The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes is a program designed to recognize outstanding individuals who have contributed significantly to biodiversity conservation and advocacy in their respective countries. Furthermore, the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes program was also a highlight of the 50 years of ASEAN hosted in the Philippines.
During the award ceremony held last August 7, ten individuals who represented the ten ASEAN member states, were cited for their efforts in biodiversity conservation within their respective countries. The heroes are: Eyad Samhan (Brunei), Sophea Chhin (Cambodia), Alex Waisimon (Indonesia), Nitsavanh Louangkhot Pravongviengkham (Lao PDR), Prof. Zakri Abdul Hamid (Malaysia), Dr. Maung Maung Kyi (Myanmar), Dr. Angel C. Alcala (Philippines), Prof. Leo Tan Wee Hin (Singapore), Dr. Nonn Panitvong (Thailand), and Prof. Dang Huy Huynh (Viet Nam).
Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm, HARI Foundation, Inc. (HFI), presented the Hyundai Icon for Biodiversity as a special award to these 10 'Heroes' for their efforts in curbing biodiversity loss. The Hyundai Icon for Biodiversity awarded to these 'Heroes' signified HARI's commitment to curb biodiversity loss through their own various programs.
“HARI counts close to 20 years as a business and over a decade of nation-building through HFI, taking responsible corporate investment to heart. Together with the ACB, we kick off a new leg in our journey of the heart as the Philippine automotive industry’s champion for biodiversity in the ASEAN region,” said Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, HFI president.
After the awards ceremony, a forum followed where the heroes interacted with students and other biodersity conservationists.Two sessions were made with each dicussing a a different topic.
HFI initially partnered with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) to search for 'defenders of the web of life.' The venture between these two groups continued to promote the call for a more sustainable future to come.
The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes is supported by the ASEAN Secretariat, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the European Union (EU). ACB serves as the awards secretariat for this event.