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AEJA Winners 2012

Coca-Cola Environmental Story of the Year

Winner: Augustine Anthuvan, Channel NewsAsia
Story: Mighty Mekong: Mother River of Southeast Asia
"I entered the world of journalism at the late age of 37 and my first radio assignment was to cover the 1997 forest fires. That moved me to introduce a weekly radio series called 'EcoWatch' offering stories on sustainable development. Fast forward to my present stint in television, the 'Clean Energy' forums I attended at the Asian Development Bank inspired me to explore firsthand whether green financing, green growth and clean energy can go hand in hand as they address poverty alleviation. In 2011, when I visited the Lao province of Khammoune, I saw how resettled villages around the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower project were coming to terms with their new life. This coupled with time spent around Cambodia's Tonle Sap lake led to the documentary - Mighty Mekong: Mother River of Southeast Asia. As a Channel NewsAsia journalist, I don't do stories to win awards. However I do believe the 'media can be a catalyst for change'. There are numerous stories in Southeast Asia waiting to be told and the Greater Mekong Subregion beckons . And so, it's an honour for me - that a global company like Coca-Cola, has recognized our humble efforts at story telling. Hopefully, the documentary (available on YouTube) will spark discussion and inspire governments, NGOs and the private sector to approach major projects with greater care, placing the planet and its people at the core.
CDL Environmental Journalist of the Year

Winner: Grace Chua, The Straits Times
"As an environmental reporter, you're often covering events - such as land-use change or climate change - that happen at glacial speed compared to other types of news events such as gripping, day-to-day court cases or accidents. That's why it may not be seen as 'exciting' or 'sexy'. But what I love about the beat is that while deep knowledge is always useful in any beat, it's even more critical on the environment beat. You need to know, for example, the history of a series of policy changes, or the history of a piece of land. It teaches you respect for what - and who - has gone before.

In urban Singapore, where things are generally well taken care of, people don't always see environment news as immediately, directly relevant to their lives. But it's always relevant - whether it's the chipping away of green spaces for development, or the prices of fuels old and new. I'm glad that the AEJ award recognises and appreciates those of us who are trying to cover this 'slow' beat and bring home its relevance to a wider audience."
Toyota Excellence in Environmental Reporting by a Media Organisation

Winner: Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse is a global news agency that delivers fast, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world. AFP produces more than 5,000 stories, 3,000 photos and 200 videos a day. AFP is expanding its environment coverage, in recognition of the fact that environment issues are becoming increasingly important from the local to global levels.

AFP was honoured to win the inaugural "Excellence in Environmental Reporting by a Media Organisation" award as it was recognition of its commitment to serious and consistent coverage of environmental issues in Asia.