Excellence in National Stewardship
,
2012

President Anote Tong of Kiribati

President Tong, recently re-elected for a third term in office, has become a globally recognized figure for his work on climate response, ocean protection and multinational collaboration. He was instrumental in creating one of the World’s largest and most biologically rich marine protected areas, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, which was recently declared a UN World Heritage Site. He has also been an outspoken global advocate for climate change response given the threat sea level rise poses to his nation and his people. He is also a key player in the Pacific islands Forum of 16 independent states that are taking control of their marine resources and planning a “Pacific Seascape,” of linked marine protected areas.