Vatican Radio reports that Father Edwin Gariguez of the Philippines received an award for environmental heroism from the Jesuit-run Xavier University in Cincinnati. He has battled against a nickel mine in order to protect Mindoro Island’s biodiversity and the indigenous people in the area.
Father Roberto Yap, university president, said that Father Gariguez's ministry is an inspiring response to Pope Francis challenge "to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor."
Father Gariguez was also awarded a doctorate in humanities for his efforts. He received the award during the university’s graduation ceremony, where he also delivered the keynote address.
This is not the first time he has been recognized for his environmental efforts. He won the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest award for grassroots environmental activists, and he is the executive secretary of CBCP-NASSA, the social development, humanitarian, and advocacy arm of the Catholic Church in the Philippines.