Giants in History: Võ Quý

A hero of the environment 

Võ Quý (31 December 1929 - 10 January 2017)


Võ Quý (31 December 1929 – 10 January 2017) was a Vietnamese ornithologist who studied the destruction of tropical forests and agricultural lands in Vietnam by Agent Orange, a herbicide used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. In addition to planning forest restoration projects, Quý rediscovered the rare eastern sarus crane, an endangered species that had vanished during the war. He helped establish a treaty with Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to protect migratory birds. His other contributions include discovering a new species of pheasant and publishing more than one hundred books, including The Birds of Vietnam, the first zoological book written by a Vietnamese scientist. Quý founded several conservation organizations in Vietnam, including the Center for Natural Resources Management and Environmental Studies (CRES), Vietnam’s first environmental research and training institute. For his contributions to scientific research and environmental conservation, Quý was awarded the Blue Planet Prize in 2003 and selected as one of the Heroes of the Environment by Time Magazine in 2008. (Credit: Original photograph by Bui Tuan)

Academic disciplines: 
Blue Planet Prize