ACB-Germany-ASEAN Launch Programme on Biodiversity

Group_photo_acb_germany-asean7 April 2015, Jakarta, Indonesia — A program that will protect the biological diversity, promote the sustainable management of natural ecosystems, and improve the livelihoods of the local population in the ASEAN region was launched today by Germany and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Titled “Protection of Biological Diversity in the ASEAN Member States in Cooperation with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity”, the launch coincided with the program’s planning workshop on April 7 to 10.

The new German support to the ASEAN region combines three modules – the “Institutional Strengthening of the Biodiversity Sector in ASEAN (ISB)”, the “Small Grants Programme (SGP)”, and the “Biodiversity-based Products as an Economic Source for the Improvement of Livelihoods and Biodiversity Protection (BBP)”.

The ISB, with funding from the BMZ, will continue the gains of the first German Technical Cooperation between ACB and GIZ – the Biodiversity and Climate Change Project (BCCP). A five-year initiative which concluded in March 2015, the BCCP institutionalized ACB’s core program on biodiversity and climate change, contributing to an ASEAN-wide biodiversity conservation strategy to mitigate climate change.

ISB will support the ASEAN Member States in developing and enhancing their strategies to appropriately address the governance institutions of biodiversity in the region; strengthening the ASEAN Heritage Parks Programme; valuing of biodiversity and its ecosystem services; monitoring and evaluating the Convention on Biological Diversity Targets; establishing a regional biodiversity information platform; and developing the capacity of the ASEAN Member States in negotiations in international conventions and other multi-lateral environmental agreements.

The ISB is also supporting the ASEAN Member States by implementing sustainable development options for selected ecosystems, and utilizing the concepts and instruments developed by the ACB on enhancing the use of economic and financial tools for ecosystems and biodiversity.

With funding support from KfW, ACB is implementing the SGP in selected ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP). The five-year programme, as a flexible funding mechanism, seeks to improve biodiversity protection and the livelihood of the local population directly dependent on selected AHPs and adjacent areas; address the problem of unsustainable livelihoods and over-exploitation of scarce natural resources in protected areas which threaten Southeast Asia’s rich biodiversity; and strengthen the role of ACB in promoting biodiversity protection among the ASEAN Member States.

Funded by the BMZ, ACB will jointly implement the BBP with GIZ. Examples of BBPs are natural cosmetics, pharmaceutical and food products, additives, leather, textiles, flowers, fish products, handicrafts and other agricultural and forest based (non-timber) products. Promoting BBPs is a priority of ASEAN Member States as such products help improve livelihoods and the conservation of biodiversity. The BBP aims to enhance biodiversity conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity resources; improve livelihoods; and add value to BBPs along local, regional and international value chains by increasing the recognition of BBPs in Southeast Asia.

The planning workshop in Jakarta will enable stakeholders and relevant parties to review the program’s concepts; and exchange views on perspectives, interests, and concerns in each module, leading to a consistent program structure and framework. The workshop will also discuss approaches and strategies on how the program can effectively support and contribute to the ASEAN integration process.

Participants are staff from ACB and the three program modules; members of the ACB Governing Board; representatives from the ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity, the ASEAN Working Group on Marine and Coastal Environment, and the AHP Committee; delegates from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, ASEAN Secretariat, German Embassy in Jakarta, EU Delegation in Jakarta, GIZ Offices in the Philippines and Indonesia, KfW Office in Jakarta; and the ACB National Contact Points in the 10 ASEAN Member States.

The workshop’s opening program was addressed by H.E. Alicia de la Rosa Bala, ASEAN Deputy Secretary General for the ASEAN Socio-cultural Community; Atty. Roberto V. Oliva, Executive Director, ACB; Mrs. Jessica Engel of the Development Cooperation Division, Embassy of Germany in Indonesia; and Dr. Berthold Seibert, Program Director, GIZ. Deputy Secretary-General Bala emphasized ASEAN’s commitment to enhance policy and capacity development and best management practices to ensure ASEAN’s rich biological diversity is conserved and sustainably managed toward enhancing social, economic and environmental well-being.

She thanked the Federal Government of Germany for its continued confidence in, interest and support provided to ASEAN and in particular, to ASEAN environmental cooperation. Director Oliva cited Germany for its long-term commitment to support biodiversity conservation in the ASEAN region. He said the new phase of ACB-German cooperation augurs well for ACB as it celebrates its 10th founding anniversary and ACB’s decade of cooperation with the ASEAN Member States.

Mrs. Engel briefly explained the extent of technical cooperation between Germany and the ASEAN.

Dr. Seibert reiterated Germany’s continuing collaboration with ASEAN in ensuring the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity in Southeast Asia.

A side event of the workshop will be an ASEAN Youth Forum on Biodiversity to be held at the University of Indonesia on April 10. The forum is organized by Sahabat Alam, the winner of the 2014 ASEAN Youth Champion of Biodiversity Awards.

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