- Environmentalist Angelique Songco, also known as Mama Ranger, was hailed for her exemplary efforts in conserving Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
- She was awarded with the esteemed 2019 KfW-Bernhard-Grzmek-Preis
- The award came with a prize money amounting to 50,000 Euros
Filipina environmentalist Angelique “Mama Ranger” Songco, the superintendent of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, has been awarded for her unwavering leadership to conserve the World Heritage marine site.
Songco, who has been managing the park since 2001, was awarded with the esteemed 2019 KfW-Bernhard-Grzmek-Preis; a tribute to individuals and organization recognizing their commitment in preserving the world’s most precious biodiversity.
The award also came with a prize money amounting to 50,000 Euros. The biennial award was given to Songco during a ceremony in Germany last September 18.
According to KfW, Songco “has developed an innovative and powerful strategy” which focuses on thorough educational work and on reaching out to convince people in person.
“In consequence, she has succeeded in raising awareness of environmental issues among the local community and, as a result, people have been taking greater care in using the Marine Protected Area,” KfW said.
“Above all, her work aims to develop an understanding among locals that increased conservation efforts are essential to securing their livelihoods and to improving living conditions in the area permanently,” the KfW added; noting that this initiative has given her the title as “Mama Ranger.”
Songco, on the other hand, expressed “It is important to me to explain to people that oceans are not infinite, that they cannot absorb all our rubbish, and that if we continue in this way, there will soon be no fish left for us to c
atch. For it is only when people start to understand our seas that they begin to treat them with care.”
She further said that being part of the World Heritage managers network has helped her to connect to learn from other managers from other countries and it also aided her to apply these in conserving the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Parks.
“Due to the site’s remote location, its management requires sophisticated legislation implemented by a well-equipped team that is often away from home for long period of time,” Mama Ranger, herself, said.