Dr. Celso Roque
A senior official in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr. Roque has long been an active campaigner for environmental protection.
During his leadership, the Haribon Foundation expanded in scope and influence, becoming the most influential environmental NGO in the Philippines.
Dr. Edgardo Gomez, Ph.D.
Professor Gomez, a marine biologist, has made important contributions to the East Asian Seas Action Plan for the protection and management of the regional marine environment.
He is chairman of the Association of South East Asian Marine Scientists, an NGO he helped found in 1987 which is actively involved in the plan. Professor Gomez has served as Chairman of the Joint Group of Experts on Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution of IMO/FAO/UNESCO/WMO/WHO/IAEA/UN/UNEP.
In the Philippines, his work on coral reef conservation is renowned
Philippine Foundation of Rural Broadcasters
Since its establishment in 1981, PFRB has brought to public notice significant environmental issues and concerns through its monthly newsletter and taped interviews aired on the radio programmes of PFRB's more than 200 broadcaster-members, nationwide. It has organised seminar-workshops for mass media practitioners, NGOs and GOS to help them better inform, educate and motivate their audiences.
The Foundation won the 1988 Philippines Award for Environment and Development, and the 1989 "Likas Yarman" (natural resources) award for outstanding environment communications and environmental activities.
Basil Allen Rossi
Dr. Rossi introduced organic farming of sugar, rice and pepper in northern Samar Province in the Philippines in 1980, increasing yields up to 300% and creating employment for many villagers. His achievements promote sustainable development.
Dr. Gonsalves developed a training and education programme promoting the adoption of environmentally-sound methods of food production in the Philippines and other third world countries. The programme focuses on problems of deforestation, soil erosion, fuel shortages, pesticide mismanagement, deterioration of rice eco-systems, loss of genetic resources and related stress on rural social systems. Specialists from more than 100 government and non-governmental agencies have been trained to adapt and disseminate these strategies in different countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Charley Barretto, a recipient of the "Likas Yaman" award from the Philippines Department of Natural Resources and Environment in 1988 and the "Woman of Ecology" 1989 award from the Metro Manila Council of Women, is the Founder and President of World Ecologists Foundation.
Under Barretto's guidance, the foundation had by its first anniversary reached its target of planting over one million trees. It is now undertaking the reforestation of 100 hectares in Nueva Ecija employing the tribal Aetas and with the official cooperation of the Philippines Army. The foundation has been instrumental in creating environmental awareness through its television programme "World Ecologists Presents" as well as through publications.
Barretto is also the founder and lecturer of "Science Mind and Man", one of the largest and most active movements in the Philippines.
Mr. Nicanor Perlas successfully solved problems of growing food without pesticides. His approach not only increased yields and net incomes but also alleviated poverty. Perlas pioneered a method, which is a variation of the bio-dynamic and ecological agriculture approach while incorporating the best in indigenous farming practices. His method is currently the basis for the country's two largest examples of sustainable agriculture. In Davao del sur, 800 areas of sustainable rice farming have seen the net income of farmers increase by 200 per cent without any use of pesticides. Perlas succeeded in focusing national attention and action on the hidden practice of using pesticides already banned or restricted in other countries. Twice he galvanized public and Government action resulting in the banning of eight highly hazardous pesticides. He also succeeded in convincing the Government to initiate policy reforms to reduce and phase out pesticides in farming. He pioneered the concept of seven dimensions of sustainability: economic viability, social justice and equity, cultural pluralism, holistic science, appropriate technology and human capacities and spirituality. These dimensions are now part of the national sustainable agriculture coalition.
Edward Solon Hagedorn
Edward Solon Hagedorn was elected Mayor of one of the Philippines' largest cities, Puerto Princesa, in 1992. Immediately upon taking office, he showed that he was a different breed of politician. He is the first Filipino political leader to make environmental protection the centerpiece of his administration. Through his Princesa Watch Program, he stopped the degradation of the City's terrestrial and marine resources caused by logging, slash-and-burn farming, blast, trawl and cyanide fishing. As a result, these resources have been restored. This Programme has earned the City numerous awards, including the Earth Day Award, the Best-Governed Local Government Award and the Macli-ing Dulag Environmental Award. The Operation Plan Cleanliness Program is another project which has earned Puerto Princesa the distinction of being the country's cleanest and greenest city. Mayor Hagedorn has demonstrated that even in a Third World country, an environmental agenda can gain the support of both the people and the policy makers. Having inculcated the environment into the national consciousness, as a means towards sustainable development, many of his programmes are being replicated by other local governments around the country. Mayor Hagedorn's success in environmental management has earned him the Development Management Award of the Asian Institute of Management and the President's Heritage Award. Puerto Princesa is today considered a model city and the country's tourism capital.Edward Solon Hagedorn
The Oposa Group
In March 1990, Juan Antonio, Anna Rosario and José Alfonso Oposa, represented by their parents and 40 other children from all geographic regions of the Philippines sued the Department of Environment and Natural resources for its ecological neglect on behalf of their generation, and for generations yet unborn. The case was based on the fact that the timber license agreements issued by the Department covered 3.9 million hectares of virgin forest when, according to the records, there were only some 800,000 hectares of virgin forests remaining. In June 1991, the Regional Court dismissed the case without trial on the ground that the children did not have the legal personality to sue. However, the counsel elevated the case to the Supreme Court. In July 1993, the Supreme Court rendered a decision in favour of the children's environmental claim for ecological balance. This case has given birth to the doctrine of "generational genocide" and has set a precedent in environmental law.
City of Las Pinas
The City of Las Pinas in the Philippines has grown from a sleepy agricultural and fishing community into one of the most highly urbanized cities in Metro Manila. With a population of 494,875, Las Pinas is home to big businesses such as Goodyear, Philips, Sarao Motors, Philippine Standard (Saniware) and Francisco Motors.
Under the leadership of its Mayor, Vergel Aguilar, the City has drawn up a blueprint addressing the protection of the environment through legislation and action. With the purchase of 40 compactor trucks and two dump trucks, the City reached its zero-waste management goal. The average daily collection reaches about 700 cubic meters, and after three years of operation and because of its decision to have the operations managed by private contractors, the Government has been able to save about P 140 million. The savings have been used to finance projects, such as the construction of roads, schools, health clinics, day care and nutrition centers and colleges.
To encourage the active participation of the communities, the City and the Clean and Green Council conduct a quarterly beautification contest involving the depressed areas of the City. Business establishments are encouraged to join the City Government's Campaign through its Adopt-a-Barangay (community) progamme. They donate plastic garbage bags for distribution to the different Barangays.
The City, in cooperation with the MB Villar Foundation, has maintained 70 tree parks cum playgrounds in almost every Barangay. Trees and ornamental plants have been planted and landscaped to beautify the environment, and nurseries are maintained. In 1995, an Orchidarium was set up and is being maintained by the City Government and the Department of Agriculture.
Through the Clean and Green Council, the City has organized a group of environmentally conscious students. Every weekend, all public schools conduct clean up activities in their institution and in surrounding areas. Environmental awareness is also included in the students' subjects, and essay and painting contests and seminars are organized.