The Philippines’ Pasig River, the cradle of early Manila civilization, has been selected as a finalist in the first ever Asia Riverprize by the prestigious International River Foundation (IRF) which recognizes and rewards organizations who are making a difference through effective river basin restoration and management programs.
It is a back-to-back nomination for the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) who just came from a successful campaign in the 2017 Thiess International Riverprize competition where the Pasig River was hailed as runner-up to the winner, San Antonio River of Texas, USA.
PRRC Executive Director Jose Antonio E. Goitia says: “The consecutive entries of the Pasig River as a finalist in the 2017 and 2018 Thiess International and Asia Riverprize, respectively, is a testament that the world recognizes the efforts of the Philippine government to restore the Pasig River and its environs since PRRC was established in 1999.”
Initially, the competition was called the Asia-Pacific Riverprize Awards which was opened to entrants from New Zealand, Australia, and 45 other countries. However, according to the IRF, due the to the high number and quality of entries received, they have made the decision to split the promoted Asia- Pacific Riverprize into two: Asia Riverprize and another category for the Australasia Riverprize.
After a series of tedious deliberations, the IRF has announced and congratulates the organizations chosen as Asia Riverprize finalists with the highest honors in river restoration and protection namely: the Pasig River in the Philippines and the Yangtze River in China.
Compared to the 1990s when it was declared “biologically dead,” the Pasig River’s condition now has significantly improved. Although the Pasig River development is a work in progress, many areas along the historic river have already shown signs of aquatic life and it has already become conducive for transport, recreation, and tourism.
The winner of the 2018 Asia Riverprize will receive widespread global recognition which can build new partnerships, provide opportunities for exchange of knowledge and best practices, and open doors for international support. Furthermore, the winner will automatically qualify for Stage Two of the Thiess International Riverprize in 2019.