Bangkok, Thailand, 26 August 2016 — Dr Dao Thi Nga, Co-Founder and Director of the Center for Water Resources Conservation and Development (WARECOD), a Vietnamese nongovernmental organisation is among 15 Biodiversity “Hotspot Heroes” to be honoured on September 4 at the IUCN World Conservation Congress.
The conservationists, selected by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), will receive their awards at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu Hawai’i, for their outstanding contribution to the conservation of biodiversity hotspots.
CEPF is a grant-making mechanism that aims to protect Earth’s most biologically rich yet threatened areas. IUCN is leading the second phase (2013-2018) of CEPF’s funding work in the Indo-Burma region, working together with the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, and the Myanmar Environment Rehabilitation-Conservation Network to form the CEPF Regional Implementation team (RIT).
Dr Dao was selected as the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot Hero from among the fund’s more than 2,000 grantee organisations around the globe.
Born in Viet Nam, Dr Dao earned a Ph.D. in human geography from York University in Toronto. As director of WARECOD, she has been instrumental in piloting community co-management of fisheries in Viet Nam, working with indigenous people and other local communities in the north of the country to develop working models that can inform policy development and lead to wider replication. Since 2009, CEPF has supported these efforts, which has resulted in the establishment of demonstration models and the adoption of regulations on co-management of aquatic resources by the Tuyen Quang Provincial Government.
The only Southeast Asian among the 15 award winners, Dr Dao said in an interview with IUCN that WARECOD’s goal is to promote the sustainable use of Viet Nam’s water resources and gender equality in resource-use and management.
“Over the last 10 years, I have helped develop strategies for the organisation and worked hard to make sure all of our activities are in line with our mission and vision. I have also trained young staff and helped them to enthusiastically work with communities and authorities in our projects,” says Dr Dao.
On being recognised as a CEPF Hotspot Hero, Dr Dao says “I dedicate this award to everyone at WARECOD. My colleagues work hard to contribute to environmental protection and nature conservation in Viet Nam. And by accepting this award I am representing all of us and our hard work.”
Dr Dao said that the grants from CEPF has allowed her organisation to fulfill its mission and follow its dreams.
“Without funding support from CEPF, many of our ideas would probably still be just ideas. The activities that we conduct through the CEPF fund range from raising awareness of villagers in the Mekong delta about potential impacts of water infrastructure on the river and its ecosystems, to building capacity for communities in developing water co-management groups, and widely communicating the importance of conservation,” said Dr Dao. “Thanks to CEPF support we were able to set up the first co-management of fishery groups in the Sino-Vietnamese Limestone corridor region. Local authorities have also recognised this as a good model for replicating in the near future.”
The other 14 award winners, including five women, are from Bhutan, China, Colombia, Cook Islands, Dominican Republic, Ghana, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, Panama, Peru, Tunisia, Solomon Islands, and South Africa.
For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
Nguyen Thuy Anh, Communications and Outreach Officer, IUCN Viet Nam office; m: +84-916451166, tel: +37261575 (ext: 131)
Ann Moey, Regional Communications Manager, IUCN Asia Regional Office; m: +66 92 259 8035; tel: +66 2 662 4029 (ext 157)
Shreeya Joshi, Regional Communications Assistant, IUCN Asia Regional Office; m: +66 62 841 1577
The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. CEPF's fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.