THE United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has named Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte as one of this year’s UN Champions of the Earth for her leadership and effective climate actions to eliminate plastic pollution in the city.
UNEP formally announced Belmonte and other individuals and institutions as laureates of the award in their official website (www.unep.org/championsofearth).
Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, said: “For her efforts to transform Quezon City into an environmental trailblazer, Belmonte has been named the 2023 Champion of the Earth for Policy Leadership, one of the UN’s highest environmental honors.
Mayor Josefina Belmonte’s passionate leadership and policy achievements exemplify how local authorities can solve global environmental problems. Cities can be the dynamic engines of change we need to overcome the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste—and mayors can help to lead that charge.”
Belmonte is the first Filipino elected official to receive the Champions of the Earth recognition, the UN’s highest environmental award. Past Filipino awardees are former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Sec. Elisea “Bebet” Gillera Gozun in 2007, human rights activist and environmentalist Joan Carling in 2018, and environmentalist Louise Mabulo in 2019.
Belmonte said that the award will serve as an inspiration to develop more sustainable initiatives for the benefit of every QCitizen.