Nicanor Jesus Perlas III, or “Nicanor Perlas” for short, 67 years of age, has been engaged in trying to create a better world since he was 18 years old. He has led successful global campaigns to stop nuclear power in the Philippines and ban 32 hazardous pesticide formulations. He was also in the core group of People Power 2 that deposed former Philippine President Joseph Estrada who was starting to violate key provisions of the Philippine Constitution. He spearheaded the formulation of Philippine Agenda 21, the sustainable development blueprint of the Philippine government, which introduced into mainstream policy and development circles the societal threefolding approach to participatory governance.
He was also the key negotiator for the Asia Pacific Sustainable Development (APSUD) Coalition, composed of over 5000 organizations spread throughout Asia and the Pacific. APSUD convinced the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), through the chairmanship of then Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos, not to force the total liberalization of the rice sector in the Philippines, thereby sparing 3 million farmers from the adverse impacts of premature trade liberalization. In all these various advocacies, Perlas helped organize and mobilize civil society and its networks and leaders to come together and achieve collective impact.
Perlas is also a global and national plenary lecturer in over a hundred of conferences around the world. He serves a consultant to government, business, and civil society on integral sustainable development and its local adaptation for towns and cities, Sustainable Integrated Area Development or SIAD. For the national and global impact of his work, Perlas received the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, in 2003. Earlier, he also received The Outstanding Filipino Award and the UNEP’s Global 500 Award.