MANILA, May 21, 2011â€”The Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan (trans. Environmental Hero/Heroine Award) or GBK is now accepting nominations for individual, organizational and special categories.
Now in its second year, the GBK is said to be not only a recognition for environmental advocacies by individuals and groups, but a salute for the continued fight to protect the Philippine environment as they were already lives claimed due to this cause. The awards have started in 2009.
The first GBK awarded the Most Distinguished Award to the late Mindanao environmental activist Eliezer Billanes, who was summarily executed, allegedly, due to his anti-large scale mining campaign in the South. Ata-Manobo tribal leader Datu Guibang Apoga; Manny Calonzo of the Ecowaste Coalition; and Dean Margarita dela Torre-dela Cruz from the University of the Philippines Tacloban received the award for the individual category. While the Cordillera Peopleâ€™s Alliance, the Central Visayas Fisherfolk Development Center Inc. and Seamancor Eco-Developers Inc. of Sorsogon were the recipients of the Gawad Organisasyon.
Lisa Ito-Tapang, the coordinator of the research, education and advocacy department of the Center for Enviromental Concerns-Philippines stated that the GBK is open to all Filipino individuals, organizations and institutions who have demonstrated extraordinary ability and effort to uphold the environment and peopleâ€™s welfare, whether in the form of advocacy, campaigns, education, research, technology development, community services, mass media or cultural work.
The GBK 2011 is organized by Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines (CEC-Phils), in cooperation with Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan Awards Committee, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Foundation for the Philippine Environment, Agham-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, Haribon Foundation, Ecowaste Coalition, Panalipdan Mindanao and Central Visayas Fisherfolk Development Center Inc. (Noel Sales Barcelona)