Developing Asia Journalism Awards (DAJA) 2012
Syed Zain Al-Mahmood, a journalist with the Dhaka Courier in Bangladesh, was named Winner of the 2012 Developing Asia Journalism Awards (DAJA) for his article Pink Gold Rush, which explores the impact of large-scale shrimp farming on the environment and livelihoods in local communities of the Sundarbans area.
The award was present to Mr. Al-Mahmood at the Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo as part of the 2012 DAJA Forum.
"The DAJA competition is a unique opportunity to highlight the significant contribution of journalism and individual journalists to the development process in Asia," said Masahiro Kawai, Dean and CEO of the Asian Development Bank Institute.
"Zain's article is an excellent example of this contribution. It sheds light on the challenge of balancing the growth of an important job-creating industry and the need to protect the environment."
The shrimp industry is the second-biggest export earner in Bangladesh behind garments, with shrimp farms covering around 600,000 acres of farm land, according to the article. But the industry has taken a heavy toll on the environment as salinity and pollution have damaged the soil fertility of more than 1 million acres of coastal agricultural land.
The following prizes were also awarded:
- First Runner-Up: Gong Jing from the Peoples' Republic of China for his article Nor Any Drop to Drink
- Second Runner-Up: Reji Joseph from India for his article Eco-friendly Agrarian Revolution of Forest Primitives Enticing World Markets
- Young Development Journalist of the Year (awarded to the best article by a journalist under age 30): Pramod Kumar Tandan from Nepal for his article Himalayas Can Change into Blackstone Very Soon
Twenty-five journalists from across Asia and the Pacific were selected as Finalists by an international panel of judges and participated in the DAJA Forum.
The Developing Asia Journalism Awards were established by the Asian Development Bank Institute in 2004 to build capacity among journalists working on key development issues. The annual awards honor the work and contributions of journalists actively engaged in the responsible dissemination of knowledge related to poverty reduction, and other areas that support long-term growth in Asia and the Pacific.
DAJA 2012 provided selected journalists from ADB developing member countries with opportunities to reflect on a set of environmental issues influencing development in Asia by focusing on a critical question facing Asia and the Pacific: "Green Growth – or Growth versus Green?"