October 2009 Archives

An Island Hero

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A decade ago, when Filip Damen taught himself to read and write to defend his homeland forest in the Madang Province of Papua New Guinea, he never dreamed it was the beginning of a journey that would take him across the ocean to San Francisco, California. Last Thursday, October 8, Mr. Damen's undaunted environmentalism was honored with a reception and $10,000 award at the 17th annual Seacology Prize Ceremony at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco.

The Seacology Prize highlights the heroic efforts of people who seldom receive any publicity - indigenous leaders who risk their own lives and well-being to protect their island's ecosystems and culture. Since the inception of the Prize in 1992, Seacology has given the award to 18 native islanders in recognition of their innovative and courageous work.

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Left, prize winner Filip Damen with Seacology Co-Founders Ken Murdock and Paul Cox.