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Jul 11, 2022 / 16:54

Hanoian conservationist wins prestigious award of environment protection

Trang Nguyen, the wildlife conservationist from Hanoi and author of beloved comic books for children, has won the 2022 Princess of Girona Foundation International Award (FPdGi).

Young Vietnamese wildlife conservationist Trang Nguyen, author of the two famous comic books for children – “Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear” and “Saving H’non: Chang and the Elephants” is among the winners of the Princess of Girona Foundation International Award 2022 (FPdGi International Award 2022), Spain.

The awarding ceremony of FPdGi International Award 2022. Photo: WildAction

Trang Nguyen is given the prestigious award “for her courageous and inspiring wildlife conservation work in her own country and in other parts of the world,” according to the representative of FPdGi.

“Trang Nguyen’s exceptional combination of leadership, perseverance, and modesty as she pursues a multidisciplinary approach that includes local action against global problems, encouraging more women and young people to work towards protecting nature,” the jury of the award highlighted.

“Dr. Nguyen is carrying out her important work at a time when the greatest crisis facing humanity is the very future of our planet,” FPdGi stressed.

Josh Kempinski, head of Fauna & Flora International Vietnam said that “Trang Nguyen is as precious as the wild nature that she loves, not only because she is a Vietnamese with an admirable profile, with an international education background and practical experience; but also, because she is a woman who does not subject to social prejudice. Her work is pioneering and pervasive.”

A poster of the comic book Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear by Trang Nguyen. Photo: WildAct

Born in 1990, the young Vietnamese wildlife conservationist obtained her Ph.D. in Biodiversity Management at the University of Kent, England.

In 2018, Trang was featured in the documentary film Stroop: Journey into the Rhino Horn War alongside Jane Goodall. She was selected for BBC’s 100 Women of 2019 list and for the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list. Her image was made into a character in the environmental protection video game RuneScape, following the idea of Prince William in 2014.

In 2020, her graphic novel “Saving Sorya: Chang and the Sun Bear” was published with the aim of raising public awareness of endangered species, the friendship between people and wildlife, as well as the hard work of activists to protect animals.

The publication is currently receiving great attention, not only in Vietnam but also overseas. Some large foreign publishers, such as Penguin Random House of the United States, Bookdream of the Republic of Korea, Jieli of China, Ayrinti of Turkey, Fontini of Norway, and AST of Russia have since bought the book’s copyright for their publication.

The cover of the book “Saving H’non: Chang and the Elephants” - the Vietnamese version. Illustration: Jeet Dzung. Photo: Kim Dong Publishing House

Trang Nguyen is also the founder and executive director of WildAct, an NGO that monitors the illegal wildlife trade markets and provides conservation education programs for Vietnamese youth. She is also a member of the IUCN SSC Bear Specialist Group, which promotes the conservation of bears living in their natural habitats around the world. 

The awarding ceremony recently took place in Girona, Spain. The award was given by Leonor - Princess of Girona, her father King Felipe VI, her mother Queen Letizia, and her younger sister, Princess Sofia.

The jury of experts was chaired by Pedro Alonso, doctor, epidemiologist, researcher and member of the FPdGi’s Advisory Council; Antonello Barbaro, CEO of H-Farm Education; Mat Collishaw, artist; Giles Tremlett, historian and journalist; Delphine Moralis, CEO of the European Foundation Centre; Maria Jammal, cofounder and CEO of Humanity Crew and 2019 FPdGi International Award winner; and Juan David Aristizábal, social entrepreneur and 2021 FPdGi International Award winner who acted as secretary.

FPdGi Awards, which this year reached its thirteenth edition, are endowed with 20,000 euros and are awarded in five different categories with the aim of promoting and fostering initiative and effort, scientific research and artistic creativity, solidarity, and the development of the talent of young entrepreneurs and innovators who show concern for building a world fairer in a globalized environment and who have the ability to take risks and the necessary motivation to induce changes in society.