Marc Ona

  • Gabon
  • Environment
  • Goldman Environmental Prize

Marc Ona, president and founder of the environmental NGO Brainforest and a prominent activist in Gabon, has dedicated himself to exposing hidden agreements and environmental threats linked to a massive mining project. In 2007, he revealed a secret $3.5 billion deal between the Gabonese government and a Chinese company, which had been concealed from the public. Alongside the NGO network Environment Gabon, Ona worked to educate local communities about their rights and the potential consequences of the mining project on Gabon’s equatorial rainforests. His activism led the government to re-evaluate the Belinga concession, reducing the affected area from 5,700 to 600 square kilometers. Despite facing challenges, such as eviction from his home due to perceived threats and unjust detainments by the national police in 2008, Ona’s relentless efforts earned him the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2009 for his unwavering commitment to environmental justice.


  • Population
  • Capital
  • GDP (PPP)
  • August 17, 1960
  • Total Area
    267,667 km2 (76th)
  • Demonym
  • Government
    Unitary presidential republic under a military junta


This vibrant illustration of Marc Ona takes cues from his strength and passion for environmental activism and civil rights in his home country, Gabon. The energetic, textured, cutout plant shapes surrounding a calm and assured Ona are inspired by his unflinching, forward momentum on a background color palette based on the Gabonese flag.

  • Illustration by
    Ana Kim