Continuing on, on our  list of 50 champions of environment, here are numbers 26-50: 

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26. Song Jun


WHY HIM? Jun was a successful businessman when he visited Inner Mongolia and saw the devastating effects of desertification. Where grassland should stretch as far as the eye can see, there was nothing but sand. In 2001, he spent 50 million yuan building the Moon Lake eco-tourism resort in Alxa League, where his team educates people about the impact of desertification and how to reverse it.

THAT’S NOT ALL He also founded See Conservation to help protect vulnerable environments in Inner Mongolia and elsewhere in Mainland China. In 2017, See Conservation opened its 13th centre in Shanxi.

27. Wang Wenbao

WHY HIM? Wenbiao leads the Elion Resources Group, a clean-energy corporation that focuses on restoring environments and generating sustainable solar power. He spent 30 years working on reclaiming the Kubuqi Desert for agricultural purposes. Initially considered impossible, the project has now reclaimed over a third of the land.

THAT’S NOT ALL In 2017, Wenbiao received the UN’s Champion of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award.

28. Nurmala Kartini Sjahrir

WHY HER? Nurmala previously worked as an ambassador for Indonesia but now dedicates herself to environmental causes. She is patron of the Indonesian branch of the Climate Reality Project, whose mission is to increase public awareness of climate change, and is an adviser to the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, helping to preserve Indonesia’s oceans and coastal environments.

29. Rudi Putra


WHY HIM? Indonesia’s rainforests are some of the most biodiverse on the planet, and Rudi is doing everything he can to save them. Rudi has inspired communities to dismantle illegal palm oil plantations in Sumatra, which have caused extensive deforestation and destruction of the habitat of the endangered Sumatran rhino.

30. Kevin Kumala

WHY HIM? Kevin is a co-founder and chief green officer of Avani, which produces sustainable, recyclable packaging, including compostable, biodegradable plasticlike bags made from cassava, cornstarch straws, sugarcane-fibre takeaway boxes, and rain ponchos made from corn, soy, and sunflower seeds.

THE NEXT FRONTIER In 2017, Avani replaced nearly 1,000 tonnes of petroleum-based plastic with its compostable products and aims to double that number this year.

31 & 32. Melati and Isabel Wijsen


WHY THEM? In 2013, at the ages of 10 and 12, sisters Isabel and Melati founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags (BBPB), a youth-driven social initiative to convince the people of Bali to say no to plastic bags. Since then, BBPB has gone global, with teams in 20 countries. The sisters also delivered a talk at the UN in New York for World Oceans Day last year.

THAT’S NOT ALL This year, they organised Bali’s biggest beach cleanup, with 20,000 volunteers collecting 65 tonnes of plastic waste in a day.

33. Aleta Baun

WHY HER? Peaceful protests are Aleta’s modus operandi. Aleta halted the destruction of sacred forest on the island of Timor by gathering hundreds of local villagers to peacefully occupy mining sites in protest. Against the odds, it worked.

THE NEXT FRONTIER Aleta has now established the Mama Aleta Fund to provide financial and legal aid to women in rural areas fighting for environmental causes.

34. Prigi Arisandi


WHY HIM? In the early 2000s, 96 per cent of the drinking water in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second city, came from the Surabaya River. But factories upstream were pumping toxic waste into the waterway, pushing mercury levels to 100 times the maximum safe level recommended by the WHO. Prigi started a grassroots movement that led to successful legal action against the government for failing to control water pollution.

THE NEXT FRONTIER Prigi now leads the Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation organisation, campaigning for protection of the country’s wetlands and waterways.

35. Renard Siew


WHY HIM? In conjunction with United Nations International Forests Day, Renard helped launched the Together Restoring Earth’s Environment programme, which aims to plant 100,000 trees by 2030 in Malaysia’s Klang Valley. The eco-warrior’s extensive involvement in sustainability issues ranges from his corporate job as environmental adviser to Sime Darby Holdings to collaborating with the Climate Reality Project spearheaded by former US vice-president Al Gore.

THE NEXT FRONTIER Renard is a member of a task force of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia driving the country’s water security agenda.

36. Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil


WHY HER? As president of the Association for the Protection of the Natural Heritage of Malaysia, Sabrina practises what she preaches, buying plots of rainforest in the state of Pahang to keep them safe from illegal loggers. One of the country’s most vocal environmental activists, she owns the chain of Tanah Aina eco-friendly resorts in Pahang, Johor, and Selangor.

THAT'S NOT ALL Sabrina recently organised an art exhibition to raise funds for the Orang Asli, an indigenous people based in Gua Musang fighting against extensive logging and mining activities.

37. Mark Rayan Darmaraj


WHY HIM? As the “tiger landscape lead” for WWF Malaysia’s Peninsular Malaysia Terrestrial Conservation programme, Mark, who holds a PhD in tiger ecology, heads efforts to save the endangered tiger population (only 250 to 340 tigers are estimated to survive in the wild) by combating poaching, habitat loss, and forest degradation and fragmentation.

THE NEXT FRONTIER To support the state of Perak in its commitment to achieving zero poaching by 2020.

 38. CW Nicol


WHY HIM? CW Nicol was born in Wales but has called Japan home for more than 40 years. In the mid 1980s, he bought 47,000 square kilometres of Nagano prefecture and established the Afan Woodland Trust, turning the area into a thriving reserve that’s home to many threatened species, including black bears.

THAT'S NOT ALL He’s working to persuade the Japanese government to protect more of the country’s natural wonders and has established a sister Afan reserve in his native Wales.

39. Hayao Miyazaki


WHY HIM? The director, artist, and co-founder of the famous Studio Ghibli is the creative mind behind dozens of acclaimed films, including My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away. These films have inspired fans around the world with their themes of friendship, pacifism, and—in almost every film he has ever made—environmentalism. At the end of 2017, Miyazaki came out of retirement (for the third time) to work on yet another feature-length film.

