Anyamathanha Nepabunna Community
In August 1998, the Anyamathanha people of Nepabunna set an Australian and international precedent by being the first indigenous community to voluntarily declare 58,000 hectares of their traditional land an Indigenous Protected Area (IPA). The community agreed to manage the Nantawarrina IPA in accordance with IUCN categories 2,4,5 and 6 for protected areas and agreed a management plan, allowing for both sustainable resource use in some areas, and strict protection of landscapes in others. A new concept in Australia, the IPA programme recognizes and allows for the continuation of traditional land and resource management, sustainable development, and the conservation of priority bio-regions. IPAs are recognized by the Australian Government as part of the formal National Reserve System. This is the first time that a protected area in Australia has been formally recognized on the basis of voluntary declaration, rather than legislation. This was achieved through an interpretation of the IUCN definition of a protected area as one which is 'managed through legal or other effective means'. A further five communities in Australia have since declared IPAs, preparing their Plans of Management and IUCN management categories on the Nantawarrina model. Six more communities are likely to declare their lands indigenous areas, bringing a total of 10,103.201 hectares of indigenous- owned land under IUCN conservation management. The process required extensive community planning and consultations, and drew on strong community commitment to managing the landscape based on both cultural and natural conservation values.
Asbjorn Bjorgvinsson (Ice Whale)
Asbjorn Bjorgvinsson's promotion of ecotourism and of the whale watching industry in Iceland has resulted in significant social, educational, economic and political benefits to Iceland.
Iceland has long played a pivotal role in the controversial whaling industry. Whale watching, a major influence against commercial whaling, has grown by 10.3% every year since 1991, and generates more than US$ 600 million per year. As a result, whale watching has changed the attitudes of millions of people toward the environment.
In 1995, Bjorgvinsson helped set up three whale watching companies, organized an international workshop, and produced the first annual report on the Icelandic industry, which has grown by as much as 50% per year. His reports have had a significant political impact in Iceland, serving to counter the commercial lobby to reestablish whaling and to have Iceland rejoin the International Whaling Commission.
In 1997, Bjorgvinsson left his engineering consulting position in Reykjavik, to establish the Jusavik Whale Center - the first and only whale information center in Iceland. Visitors to his not-for-profit Center doubled in 1999 and have helped Husavik become the center of whale watching in Iceland.
Bjorgvinsson's public awareness initiatives have produced a generation of Icelanders who are respectful of the marine environment. An influential media personality, Bjorgvinsson has helped make Iceland the destination of choice for knowledgeable ecotourists. He recently received the Netherlands' Knight of the Golden Ark award.
Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust
When a badly injured chimpanzee was brought to the Zambian farm of David and Sheila Siddle in 1983, it was not expected to live. It was malnourished, dehydrated and suffering from deep cuts across its face, and its teeth had been smashed in to keep it from biting its captors. Nevertheless, the Siddles decided to nurse the chimp - nicknamed Pal - back to health, thereby establishing a legacy of care and respect that serves as the foundation of the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage.
Today, Chimfunshi is the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in the world, with over 70 chimps roaming in social groups across 26 acres of free-range enclosures. Rescued from poachers or dilapidated zoos and circuses, the chimps have often suffered horribly, yet are too habituated to return to the wild. Chimfunshi gives each chimp the love and protection it deserve, and never turns an ape away.
Chimfunshi exists primarily on donations, yet it is an important bulwark in the fight against poaching, deforestation and the bushmeat trade that threaten wild chimpanzees. The Siddles are outspoken animal rights activists. They educate as many as 30,000 visitors each year about the plight of both wild and captive chimps. They have set up the Pal Award, which is given annually to those who promote chimp issues.
The orphanage has also provided valuable information about the re-socialization and rehabilitation of man's closest relative. It serves as a model for the primate sanctuary movement currently sweeping across Africa.
In early 2000, Chimfunshi will break new ground when it opens two 500-acre chimp enclosures, which will allow apes to roam through forests, fruit groves, grassland and streams. This setting will be the closest these chimps will ever come to living in the 'wild' again.
Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd. (CHICOP)
The Chumbe Island Coral Park, established in 1992, is the first and only marine nature reserve in Tanzania developed by a private company. Thanks to this initiative, the Chumbe Reef Sanctuary was gazetted in 1994 as a protected area by the Government of Zanzibar.
