Twenty-year-old chef environmentalist Louise Mabulo has won the Young Champions of the Earth prize for Asia and the Pacific for her work which boosts farmers’ income in the Philippines through climate-resistant cocoa.
The young chef started the Cacoa Project in her native Philippines after witnessing the devastation wrought by Typhoon Nock Ten in 2016. The typhoon destroyed 80% of agricultural land in her area, but Mabulo observed that many cocoa trees remained standing.
Since the Philippines is one of the most typhoon- and cyclone-prone countries in the world, Mabulo had the idea of making high-value and climate-resilient cocoa available to farmers to bring them income in the wake of such disasters, while weather-proofing their farms in the long-term.
The Cacao Project, has trained over 200 farmers in agroforestry techniques, planting more than 70,000 trees across 70 hectares of land and restoring land devastated during Typhoon Ngoc Ten of 2016. She has also established a Culinary Lounge, a farm-to-table kitchen studio, to source high-value ingredients from local farmers and encourage home-grown food.
Young Champions of the Earth prize is awarded every year by UN Environment Programme to young environmentalists between the ages of 18 and 30, for their outstanding ideas to protect the environment.