John Simon, District Collector of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in Northern Mindanao has just been recognized among eight recipients of the Asia Environmental Enforcement Award (AEEA) given by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization. Said awards are given annually for achievement in combatting transboundary environmental crime.
Quoting from UNEP:
“John Simon, District Customs Collector, Philippines Bureau of Customs
Category: Impact and Integrity
Braving threats to his life, John Simon, a District Customs Collector of the Philippine Bureau of Customs, upended a multimillion dollar smuggling operation, seizing 10,000 tons of illegal waste being smuggled into the Philippines. After the seizure, Simon pursued legal avenues to have the waste repatriated to the country of origin in accordance with the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. Collaborating with other agencies and advocacy groups, he helped to initiate court proceedings against three foreign suspects implicated in the smuggling operation and to propose new legislation on the illegal importation of waste. Simon also spearheaded the cleaning and restoration of an imported waste dumping site. “
Simon formally accepted the award in a virtual ceremony held last February 17 in the presence of Customs officials and staff.
photos by BOC CDO
Simon recently received an “Environmental Justice Award” from Ecowaste Coalition last January. Read below.