MANILA, Philippines – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) awarded Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda with the ASEAN Biodiversity Hero Award on November 2 in Bogor, Indonesia, along with eight other biodiversity advocates from the region.
In a Senate press release, Legarda thanked ASEAN for the recognition the organization gave her and eight other individuals for their efforts to fight for the environment. Legarda was the only awardee from the Philippines.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the ASEAN as one of this year’s ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes. It is heartening that what I advocated to do by being a planetary inhabitant has impacted not only my fellow Filipinos but also the peoples of ASEAN and hopefully the world,” Legarda said in her acceptance speech delivered virtually.
Legarda has authored several environmental laws and served as chairperson of the Senate subcommittee on the Paris Agreement. She is also a commissioner of the Global Commission on Adaptation, and the Ambassador for Parliaments of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).
The awards, a flagship initiative of the ASEAN started in 2017, recognize individuals from ASEAN member states who have significant contributions to biodiversity conservation of their respective countries and the ASEAN region.
According to a news release from the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, the following individuals also received the award along with Legarda:
- Liaw Lin Ji from Brunei Darussalam – Founder of Biodiversity and Natural History Society (BruWILD) and is also the DHI Water & Environment head of environmental solutions and Brunei country manager.
- Chak Sokhavicheaboth of Cambodia – Deputy director of Biodiversity Department under Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment.
- Dr. Anhar Lubis of Indonesia – Coordinator of Leuser Wildlife Rescue Team and a veterinarian of Indonesia’s Leuser Conservation Forum.
- Khamphay Xayyalad of Lao PDR – Manager of the National Eld’s Deer Sanctuary areas in Laos.
- Prof. Ibrahim Bin Komoo of Malaysia – Professor emeritus of the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
- Nay Win Swe of Myanmar – Forester in Inlay Lake Wildlife Sanctuary in Myanmar.
- Prof. Chou Loke Ming of Singapore – Emeritus professor in the Department of Biological Sciences of the National University of Singapore.
- Prof. Suchana Chavanich of Thailand – Professor in Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.
ASEAN Biodiversity Hero awardees received an ASEAN trophy and a Heroes’ fund worth €5,000, equivalent to P291,339, for the biodiversity advocacy efforts they are doing in their respective countries. They will also be invited to share their advocacies in various regional events. – Rappler.com