40. Choi Yul

WHY HIM? Choi Yul has fought hard for the environment—and sometimes he’s been punished for it. In 1988, he became the first chairman of the Korean Anti-pollution Movement and began campaigning against irresponsible disposal of nuclear waste, for which he was put under house arrest. Since then, he has established the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement, which gathered eight environmental groups under its umbrella, and the Korea Green Foundation, which runs diverse programmes tackling a variety of environmental issues.

41. Chen Hsiu-Huei

WHY HER? Hsiu-huei works to integrate eco-policy in all her roles, whether it be as chairwoman of the Taiwan Women’s Association, where she campaigned to reduce kitchen waste, or most recently as the founding director of the Green Advocates Energy Cooperative, which is currently leading the charge in Taiwan’s fight for green energy, working to replace polluting power sources with sustainable solar power.

THE NEXT FRONTIER The cooperative is collaborating with the government on a strategy that would enable the country to phase out all nuclear power by 2025.

42. Chen Jiao-Hua 


WHY HER? Jiao-hua has been involved in environmental campaigns in Taiwan for more than 20 years. She is currently a spokesperson for the Taiwan Water Resources Conservation Union and is one of the leaders of the Southern Taiwan Anti-Air Pollution Alliance. At the end of last year, she organised a protest that drew thousands to march through the city of Kaohsiung against worsening air pollution in Taiwan.

43. Kao Cheng-Yan


WHY HIM? Cheng-yan, who had a decade-long career as an engineer with the US space agency Nasa in the 1980s, has played a seminal r ole in the history of Taiwan’s environmental activism. In 1996, he co-founded the Green Party Taiwan, the first political party in the country with a specifically eco-friendly agenda. Since then, Chengyan has spent much of his time focusing on the antinuclear movement, both within Taiwan and worldwide.

44. Wen Hai-Chen


WHY HER? In the early 2000s, Hai-chen was one of a gr oup of housewives who joined forces to establish the Tsaoshan Ecology, Culture, and History Alliance, which had as its main goal the pr otection of the Tsaoshan water supply, an ancient spring that was being overused by the government. Having persuaded the government to take less water from the spring, the organisation now works to protect Yangmingshan National Park. This year, Hai-chen was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award during an annual meeting of Taiwan’s NGOs.

45. Hsu Jen Shiu


WHY HIM? Jen-shiu began his career at Taiwan’s Agriculture and Forestry Department but quickly discovered a passion for photography. Over several decades, he has captured much of Taiwan’s wildlife and natural beauty on film and has written countless articles about the destruction of its remaining countryside. In 1995, he established the Society of Wilderness, which aims to preserve the natural world through education programmes and raising funds to buy and manage plots of untouched land.

THAT’S NOT ALL In 2014, he also established the Wilderness Foundation Formosa with the aim of encouraging awareness of the environment in Mainland China and Malaysia.

46. Lalana Srikram


WHY HER? Growing up on her family’s farm in the country’s northeast, Lalana was aware from a young age of the challenges farmers face in making ends meet. In 2007, she established Raitong Organics Farm, a social initiative that supports organic farmers by connecting them to consumers locally and internationally. One of her most successful projects has been the CSA Munching Box, a subscriptionbased programme that delivers fresh, seasonal organic fruit and vegetables to homes around Thailand.

THE NEXT FRONTIER Lalana is working to transform Raitong Organics Farm into a learning centre where other farmers and the public can learn more about growing organic food.

47. Sasin Calermlarp 


WHY HIM? On 24 September 2013, members of the public lined the streets of Bangkok and cheered as Sasin limped into the capital, completing a 388km-long walk to protest against the construction of the Mae Wong Dam. The academic, activist, and chairman of the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation was just one of many individuals and organisations—including the WWF—opposed to the project, whose fate still hangs in the balance.

THAT’S NOT ALL This year, Sasin and the foundation are pressing for the speedy prosecution of tycoon Premchai Karnasuta, who was arrested for allegedly killing a protected leopard in a national park.

48. Thon Thamrongnawawasawat


WHY HIM? On 24 September 2013, members of the public lined the streets of Bangkok and cheered as Sasin limped into the capital, completing a 388km-long walk to protest against the construction of the Mae Wong Dam. The academic, activist, and chairman of the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation was just one of many individuals and organisations—including the WWF—opposed to the project, whose fate still hangs in the balance.

THAT’S NOT ALL This year, Sasin and the foundation are pressing for the speedy prosecution of tycoon Premchai Karnasuta, who was arrested for allegedly killing a protected leopard in a national park.

49. Oraya Sutabutr


WHY HER? “The bigger, the better” is Oraya’s motto—at least when it comes to trees. She is the co-founder of the Big Trees Project, an initiative that helps to preserve green spaces in Bangkok and beyond. What started out as a small grassroots network has grown into a vibrant environmental volunteer and advocacy group that works with both local communities and government.

THE NEXT FRONTIER Oraya is working to win over the next generation and runs a variety of youth programmes.

50. Sing Intrachooto


WHY HIM? Author and architect Singh is on a mission to make rubbish beautiful. He is the founder of eco-friendly design firm Osisu, which makes furniture and other products from reused construction debris and other recycled materials.

THAT’S NOT ALL He’s also chief adviser to the Research & Innovation for Sustainability Centre of property developer MQDC. Among other projects, he’s advising on the Forestias development in Bangkok’s Bangna district, which aims to integrate a forest into a residential development.

(See also: www.hobartthailand.com50 Philanthropists In Asia Who Are Changing The World ) 

Tags: www.hobartthailand.comEco Friendly, Eco Warriors, Sustainability