Dr Chua Thia Eng, Outstanding Science Alumnus 2006
Dr. Chua earned his doctorate degree in Zoology at the University of Singapore. Although he was originally a trained marine biologist, his dynamic personality enabled him to expand his expertise to include marine pollution and coastal and marine area management. He has had extensive professional experiences in research, management, training and education, policy development and administration. He has authored more than 200 articles and reports relating to the above subjects.
He has spent 35 years of his active life in East Asia serving in various capacities in international and UN organizations. He was director of ICLARM’s Coastal Area Management Program (1989-1992), Coordinator of ASEAN/US Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project (1986-1992); FAO Senior Aquaculturist in charge of the Philippine Lead Centre of the Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia (NACA) (1980-1985). In 1993 he became the Director of ICLARM’s National Research Support Program where he was responsible for planning and implementing international, regional and national programs to strengthen national institutional capacity in fisheries and aquaculture research. In 1994, he was appointed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as Regional Programme Manager to execute the GEF/UNDP Regional Programme for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pollution in the East Asian Seas and subsequently Regional Programme Director for the Regional Programme on Building Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA).
He also has had extensive working experience especially in fisheries and environmental issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region, Africa and Latin America. He founded the Malaysian Society of Marine Sciences and was elected as its first President. He also served as the Founding President of the Asian Fisheries Society (1984-1992). He was elected as the first honorary member of the Malaysian Fisheries Society and in 1998 as honorary member of the Asian Fisheries Society. He has served as Chairman of the Advisory Council of the First World Fisheries Congress in 1989. He was a Board Director of the International Center for Coastal and Ocean Policy Studies (ICCOPS), former member of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution (GESAMP) and former Scientific Advisor of the International Foundation for Science (IFS). He is currently serving as one of the members of the Advisory Board of the Ocean Policy Research Foundation of Japan (formerly Institute for Ocean Policy of the Ship and Ocean Foundation) as well as member of the Steering Committee of the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands. He is also a member of the Regional Advisory Panel for UNDP Capacity2015.
He also served as member of advisory committees/panels of a number of international and donor agencies including Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries (SAREC), Commission of the European Communities (CEC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. He had also been serving as consultant to UNDP, World Bank, IDRC, USAID and oil companies.
His professional background in training and education includes work as faculty member of the University of Singapore (1967-1972), Universiti Sains Malaysia (1972-1980), visiting professor of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas (1980-1985) and adjunct professor, Xiamen University (1985-2005). He served as external examiner for the postgraduate programs of the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, University of Agriculture, Malaysia; Department of Zoology, University of Colombo; as well as for a number of masteral and doctorate theses from various universities in the Asia-Pacific region and the US.
He is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Ocean and Coastal Management; and Executive Editor of the Tropical Coasts.
He received a number of awards, which include the prestigious Friendship Award for Foreign Experts given by the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China (1994), the First Gold Medal Award (1995) and the Honorary Member Award (2001) by the Asian Fisheries Society and the Sahak Metrey Medal conferred by the Royal Government of Cambodia (March 2002).
‘Two step forward, one step back!’