Vietnamese conservationist honored as biodiversity ‘Hotspot Hero’ by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

Le Thi Trang is being recognized for achievements in protecting the country’s species and ecosystems!


Arlington, Virginia, USA (22 May 2020) – On this International Day for Biological Diversity, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) announces that Le Thi Trang and nine other conservationists from around the world have been named “Hotspot Heroes” for their efforts to protect the world’s biodiversity hotspots. The honorees were chosen from the hundreds of civil society organizations that have received grants from CEPF in the 10 global biodiversity hotspots where the fund is currently active.

Ms. Trang presented in a CEPF-funded-workshop on reducing wildlife consumption in Da Nang

CEPF is recognizing these heroes as part of the celebration of its 20th anniversary. The fund empowers nongovernmental organizations, indigenous groups, universities and private enterprises to protect the world’s biodiversity hotspots—the world’s most biologically diverse yet threatened terrestrial regions—and help communities thrive. CEPF does this through grants and technical support for conservation, organizational strengthening and sustainable development.

The Hotspot Heroes and the nongovernmental organizations they work for are making outstanding contributions to the conservation of the hotspots. They exemplify the kinds of dedicated, dynamic people who work to ensure that intact ecosystems can continue to sustain flora and fauna and provide clean air, fresh water, healthy soils, sustainable livelihoods, resilience to climate change and much more. 

Ms. Trang is the vice-director of GreenViet, an emerging Vietnamese nonprofit organization that has pushed the boundaries of what civil society organizations can aspire to achieve in the environmental space. 

In collaboration with others, GreenViet helped bring about one of the most remarkable conservation success stories in Vietnam: The campaign to save Son Tra Peninsula from uncontrolled tourism development. This campaign saved Vietnam's largest population of the Endangered red-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus) and engaged people from all walks of life in the conservation movement, including a direct intervention by the prime minister's office.

Two red-shanked douc langurs in Son Tra Peninsular Photo: Endangered red-shanked douc langur in Son Tra Peninsular © Le Khac Quyet

“Ms. Trang was at the center of the Son Tra campaign, bringing dynamism, creativity and inexhaustible energy. The work of Ms. Trang and GreenViet is an inspiration to me,” said Jack Tordoff, CEPF managing director, who also oversees the CEPF investment the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot, including Vietnam.

Ms. Trang graduated from the Da Nang University of Technology with a degree in environmental engineering. During that time, she volunteered for a local organization investigating and reporting crimes related to wildlife in central Vietnam. 

In her current role with GreenViet, Ms. Trang oversees initiatives related to education, public relations and development.

“The Hotspot Heroes represent the many tenacious, committed conservationists who are taking action every day to ensure the future of the biodiversity hotspots and the people who depend on these vital ecosystems,” said CEPF Executive Director Olivier Langrand. “They endure a multitude of challenges—long hours, grueling travel, difficult working conditions, political hurdles and even threats to their lives—in pursuit of a healthy, sustainable world.”

“Ms. Trang and GreenViet are changing the way people in Vietnam value nature,” said Langrand. “They are bringing together communities, businesses and government to protect important ecosystems that are key to the country’s future.”

Read more about Le Thi Trang and the other Hotspot Heroes.

CEPF is a joint initiative of l'Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan and the World Bank.

Since 2001, CEPF has catalyzed enduring, locally led biodiversity conservation through US$250 million in grants to more than 2,400 organizations in 98 developing and transitional countries. Results include more than 15 million hectares of formal protected areas established, at least 890 globally threatened species supported, and more than 3,500 communities benefiting. Learn more at www.cepf.netFacebook, Twitter​ and LinkedIn.


Download a photo of Le Thi Trang here. (*Note: you will need to read through Conservation International’s terms of use document before downloading.)

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