Three Chinese environmental campaigners were on Monday named among the winners of this year's Ramon Magsaysay Awards, regarded as Asia's version of the Nobel prize.
The mayor of the Japanese city of Hiroshima, a Filipino couple who work to educate the poor and a Bangladeshi advocate for the disabled were also honoured by the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation, based in the Philippine capital.
Photographer Huo Daishan received the award for publicising the massive pollution of the Huai River, the third largest in China, despite harassment from local officials and factory owners, the foundation said in a statement.
Pan Yue, a vice-minister of China's Ministry of Environmental Protection, and Fu Qiping, a village chief in Zhejiang province, received awards for their work on behalf of the environment on opposite sides of the bureaucracy.
Tadatoshi Akiba, the three-term mayor of Hiroshima -- one of two Japanese cities destroyed by atom bombs in World War II -- received the award for his work to abolish nuclear weapons, the statement added.
Christopher and Maria Victoria Bernido, respected physicists and educators, were awarded for pioneering new teaching techniques for the poor in the Philippines.
A.H.M. Noman Khan was honoured for his work leading a non-government organisation in helping the 13 million disabled people of Bangladesh.
The awards, founded in 1957, are given every year to Asians who have "transformed their societies for the better", according to the foundation.
"The Magsaysay awardees of 2010 are seven remarkable individuals deeply engaged in reinventing the future for a better Asia, tapping into and strengthening the power of community," foundation president Carmencita Abella said.
The awards are named after a popular Philippine president who died in a plane crash in 1957.
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