Gus received his Law degree from the University of the Philippines and passed the Philippine Bar Examinations in 1987. He received a Masters of Arts in Anthropology from Ateneo de Manila University and his PhD from the London School of Economics. Focused on research, Gus also teaches at the Ateneo de Davao University Institute of Anthropology. Gus is one of the founders of LRC together with Nonette Royo and now Philippine Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.
Judith Pamela “Judy” A. Pasimio
Filipina, a mother, activist, women human rights advocate, works in solidarity with the indigenous women, and is currently the coordinator of LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights). At LILAK, she has led the organizing of indigenous women gatherings, both at the regional and national levels. These provide the compass of LILAK’s strategic support to their struggles.
Her work on land rights, access to natural resources and indigenous rights started when she worked as a campaigner with LRC. She also served as the Executive Director of Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC-KsK/Friends of the Earth Phils), whose main partners were indigenous peoples, struggling for their right to self-determination (2007-2011). She also worked with the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) on the Task Force on Rural Indigenous Women.
Antoinette “Nonette” Royo-Fay
Nonette is a lawyer, an activist, and an author in the fields of natural resources management and empowerment of indigenous peoples. She pioneered various civil society initiatives in public interest law and environmental justice over the last 20 years in the Philippines, Indonesia and has in the last five years, expanded reach in the Southeast Asia Region. Nonette is a co-founder of LRC. She also co-founded an organization on women’s rights and was Vice President for Research and Social Outreach of Xavier University until recently.
In Indonesia, Nonette assists environmental advocacy and social justice movements. She facilitated the setting up of several NGO networks and multi-stakeholder coalitions in key forest and biodiversity locations. Nonette helped develop the Indigenous People’s Support Fund, which focuses on nurturing local indigenous organizations’ vision of sustaining work in protecting last remaining, key contiguous biodiverse landscapes in the region. Nonette is executive director of the Samdhana Institute.
Milagros “Milag” San Jose-Ballesteros
Secretariat, Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network
Milag serves as the Regional Director for Southeast Asia and Oceania at C40. In this role, she is responsible for engaging and supporting C40 member cities in the region as well as for facilitating collaboration between cities across the global C40 network. Prior to joining C40, Milag served as Regional Environmental Governance Specialist with the Environmental Cooperation-Asia (ECO-Asia) programme of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), where she led programmatic partnerships between national and sub-national environmental agencies, and provided technical support to pilot initiatives covering topics including urban environmental issues, compliance and enforcement mechanisms, climate co-benefits and public participation. In this capacity, she worked with 16 countries across Asia and coordinated engagements with various organizations and partners including the US Environmental Protection Agency, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the UN Environment Programme. Prior to this, she previously served as a Senior Program Officer with the US-Asia Environmental Partnership promoting clean technology.
Milag served as Executive Director of LRC. She completed her undergraduate degree from the University of the Philippines and obtained her MS from the Ateneo de Manila University under a scholarship program of The Ford Foundation for SEA Professionals. A native of Manila, Phillipines, she has been based in Singapore since 2008.
A researcher who has extensive experience in development and policy work on issues in agriculture, agricultural biodiversity, biosafety, climate change and environmental governance in Southeast Asia. She earned her Bachelors’ degree in Development Studies (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines, dabbled briefly with Law, but ended up completing her Master’s degree in Community Development.
Neth lives with her daughter Isabel in beautiful Davao City in Mindanao - the most exciting part of the Philippines. When given the luxury of time, she loves to read, putter around the house, and do her crochet and sewing projects. When there is much more time for leisure, she tries out scuba diving, wall climbing, and exploring new places with family and friends. When given the choice, she just wants to sleep...