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A Legacy of Promoting Environmental Biodiversity and Sustainability 
A tireless supporter of environmental issues including biodiversity policies and sustainable development, Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid is a distinguished researcher, educator, and scientist. He is the founding chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and one of 26 members of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s elite Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).  

Besides receiving notable awards such as prestigious Zayed International Prize for the Environment (2014) and the Langkawi Award (1998), three species have been named after Tan Sri Zakri: a beetle (Paleosepharia zakrii), a cicada (Pomponia zakrii) and a pitcher plant (Nepenthes zakriana). 

Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid

Leaving a mark in environmental leadership 
Through his roles on various boards of the United Nations, he significantly contributed to raising awareness among global leaders about the interdependence of life, biodiversity, and ecosystem services.  

Passionate about sustainable development, he says, “The key component is nature and what can be done to sustain the planet. My job revolves around meeting leaders where negotiations are made. It is really enlightening to meet leaders with similar interests in environmental issues. We all share the same conviction to do something noteworthy. It’s inspiring to meet scientists, politicians, captains of industries, non-governmental organisations and major stakeholders who share a similar interest in the pursuit of sustainable development.” 

Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid

Contributions to environmental assessment 
Known for his work as co-chair of the 2005 UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), Tan Sri Zakri played an instrumental role in developing a number of the report’s key findings. It was one of the world’s largest-ever scientific collaborations involving over 2,000 leading scientists from 95 countries in a comprehensive synthesis and analysis of the state of the Earth’s ecosystem, with summaries and guidelines for decision makers.   

The groundbreaking scientific assessment was hailed by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his Millennium Repor as “an outstanding example of the sort of international scientific and political cooperation that is needed to further the cause of sustainable development.” 

Tan Sri Zakri inspired and initiated the landmark Japan Satoyama-Satoumi Assessment (JSSA) which focused on ecosystem services, which involved over 200 scientists, both from the natural and social sciences, from universities and research institutions in Japan.  

The excellence of the MA and the Japanese Ecosystem Assessment led to the establishment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the election of Tan Sri Zakri as its founding Chair at its first plenary meeting of 105 Member States, held in January 2013 in Bonn, Germany.   

Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid

An unerring commitment to protecting the natural environment 
As a scientist, educator, and researcher, Tan Sri Zakri has made lasting contributions to the understanding and assessment of global biodiversity and ecosystem services.  

His dedication to environmental sustainability, inclusive methodologies, and long-term vision, showcasing Malaysia’s efforts in sustainable development and poverty elimination. 

The information in this award recipient's profile is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the time the award was presented. Any subsequent changes, updates, or developments in the individual's life or achievements may not be reflected in this profile. 


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