Syeda Rizwana Hasan is an enrolled lawyer with the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. In professional life, she is working for the cause of environment as the Chief Executive of a reputed national Non Governmental Organization named Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA). Her main focus is to promote the notion of environmental justice in Bangladesh.
An environmental lawyer, Rizwana has also led successful legal campaigns against filling up of wetlands in and around Dhaka by unscrupulous housing companies, commercial and forced shrimp cultivation depriving the farmers of their traditional agriculture, depriving the forest dwellers of their traditional forest rights, vehicular pollution, industrial pollution and so on. She has attended more than 100 international, regional and national seminars, workshops etc. as resource person.
Rizwana is a visiting faculty in the University of Asia Pacific, State University, Easter University and North South University.
At the international arena, Rizwana is an amigas (a member of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide) and also a member of the Environmental Law Commission of IUCN. She is a board member of South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE). Her organization is member of the NGO Platform on Ship Breaking, IUCN, South Asian Watch on Trade, Environment and Economics and Friends of the Earth International.
Rizwana has received the ‘Annanya Top Ten Award’ given by a reputed journal of Bangladesh. She is also amongst the first five South Asian women to receive the ‘Celebrating Womenhood’ award (2008) given by the Creative Statement and South Asia Partnership based in Nepal. Rizwana has received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for the year 2009 for her outstanding contribution in protecting and conserving the environment of the country. She has also been named as one of the 40 Environmental Heroes of the World by the TIME magazine. Recognizing her impassioned leadership, hard-driving skill, and uncompromising courage in the campaign of judicial activism that has demonstrated that the right to environment is nothing less than a people’s right to dignity and life, Rizwana has been awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2012.