Here's why Gina Lopez won top award in environment protection

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 05 2017 08:22 AM

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MANILA - Former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez won the 2017 Seacology prize for her dedication to protecting nature, two executives of the non-profit organization said Monday.

Lopez seemed to have "both a deep commitment to the culture of the Philippines and a passion for protecting the biodiversity of the Philippines," said Seacology Chairman Paul Alan Cox. 

"We wanted to see two things: that she cares about the indigenous peoples living here and that she supports protection of biodiversity. She got A+ on both of those regards," he told ANC's Headstart.

Seacology Vice Chair Ken Murdock said the winner for the award was not picked out from a pool of applicants, but was "discovered" by the body.

Cox said Lopez was unanimously voted to be the recipient of the award this year.

Lopez, who is donating her entire $10,000 winnings, was the first winner from the Philippines.