Imelda Abano: Asia’s Development Journalist of the Year 2009

Imelda Abano receives her award in Tokyo, Oct 23
Imelda Abano receives her award in Tokyo, Oct 23

I was delighted to hear the news that Filipino science and environmental journalist Imelda Abano has just won the Developing Asia Journalism Awards (DAJA) for 2009.

“We are all winners,” said Imelda at the Awards ceremony organized by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. “We should continue writing compelling stories to make a difference.”

Imelda Abano, whom I have known and admired for several years, won one of two special awards for her story titled “Scorched Earth”, published on 19 May 2009, in the Business Mirror newspaper in the Philippines.

“Among all the articles, the judges were very impressed with the way Abaño’s article presented the
complex issues on climate change. It was a comprehensive and extra-ordinary piece that was made simple for the readers to understand,” said Monzurul Huq, one of the four judges and the president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.

“We judges were each very impressed by the overall high quality of entries for this year. The awards were meant to recognize the efforts made by Asian and Pacific journalists who provide high-quality coverage of issues affecting growth and development in developing countries,” said Anthony Rowley, presiding judge of the 2009 ADBI awards.

Imelda Abano was honored last year by the United Nations as the Gold Prize Winner for excellence in reporting on humanitarian and development affairs. She was also this year’s recipient of the 10 Young Leaders Award in the Philippines given out by the Philippines Graphic magazine for her reporting on development and environmental issues. In 2002, she won the Asian category of the Global Awards on Environmental Reporting organized by Reuters and IUCN.

The Developing Asia Journalism Awards (DAJA) scheme was launched in 2004 by the Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo, for journalists covering development issues in the Asia Pacific. It received around 200 entries this year, of which 22 journalists from 17 ADB developing nations were selected as finalists.

Supriya Khandekar from India won Young Development Journalist of the Year Award. Other winners are Sithav An from Cambodia for the Poverty Impact of the Global Financial Crisis category, Raknish Wijewardene from Sri Lanka for the Government Responses to the Global Financial Crisis category, Zhu Yan from China for the Infrastructure Development category and Moffat Ghala Mamu from the Solomon Islands for the Climate Change Adaptation category. Full list of winners

DAJA 2009 winners
DAJA 2009 winners

Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

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