ASEAN to recognize biodiversity heroes

JAKARTA, 27 March 2017 - What is biodiversity? Ask people what they think it means, and chances are only a few can accurately define it. Fewer still can explain its significance to human survival. The immense communication gap between the biodiversity conservation community and the general public is a major factor hampering efforts to achieve biodiversity conservation goals in the ASEAN region and elsewhere in the world.

To help bridge this gap, ASEAN will recognize 10 ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes during the 50th anniversary of ASEAN on 8 August 2017. The awards ceremony will be held in Manila, Philippines. The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes is designed to recognize outstanding individuals from the ASEAN Member States who have contributed significantly to biodiversity conservation and advocacy efforts in their respective countries and the region.

“The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes are individuals that people can identify with and will inspire others to take action for biodiversity in their own spheres of influence. As ASEAN Member States continue to work on national development and sustainability goals and collaborate on regional initiatives to conserve ASEAN’s shared natural wealth, ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes play the crucial role of spreading awareness for the urgent need to conserve biodiversity,” said Secretary-General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh. He added that efforts to generate a greater awareness for biodiversity conservation help the region move closer toward achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, a framework for community building and cooperation to attain common goals and aspirations for a politically cohesive, economically integrated, and socially responsible ASEAN.

“These heroes may be forest rangers, researchers, park managers, taxonomists, biodiversity information management specialists, media practitioners, scientists, biodiversity policymakers, academics, conservation workers, and other individuals – young and old – working in the biodiversity conservation arena. They are silent heroes devoting themselves to the survival of humanity,” said Atty. Roberto V. Oliva, Executive Director of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB).

Each ASEAN Biodiversity Hero shall receive a cash prize worth USD 5,000, a special hero medal, and a certificate. They will also receive special prizes from HARI Foundation, Inc. The heroes from the 10 ASEAN Member States will be also be known as the faces of biodiversity conservation in the ASEAN region.

The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes is one of the ASEAN region’s contributions to the celebration of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020 – an excellent opportunity to increase public awareness of the values of biodiversity and promote actions at the national, regional and local levels to conserve and sustainably manage the world’s rich natural heritage.

The award is supported by the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs, HARI Foundation, Inc., and the European Union through the Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN (BCAMP) project. The ACB serves as awards secretariat.

For more information on the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes, log on to or send an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 

National search for 2017 most eco-friendly schools going on

Deadline on April 28


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is now accepting nominations for the most environment-friendly and sustainable schools in the country.

Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Assistant Director Jacqueline Caancan said the “2017 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools” is for all public and private elementary and high schools, colleges and universities nationwide.

“The competition seeks to encourage schools to become more actively involved in environmental issues at a practical and local level. It recognizes academic institutions with the best eco-friendly programs and activities,” Caancan said.

The deadline for submission of nominations is April 28, and the winners will be announced in November as part of the National Environmental Awareness Month and National Clean Air Month celebrations.

“We are hoping more schools will participate in this fifth leg of the bi-annual Search that started since 2009, and take part in heightening environmental awareness among our youth,” Caancan said.

The national search is organized by DENR-EMB, in cooperation with the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education, Nestle Philippines, Smart Communications, One Meralco Foundation, Land Bank of the Philippines and other sectoral partners.

The competition is a direct response to Republic Act No. 9512 or the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008. It is also the country’s initiative in support to the ASEAN Environment Environmental Education Action Plan for Sustainable Development, from 2014-2018.

Participating schools can register online at and submit their entry in three hard copies to their respective DepEd division offices for public elementary and high-school categories, and to EMB regional offices for private elementary and high-school entries, including higher education/college category. Entries may also be submitted to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The minimum requirement for judging will be the hard copies.

Entries can also be submitted online in JPEG format with a resolution of 300 dots per inch, a minimum size of 1536 x 2048 pixels, and a maximum file size of 1 MB.

The top entry per category for every region will be forwarded to the EMB central office in Quezon City for national judging.

Entries should reflect the theme “Sustainable and Eco-friendly Initiatives” of the respective schools.

Entries will be rated according to the following criteria: for Elementary and High School Category-Clear Articulation and Integration of Social, Ethical and Environmental Responsibility in the Institution’s Vision, Mission and Governance (10 points.); Environmental Dimension of School Operations (40 points); Environment-Related Features of the School Curriculum (20 points); Presence of Vibrant Eco Organizations in Campus (10 points); Presence of Partners and Linkages in Environment Programs/Projects (10 points); Socio-Cultural Sustainability (5 points) and Economic Sustainability (5 points). The criteria for Higher Education Category are: Administration (10 points); Curriculum and Instruction (20 points); Sustainability Programs (40 points); Research (10 points); Extension (10 points) and Student Engagement (10 points). Only one entry per school will be accepted.

For the national level, comprising of college, high school and elementary categories: prizes include: PhP50,000 - 1st Prize; PhP40,000 - 2nd Prize and PhP30,000 - 3rd Prize as well as plaques of recognition. For the regional level, a certificate of recognition and a prize of in cheque of PhP15,000 will be given to regional winners for each category.

Prizes shall also be awarded for the special category entitled “Nestle Leadership for Water”. This award is aimed at recognizing and promoting water management solutions and practices of schools. A prize of PhP20,000 will be given to each of the winners at the national level for college, high school and elementary school categories. A prize of PhP10,000 and certificate of recognition will be awarded to each of the regional winners of all categories.

Another special category entitled “Meralco Energy Leadership Award” will recognize schools that promote practices and initiatives in electrical safety, energy efficiency and conservation. A prize of PhP20,000 will be given to each of the winners at the national level for college, high school and elementary school categories. A prize of PhP10,000 and certificate of recognition will be awarded to each of the regional winners of all categories.

The Land Bank Green Leadership Award, at P25,000 per category, will recognize schools that promote overall environmental sustainability.

For further details, please contact the National Program Secretariat at the Environmental Education and Information Division of the Environmental Management Bureau-DENR. Telefax Numbers: (02) 9284674 and (02) 3765610; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Websites: and; Facebook Page: 

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