OBE. CBE. FRSA. HonFCIWEM. HonPhD. HonFIES. HonSocEnv
Judy Ling Wong, painter, poet and environmentalist is best known as the Honorary President of Black Environment Network (BEN). For 27 years she was the UK Director of BEN, with an international reputation as the pioneer and creator of the field of ethnic participation in the built and natural environment. Under her leadership, BEN worked across diverse sectors in the context of sustainable development, integrating social, cultural and environmental concerns. Themes include natural conservation, urban design, history and heritage, identity, health, employment, and access to the countryside and urban green spaces.
Judy is a major voice on policy towards social inclusion. Her contribution has included membership of the DCMS Historic Environment Executive Committee, ODPM Urban Green Spaces Task Force, National Trust Council for England and Wales, Wales Assembly Government Environmental Strategy Reference Group, Scottish Museums Council National Access and Learning Steering Group, and the IUCN/WCPA Urban Specialist Group.
Her current activities include:
- DEFRA Civil Society Partnership Network core group – CSPN Vice Chair
- Campaign for Greater London National Park – Steering Group
- UNESCO UK MAB (Man and the Biosphere) Urban Forum – Vice Chair
- Sowing the Seeds Network – Chair
- IUCN/WCPA Urban Specialist Group
- Countryside and Community Research Institute – CCRI Advisory Board
- Aluna – Cultural Strategy Development Group
- Campaign for Charter for Trees Woods and People – Steering Group
- OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) Advisory Board Imperial College London
The groundbreaking methodology developed by BEN, under Judy’s leadership, to engage urban-based ethnic minorities has influenced mainstream work with the full range of disadvantaged social groups as a result of shared issues and contexts. BEN’s most recent pioneering work is the development of methodology to engage ethnic minorities in the countryside with the environmental and heritage sectors, opening up access to enjoyment, volunteering and employment.
Judy has worked extensively in various sectors – in the arts, in psychotherapy and in community engagement. This multiple background means that she is uniquely place to take forward the development of an integrated approach to environmental participation, bringing together different fields and sharing cultural visions.