Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm HARI Foundation, Inc. (HFI), takes up the cudgels for the environment in a grand new way as the Philippine automotive industry’s champion for biodiversity in the ASEAN region.
HFI boldly takes its advocacy for education in climate change on a regional scale by partnering with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB).
ACB, established in 2005, is the ASEAN’s response to the challenge of biodiversity loss in the region. It is an intergovernmental organization that facilitates cooperation and coordination in the areas of conservation, sustainable, and equitable use of biological diversity among the 10 ASEAN Member States and with like-minded international organizations. The ACB headquarters is based in Los Baños, Laguna.
HFI will present the Hyundai Icon for Biodiversity to each of the winners of the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes during the awards ceremony that will be held on August 7, 2017, at New World Manila Bay Hotel.
The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes is integral to the observance of the ASEAN’s Golden Anniversary and is one of the region’s major contributions to the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020. This program was designed to recognize outstanding individuals who have contributed significantly to biodiversity conservation and advocacy efforts in their respective countries. Ten winners, representing the 10 ASEAN Member States—Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—will be proclaimed.
These Heroes will serve as ambassadors of biodiversity conservation in the region and will be engaged in a series of public engagements aimed to inspire people to support and promote ACB’s advocacy.
Said HFI President Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, “The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes is our pioneering platform for spreading the word about the importance of preserving and sustaining the wealth of biodiversity in our region. By recognizing and supporting the work of these eco-warriors, we are looking to inspire more people to be biodiversity heroes in their respective sectors and so spark a regional movement that will intensify the clamor and facilitate shifts in governance and business strategies to support the global movement to save our planet.”
Guided by a shared vision to build a nation adaptive and resilient to climate change, HFI and ACB signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) on March 30, 2017 to strengthen global efforts to support biodiversity and to support the ASEAN Member States in achieving their biodiversity conservation objectives. This milestone undertaking forms part of a three-year partnership between HFI and ACB to cooperate in enhancing public awareness of the value of biodiversity and the need to conserve it, and strengthen the role of business in biodiversity conservation.
According to ACB Executive Director Atty. Roberto Oliva, “We commend Hyundai for taking up the cudgels for the environment. CSR is not about giving gifts but taking on a social issue so that a society can be more sustainable. Hyundai, through HFI, establishes itself as a catalyst of a global movement for environmental preservation, being the first and only partner of ACB from the automotive sector to champion the cause of biodiversity conservation in the ASEAN region.”
The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes is also supported by the ASEAN Secretariat, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the European Union (EU). ACB serves as the awards secretariat.