Each year, we award the Seacology Prize to an islander for exceptional achievement in preserving island environments and culture. This honor comes with an award of $10,000 and (in non-pandemic times) a trip to the United States for a public award ceremony in October.
2022 recipient: Kevin Iro
A former international rugby star from the Cook Islands, Iro was instrumental in the creation of Marae Moana, the world’s largest multi-use marine park. Legally established in 2017, the reserve protects the entirety of the country’ exclusive economic zone, an expanse of ocean roughly the size of Mexico.
The first Seacology Prize went to Chief Ulu of Samoa, in the South Pacific. To protect his village’s ancestral rainforest, the chief resisted years of pressure from logging companies.
Since then, Seacology has honored dozens more determined and inspiring men and women from around the world. Every one of them has faced resistance, taken risks, and made personal sacrifices. Some have faced grave personal danger—but persisted to protect the islands they call home.
Saw John Aung Thong is a member of the Karen community in India’s Andaman Islands. He has dedicated his life to preserving the fragile biodiversity of the archipelago and the vanishing cultural knowledge of his people. He leads a local environmental NGO and also welcomes visitors at his home, providing an authentic opportunity to learn about the Karen.
Omar Abdallah Juma, of Wasini Island, has brought communities, governments, and fishermen together to protect Kenya’s great marine biodiversity. He championed creating a community marine reserve and developing sustainable livelihoods—two key ways to protect the environment for future generations.
Peter Kallang led a grassroots indigenous movement on Borneo, which stopped a mega-dam that would have destroyed precious rainforest and displaced thousands of people. He continues to work tirelessly, against powerful opposition, to preserve Borneo’s forests and culture.
The Seacology Prize is underwritten by Seacology’s President Ken Murdock, in honor of his mother, Lalovi Fish Murdock.