will receive prestigious Goldman Environmental Prizes. Each year, the $125,000 awards are given to enviro activists from each inhabited continent. Other winners this year are: Nat Quansah, an ethnobotanist in Madagascar who developed a health-care and conservation program; Alexander Peal of Liberia, a former soccer star who has led wildlife preservation efforts; Oral Ataniyazova of Uzbekistan, an obstetrician who founded a clinic to deal with the health effects of prolonged pesticide use in her area; Oscar Rivas and Elias Diaz Pena, who fought to prevent a large dam project from destroying vast wetland areas in Paraguay; and Rodolfo Montiel Flores, a jailed Mexican activist who has led poor farmers in a fight against logging.