Sunday, August 13, 2006

The United Nations Environment Program: Global 500

"Mayor Edward Solon Hagedorn for being the first Filipino political leader to make environmental protection the centerpiece of his administration, and for stopping the degradation of the City of Puerto Princesa's resources;" - UNEP

Edward Solon Hagedorn was elected Mayor of Puerto Princesa, one of the Philippines' largest cities, in 1992. Immediately upon taking office, he showed that he was a different breed of politician.

Through his Princesa Watch Program, he stopped the destruction of the City's terrestrial and marine resources from logging, slash-and- burn farming, blast, trawl and cyanide fishing. As a result, these resources have been restored. His Operation Plan Cleanliness Program has earned Puerto Princesa the distinction of being the country's cleanest and greenest city, and today it is considered a model city and the country's tourism capital.

- The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced that it has recognized the extraordinary contributions of 21 individuals and organizations to environmental protection by electing them to the prestigious ranks of its Global 500 Roll of Honour.

These distinguished environmentalists, from all the regions of the world, will be officially honoured on 5 June 1997 at a special award ceremony in Seoul. The event, hosted by UNEP and the Government of Korea, is part of this year's World Environment Day celebrations - a day established by the United Nations in 1972.

Among the laureates who will be recognized and receive their award from UNEP's Executive Director, Ms. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, are

Jane Goodall of the United Kingdom, for her contributions to wildlife conservation; Professor Jan van der Leun of The Netherlands for his pivotal role in assessing the effects of ozone depletion on human and animal health;

Siti Aminah of Indonesia, whose pioneering work as Head of Yayasan Solidaritas Bangsa led to the resurgence of marine life around her coastal village; BBC World Service Education Department of the United Kingdom, for being at the forefront of broadcasting sustainable development and environment issues;

Centro Salvadoreno de Tecnologia Apropiada (CESTA) of El Salvador for, among dozens of other activities, saving the El Espino Forest and the El Pescadito de Oro water spring from being exploited by government and industry;

Joon-Yuep Cha of the Republic of Korea, whose efforts led to his country joining the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES); Dr. Lilian Corra of Argentina for promoting environmental epidemiological research in order to reach an accurate diagnosis and to offer preventive action;

Mayor Edward Solon Hagedorn for being the first Filipino political leader to make environmental protection the centerpiece of his administration, and for stopping the degradation of the City of Puerto Princesa's resources;

Theo Manuel of the Republic of South Africa for rehabilitating and managing the Wolfgat Nature reserve in a manner that benefits the entire community; and Ube City for being a leader in air pollution control in Japan.

The list of winners also includes four Global 500 Youth Environment Award laureates who have demonstrated that one is never too young make a difference. Among these young environmental activists is Health Messengers Association of Romania, whose environmental projects have had a significant impact on the country's conservation and anti-tobacco laws; The Oposa Group whose legal action in the cause of 3.9 million hectares of virgin forest land in the Philippines persuaded the Supreme Court to rescue this pristine forest and render a landmark judgement on "generational suicide"; Carolina Travesi of Mexico, for founding Club Ecologista, an organization of school children committed to taking action on behalf of the environment; and the Young Leaders of Trinidad and Tobago for raising young people's sense of responsibility to the world around them.

"In this its 25th anniversary year and the tenth anniversary of the Global 500 Roll of Honour, UNEP is proud to recognize the achievements of these `heroes' on the front lines of global environmental action", says Ms. Dowdeswell.

"In honouring these environmentalists, UNEP hopes that their examples will inspire and guide many other men, women and young people to join the global coalition dedicated to protecting the environment", adds Ms. Dowdeswell.

UNEP News Release


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