BOGOR, 2 November 2022 – The recipients of the 2022 ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes Awards have been announced shining a spotlight on the individuals whose efforts and advocacies created impact in their respective countries.
Launched in 2017, the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes is a flagship programme of the ASEAN to showcase the impactful actions of environmental champions to inspire more people to stand up for biodiversity. For 2022, the 2nd ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes awardees are:
- Liaw Lin Ji, Founder, Biodiversity and Natural History Society (BruWILD) and Head of Environmental Solutions and Brunei Country Manager, DHI Water & Environment;
- Chak Sokhavicheaboth, Deputy Director of Biodiversity Department, Ministry of Environment, Cambodia;
- Dr Anhar Lubis, Coordinator, Leuser Wildlife Rescue Team and Veterinarian, Leuser Conservation Forum, Indonesia;
- Khamphay Xayyalad, Manager, The National Eld’s Deer Sanctuary Areas, Lao PDR;
- Prof Ibrahim Bin Komoo, Professor Emeritus, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia;
- Nay Win Swe, Forester, Inlay Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, Myanmar;
- Senator Loren Legarda, Senate President Pro-Tempore, The Philippines;
- Prof Chou Loke Ming, Emeritus Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore;
- Prof Suchana Chavanich, Professor of the Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.
The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes were selected based on the relevance of their contributions to biodiversity conservation, the impact of these contributions to biodiversity conservation efforts in their respective countries and the region, the replicability of their actions, and the recognition they received in communities where they belong.
The awards night, which took place in Bogor, Indonesia, was one of the highlights of the 7th ASEAN Heritage Parks Conference organised by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry-Directorate of Biodiversity Conservation of Species and Genetics.
In his welcome message, Ary Sudijanto, Chairman ASOEN-Indonesia and Director-General of the Indonesian Agency for Standardisation of Environment and Forestry Instruments, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, commended the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes “for their countless dedication, works, and meaningful contributions through many ways and for manifesting concrete actions toward biodiversity conservation.”
He also called on the conference delegates to take concrete actions and to enhance knowledge and skills on planning and implementing ecosystem management, restoration strategies, and resilience-building.
“ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes Awards demonstrate that there are individuals who are concerned about environmental issues and are rising to the challenges of curbing biodiversity losses. These heroes are taking concrete actions and are implementing exemplary initiatives to promote the conservation of biodiversity in our region,” said Ky-Anh Nguyen, Director for Sustainable Development, ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Department, ASEAN Secretariat.
Dr Theresa Mundita Lim, Executive Director of ACB, lauded the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes for deciding to face the growing problem of biodiversity loss aggravated by a changing climate and for choosing to act on it. “The work that our ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes do serves as a reminder and inspiration for us to do our part in safeguarding biodiversity for the future. They show us how actions – big or small – are vital contributions to a sustainable future for both people and nature. The diversity in their backgrounds, passion, and advocacies are testimonies that conserving our web of life is everyone’s concern,” she said.
Since its inception, the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes programme has been supported by the European Union through the Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN project. This year, the ASEAN also partnered with Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).
“The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes Awards gives recognition to passionate individuals from the ASEAN region who have dedicated their lives to diversity,” said Thibaut Portevin, Counsellor/Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to ASEAN.
“Their contribution to the bigger cause of inspiring change cannot be underestimated. I hope that you will continue to inspire others so that they may follow your example with the same energy and passion for protecting the region’s rich biodiversity,” he added.
Each awardee received a Heroes’ fund worth €5,000 to augment their advocacy efforts in their respective countries. An ASEAN trophy and a special prize courtesy of MPIC were also given to the awardees. The Heroes, who will be known as the faces of biodiversity conservation in the ASEAN region, will also be invited to share their advocacies in various regional events.
“Championing biodiversity conservation is a collective responsibility. It is our moral obligation to chart a better future for our people and planet,” said Metro Pacific Investment Corporation’s Chief Finance, Risk, and Sustainability Officer Chaye Cabal-Revilla.
To know more about the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes, log on to heroes.aseanbiodiversity.org