Anna R. Oposa is a multi-hyphenated changemaker. She is a writer, public speaker, and environmental conservation consultant, but is best known as the Executive Director and Chief Mermaid of Save Philippine Seas (SPS). SPS is a movement to mobilize seatizens for collective action and behavior change. Anna's tasks as Chief Mermaid include fundraising, establishing partnerships, and implementing projects and campaigns.
Anna graduated with a degree in BA English Studies (cum laude) from University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2011, and earned her MSc in Conservation Science (Merit) from Imperial College London in 2015 through the Chevening scholarship. In 2017, she was one of the three Global Fellows in Marine Conservation at the Duke University Marine Laboratory.
Before pursuing environmental conservation full-time, Anna worked as a musical theatre performer, events host, and lifestyle journalist. Currently, she serves as a consultant for Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In 2018, she led environmental education workshops for coastal and marine conservation in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands for ADB. She has also worked for the Climate Change Commission, the United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme-Philippines, and Oceana Philippines. Anna has served as a technical adviser to the Philippine government on climate change, marine wildlife trade, and migratory species since 2010.
Anna was one of the founding members of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Manila Hub and served as its Vice-Curator (2012-2013) and Curator (2013-2014). She was among the first Global Shapers to participate in the 2012 Annual Meeting held in Davos, Switzerland.
Anna is also one of the 50 councilors of the World Future Council, a Germany-based organization that researches, identifies and spreads policy solutions that contribute to sustainable development.
In 2019, she was a Marine Conservation Action Fund Fellow of the New England Aquarium in Boston, MA, USA. In 2020, she was a Kinship Conservation Fellow. She is currently a Tsuha Global Fellow with the Tsuha Foundation.
Anna’s written works have been published in newspapers, magazines, and websites. She co-wrote a workbook for elementary school children entitled An Introduction to Climate Change for Filipino Youth (2011), edited the 2020 Conservation Roadmap for Sharks and Rays in the Philippines (2017), and co-wrote Shark Conservation Legislation: A Toolkit for Philippine Policymakers (2018).
Awards and Distinctions
Anna has been recognized locally and internationally for her work in environmental conservation, leadership, and youth development: she was one of Yahoo! Southeast Asia’s seven inspiring modern-day Filipino heroes (2011); the youngest and first Filipino recipient of the Future for Nature Award (2012); Devex’s 40 Under 40 Developmental Leaders (2013); Chevening scholarship (2014-2015); the Gaia Award (2016); DENR-BMB's Biodiversity Champion (2017), and one of the 30 under 30 Environmental Education Awardees of the North American Association for Environmental Education (2018). In 2020, Tatler Asia named Anna as one of the most influential philanthrophists in the region. In 2021, she was one of The Outstanding Young Men and Women in the Philippines (TOYM). In 2022, she was one of The Outstanding Women in Nation's Service (TOWNS).