The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee held a press conference announcing its inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize laureates on June 8 (Monday) 12pm at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. His Excellency Anote Tong, President of Kiribati (63), and Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta, Indian fisheries scientist (76) have been selected as the first dual laureates to receive the award. The Sunhak Peace Prize was established by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the wife of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon and ‘Sunhak’ is the first letter of their names. This award reflects her profound hope of continuing her husband’s legacy of peace.

As a dual laureate, Pres. Anote Tong has been regarded for his effort to protect marine ecosystems even as his own country faces submergence within the next 30 years due to rising sea levels, and consecutively nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He improved global awareness of the severity of climate change and sought action by the international community for its solution like the ‘Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA)’, the largest existing marine World Heritage Site. He also contributed greatly in building up awareness on the protection of human rights for climate refugees through the ‘migration with dignity’ program.

Dr. Modadugu Gupta has been widely recognized for developing innovative fish farming methods’ to address the food crisis of the poor, and known as the ‘Architect of the Blue Revolution’, and the ‘Saint of the Poor in Southeast Asia’. He successfully bred improved species of fishes such as ‘tilapia’ and ‘silver barb carp’ which he correctly identified would thrive in the Asian rural environment, and revolutionized the aquaculture industry with an explosive increase in production. Dr. Gupta’s advisory services have been taken advantage of by a number of international organizations such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The laureates will share $1 million US dollars, the largest of any prize money awarded in Korea. The award ceremony will be held this coming 28 August 2015 (Friday) in Seoul, Korea.

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