Vo, Quy

Vo, Quy (Quy Vo, Viet Nam)

Honorary President, Center for Natural Resources Management and Environmental Studies (CRES), Vietnam National University, Hanoi
The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity 2012 Prize Winner

Dr. Vo Quy (b.1929) studied biology at the Vietnam teacher-training institute, and in 1956, he began teaching at the University of Hanoi (zoology). In the early 1960s, he studied at Moscow University and earned his Ph. D. in ormithology. He subsequently returned to the University of Hanoi and became a zoology professor. He remains a professor at that university to this day.

In 1971 and in 1974, during the war against the United States, Dr. Quy and other researchers ventured into many engagement zones and found that broad range of dense tropical forests and aglicultural lands were seriously devastated due to the adverse effects of the agent orange. Since this time, he has strongly recognized the importance of the reforestation and greening of Viet Nam. From 1971 to 1985, he served as the leader of the working group for the Research on the Long-Term Effect of Herbicides Used in the War on the Environment and on Living Resources in South Viet Nam. From 1981 to 1990, he served as the vice-chair and then Chair of the National Research Program on the Conservation of nature and rational utilization of natural resources.

In 1985, Dr. Vo Quy founded Vietnam's first environmental research and training institute, the Center for Natural Resources Management and Environmental Studies (CRES), at the University of Hanoi (now Vietnam National University, Hanoi). It was here that he devised a master plan with his colleagues for rehabilitating 50% of the country's forests. This plan was adopted by the government as the National Conservation Strategy. In 1989, he authored the first draft of the Law on Environmental Protection for Vietnam as the leader of a team of scientists and contributed in various ways to national policies for environmental protection.The young CRES scientists have insisted the necessities of the management of nature reserves. They have cooperated with the villagers to implement conservation projects and environmental policies through providing guidelines for nature conservation.

In the wildlife conservation field, Dr.Quy spotted an extremely rare eastern sarus crane, a species believed to be decimated by the war, and endeavored to establish a treaty for the protection of migratory birds in the Indochina peninsula. By 1988, more than 1000 cranes were observed returning to the reserve that was established. Dr. Quy has also worked as a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) since 1986, helping to enlarge protected areas and national parks, protect endangered species, and sustainable use of wildlife. He has been working closely with The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), UNEP and MAB/UNESCO for many years.

Dr. Quy, who took the initiative to involve rural communities as the main proponents of the country's nature conservation and reforestation program, is rightly called the father of Vietnam's environmental conservation movement. His efforts and successes in conserving and restoring the damaged natural environment in Vietnam make him an excellent role model for other developing nations with similar environmental conditions.