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16/04/2010: President Arroyo Awarded the Teddy Roosevelt International Conservation Award

16 APRIL 2010, WASHINGTON, D.C. – Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was awarded the Teddy Roosevelt International Conservation Award for “Innovative Leadership to Protect Oceans and Preserve the Biodiversity of the Coral Triangle” by the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF).  The awarding ceremony was held at the Cannon House Office Building at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

With over 300 guests comprised of members of the US Congress, US government officials, distinguished NGO leaders and representatives, and other key dignitaries, President Arroyo underscored the global responsibility of environmental stewardship in her remarks saying, “we have a moral obligation to the next generation to protect the beauty and bounty of the land, air and sea for the rest of time.  I am honored to represent the Philippines in this noble effort.”

The Coral Triangle is a vast area of ocean land containing rich marine biodiversity in the seas of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.  Cited as a major food source, the President emphasized that the task of sustaining it not only rests on the six countries overseeing governance in the area but that of the entire human population.

“Nowhere is our interconnectedness with the world more profound than the resources we all truly share.  It is truly a global environment.  We must all do our part to conserve it, grow it, sustain it,” the President added.

Realizing the significance of harmonizing economic growth and environmental preservation, some of the policies and foundations laid down by the President under the Green Philippines Initiative, which include the Biofuels and Renewable Energy Laws, the Climate Change Act and the Integrated Coastal Management, promote the sustainable development of healthy ecosystems.

The award was presented by US Rep. Ed Royce of California and US Rep. John Tanner of Tennessee, together with ICCF President John Gannt, Jr.

Global Environment Facility CEO Monique Barbut also launched the International Year of Biodiversity during the awarding ceremony.

Named after the conservationist President Theodore Roosevelt, President Arroyo is the fourth recipient of this prestigious award for leadership in conservation policy.  She joins Director Rob Portman of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (2006), former Prime Minister Tony Blair of United Kingdom (2007) and Prince Albert II of Monaco (2009).