As a result, the Island is now a pristine coral island ecosystem in an otherwise overfished and over-exploited area. For the past eight years, the Park has been and continues to be a conservation area that provides important community benefits and social services to the population of Zanzibar, particularly fishermen and school children.
The Project has: secured continued protection of valuable flora and fauna; helped restock locally depleted fisheries; promoted the recovery of degraded coral reef ecosystems; contributed to biological diversity conservation and ecological restoration by a coral reef, which has at least 90% of the scleractinian coral species ever recorded in East Africa; provided a training ground for local people in conservation management; helped create environmental awareness among the fishermen in the area; and provided valuable experience in the financially sustainable management of protected areas; given permanent help to local fishermen in distress; provided a direct source of income to local fishermen; contributed to capacity building of government staff; created unique facilities for environmental education; cooperated with the Harbours Authority to keep the lighthouse functioning; and offered valuable research opportunities for Tanzanian and foreign research institutions.
Chief Larry Philip Fontaine
Chief Larry Philip Fontaine, born in Sagkeeng Ojibway First Nation in Manitoba, Canada, has made outstanding contributions to the protection of the environment and to the transmission of indigenous knowledge.
For more than 25 years, he has been working to increase awareness and understanding of Aboriginal peoples both nationally and internationally, and to create mechanisms for Aboriginal peoples' active participation in national and international forums.
He has served in the Federal Government as Regional Director in the Yukon Department of Indian Affairs and as Deputy Federal Coordinator of the native Economic Development programme. He was Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, and since 1996, has served as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in Canada.
Chief Fontaine has helped the aboriginal peoples of Canada address the issue of environmental degradation in their communities, and has helped them develop the skills necessary to record, interpret, monitor and solve problems dealing with the protection of their lands and resources. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Center for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) in 1994.
An integral component of CIER's success has been its ability to form partnerships between First Nations peoples, governments, organizations and academic institutions, both at home and abroad. In 1996, he helped develop an innovative and culturally-based Environmental Education and Training Programme (EETP), which provides First Nations individuals, recruited from across Canada, with indigenous and western environmental knowledge and skills.
The programme comprises a 15-month class instruction and a three-month field practicum, which is held in a First Nation community. Participants are given the tools to engage in environmental protection initiatives on First Nation lands, particularly as they relate to environmental impact assessment, auditing and monitoring. He was instrumental in securing CIER's access to the Traditional Knowledge Working Group Meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity held in Spain in 1997, and for securing a position as a permanent member of the Convention on Biological Diversity and of the Traditional Knowledge Working Group of the Canadian Federal Government.
As a committed environmental corporate citizen Fuji Xerox Australia has solved a significant environmental problem in the area of forest management by developing a recycled copy paper to precise specifications for use in digital equipment.
This product development was in response to poor sales of existing 100% recycled papers, which the market deemed to be of poor quality, expensive and unreliable. Fuji Xerox Australia undertook extensive research, together with one of Australia's paper manufacturers, to develop and launch in Australia the first Australian made, cost effective recycled paper guaranteed for use in high speed applications.
The paper is made up of 50% recycled waste from Australia's cotton industry - a feature known to significantly strengthen this paper and improve durability - and 35% content from wood pulp from sustainably managed forests. Since its launch in 1997, the paper has experienced rapid growth - greater than all other Fuji Xerox papers sold. It currently represents 15% of the company's total copy paper sales. The results of customers switching from 100% pulp paper to reliable recycled paper is that pressure on forests is reduced and waste, which traditionally would have gone to landfill, is directed for recycling.
The company's launch strategy supported the environment with a campaign, which donated 20 cents of every ream of paper sold to local land care environment groups in the region where the paper is made. This money has allowed these groups to embark on projects addressing soil erosion, water salinity and wildlife protection. To date, an additional A$85,000 has been raised over and above the company's sponsorship of LandCare Australia.
A resounding endorsement of the product has been the announcement that the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games will use the 'Green Wrap' product as its official copy paper, with an estimated usage of 34,000 reams of paper.
Robert M. Hager
Robert M. Hager, a correspondent in the Washington DC bureau of NBC News Network, has been a leader in covering global environmental issues on United States television, and in particular the issues of ozone depletion and global warming.
