Syeda Rizwana Hasan (born 15 January 1968) is a Bangladeshi attorney and environmentalist. She has particularly focused on regulations for the shipbreaking industry in Bangladesh, and was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2009.[1] She was also awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2012 for her “uncompromising courage and impassioned leadership in a campaign of judicial activism in Bangladesh that affirms the peoples right to a good environment as nothing less than their right to dignity and life.”[2]


Hasan attended Viqarunnisa Noon School and College for her secondary education and Holy Cross College for her higher secondary education, before attending Dhaka University for her bachelor’s and master’s degree in law.[3]


Hasan got involved in the shipbreaking industry, first suing the breaking yards in Chittagong in 2003 for, among other reasons, bringing health hazards to the workers, poor working conditions, and improper waste disposal. In response, in March 2003 the court declared shipbreaking without an environmental clearance from the appropriate department illegal.[3] Hasan continues to strive for more labour rights and a safer working environment in the industry.[4] She has also successfully sued organizations involved in filling lakes to build real estate, the improper use of polythene, hill cutting, deforestation, shrimp farming, and building illegal establishments on St. Martin’s Island.[3]


Under Hasan’s leadership, BELA won the Global 500 Roll of Honor in 2003 by the United Nations Environment Program.[5] She herself won:[3][5][6]

She has also been dubbed as a Hero of Environment by the American news magazine TIME.[3][4][7]

Personal life

Hasan was born in Habiganj to the parents Mahibul and Suraiya Hasan.[3] She married her classmate lawyer-entrepreneur Abu Bakr Siddique, and has a daughter and two sons.[6]