Award-winning Philippine environmentalist Antonio A. Oposa, Jr. will give a free public lecture entitled “Climate Justice for Future Generations,” on February 17, 7 p.m. at the Keoni Auditorium, Imin Center, East-West Center. Oposa is currently the holder of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2015 Daniel and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals.
Recognized as one of Asia’s leading voices in environmental law, Oposa has fought to protect the Philippines’ natural patrimony. He has initiated landmark cases to protect the country’s remaining virgin tropical forests and to clean up Manila Bay. Oposa was awarded the Magsaysay Award in 2009, an honor some refer to as Asia’s Nobel Prize.
“I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences,” he said, “But I also want to listen to challenges facing communities in Hawaiʻi.”
“I cannot think of anyone better for the Dan and Maggie Inouye Chair than Tony Oposa,” remarked Avi Soifer, dean of the William S. Richardson School of Law, where Oposa is teaching a course. “He is a rare combination of being charismatic, down-to-earth and very wise. Tony’s tireless community work reflects the shared commitment of Dan and Maggie Inouye to create a more just future for those who will follow us.”
Oposa has organized and led some of the most daring enforcement operations against environmental criminals in the Philippines. He also founded SEA Camp, which has trained thousands of children, youths, government officials, fishermen, law enforcement officers, teachers, lawyers and laymen in working principles for sustainable living. Oposa has taught environmental law at the University of the Philippines College of Law and at other top law schools and he lectures around the world.
Law student Philip Tumbaga is taking Oposa’s class at the UH School of Law and finds it electrifying. “This is a great opportunity to go from theory to focus on what’s really important,” says Tumbaga. “His class is really a call to action. His goal is to get us out there and making a difference. It’s so inspiring and encouraging.”
For the more, read the William S. Richardson School of Law news release.