He has been notably courageous among TV commentators in linking weather and climate events to global warming, and has been a positive and important voice for the environment in the media. His reports, reaching millions of Americans daily on NBC's Evening News, the Today Show and the new MS/NBC Cable News station, have been factual, direct and forceful, always emphasizing a strong and sound environmental component.
As a good reporter, Hager believes that the facts must speak for themselves and those facts clearly point to a changing climate. He has been one of the few television voices alerting the American people to this major global environmental problem. In the past year, he has reported on major climactic events, such as Hurricane Mitch and the El Nino phenomenon. He related these intense storms to the threat of global warming - while US industry has campaigned against this view and most TV correspondents have largely ignored or downplayed the climate change issue.
He reported on the Bush Administration's attempts to deny the problem's existence and their efforts to support industry's views. Hager reported comprehensively on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scandals in the early 1980s when the EPA Administrator, under President Reagan, tried to dismantle much of the Agency's regulatory capacity. Ultimately, she was forced to resign. He covered the Love Canal, Times Beach and other toxic waste crises, such as the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant leak.
Every year, since the early 1970s, he has ranked in the top 10 among major TV network correspondents based on frequency of appearance on the evening news, ranking first in 1996 and 1997 and second in 1998. He won an Emmy Award in 1990, and in 1993 he was inducted into the Silver Circle Honor Society of journalists in Washington.
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.
Dr. Reuben Americo Marti
Dr. Reuben Marti is a professor at the National University of Cordoba and former Mayor of Cordoba, the second largest city in Argentina. He is the author of Cordoba's first Environment Regulation, which established compulsory environment impact assessment (EIA). The regulation, written by Dr. Marti, was used as a model by a large number of regional governments, including Tucuman, Neuquen and Mendoza. Through this regulation, two unprecedented organizations have been created, namely the State Environment Council, open to NGOs and the general public, and the Environmental Brigade of Volunteers.
Known in Argentina as the Green Mayor, he empowered citizens and groups and developed an unprecedented green policy. As mayor, he created the Free University of the Environment (the first of its kind in Argentina). This University is open to every citizen, even illiterate ones through its 'University on Wheels' programme and TV documentaries. Most of the 18 TV documentaries are broadcast on cable TV in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia and Paraguay.
Dr. Marti created the 'Environment Observatory', which includes one of the best equipped laboratories in Latin America, two laboratory trucks and a network of mobile stations. He also created 10 urban parks with a total surface of 190 hectares. During his administration, 300,000 trees were planted, and he promoted the decentralization of the municipal administration, creating nine centers of popular participation. In addition to their administrative role, these centers are used as theatres, markets for handicrafts, gymnastics and training courses.
He also developed a more sustainable public transport system and an unprecedented 200 km-long bicycle path throughout the City, as well as a recycling system for home waste, which today covers 60% of the City. He also created a botanical garden.
Dr. Marti is President of the Latin American Chapter of the International Union of Local Authorities and Vice-President of the World Association of Mayor Metropolis.
Mrs. Mei Ng is the Director of the environmental charity organization Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong). She was elected to the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honor on World Environment Day, 2000. In the same year, she was appointed by the State Environmental Protection Agency as China Environment Envoy. Recently, Mrs Ng was decorated with the Bronze Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong SAR Government in 2003 for her contribution to the environmental protection of Hong Kong.
Mrs. Ng has actively participated in environmental policy development and community mobilization. She was appointed to the Advisory Council on the Environment since 2001, and serves as the Vice Chairman of the Environmental Campaign Committee since 2004. She is also a member of the Harbour Enhancement Committee (appointed in 2004).
Leading a dedicated team to catalyse sustainability thinking, environmental governance and public participation, Mrs. Ng has dedicated over 15 years of her green career to environmental advocacy and public awareness building. Her priority campaigns include responsible consumption, renewable energy, community recycling, sustainable development through women and youth empowerment.
Her millennium vision is to push for a sustainable future for Hong Kong and China. She organizes regular environmental education training programs for teachers and students in poverty regions and pollution casualty zones in China. Her green footprints have linked her to an expanding network of green allies locally and regionally. Her green message and capacity building tours have touched nearly half-a-million teachers, students, youth, women folks, NGOs, cadres, media and workers.
Mei Ng’s motto is: “Light a Candle rather than Curse Darkness”. As a sustainability pathfinder, she has been lighting small candles in Hong Kong and China. She believes in Do-It-Yourself Environmentalism in keeping with the spirit of Sustainability.