Gary Bencheghib, winner of the 2022 Ramon Magsaysay Prize, will hold a free online conference on November 9

The Ramon Magsaysay Transformative Leadership Institute (RMTLI) Lecture Series featuring 2022 Ramon Magsaysay Laureate Gary Bencheghib from Indonesia will hold a free online public lecture on November 9 at 3:00 p.m. (Manila time). In his talk, “Mission Possible: Fighting Plastic Pollution One River at a Time”, Bencheghib will explain how he managed to clean up the rivers of Bali thanks to his organization, Sungai Watch.

Bencheghib’s environmental advocacy began when he was a teenager. At age 14, he and his siblings started a weekly beach cleanup with friends. This effort grew into an organization called “Make a Change World”, which would produce inspirational and educational multimedia content about plastic pollution and environmental protection.

In 2017, Bencheghib and his team kayaked and filmed an expedition down the Citarum River in West Java, dramatizing the state of what was called “the most polluted river in the world”. Their documentary sparked widespread public interest and sparked a response from Indonesian President Joko Widodo. In 2020, Bencheghib co-founded Sungai Watch, a local community organization tackling plastic waste issues in Indonesia. To date, Bencheghib and Sungai Watch have collected over 700,000 kilos of plastic waste.

Bencheghib, 28, shares, “I think when you dream big enough, anything can happen, and plastic pollution is the battle we can still win. If we win against plastic pollution, it can inspire us to tackle bigger environmental issues. »

This year, Gary Bencheghib is elected to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emerging Leadership for his inspirational fight against marine plastic pollution.

Gary Bencheghib’s free online public lecture will be streamed live on November 9, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Manila time) on the official Ramon Magsaysay Prize Facebook page and YouTube channel. This public lecture is part of the 64th season of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Festival.

Angela C. Hale