ASEAN to Promote Biodiversity Conservation for Sustainable Development

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Bangkok, 15 February 2016 – More than 500 biodiversity stakeholders gathered today in Bangkok for the ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity 2016 (ACB2016). The Conference, with the theme “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development,” is held for the second time after the first Conference in 2009 in Singapore.

The ACB2016 was opened by H.E. General Surasak Karnjanarat, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand; H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community; and Atty. Roberto Oliva, Executive Director, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity.

In his keynote remarks, DSG Vongthep stressed the importance of regional and global cooperation to address biodiversity conservation. “With millions of people depending primarily on this natural resource base, many of these marine and terrestrial resources and ecosystems have come under increasing stress. The stress alone on these natural resources is so complex that not one nation can lay claim to solving this problem, which transcends national boundaries. As such, this calls for increased concerted and proactive regional and global cooperation to ensure sustainability of these life-giving resources and the ecosystems.”

ACB2016 aims to provide a forum to exchange perspectives on initiatives that address biodiversity issues in the region and to discuss steps forward in advancing the ASEAN biodiversity agenda within the context of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the newly adopted global mandate on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

ACB2016 will have plenary presentations and discussions on issues under the Convention on Biological Diversity; the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020; and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, including new and emerging issues on biodiversity; and the contribution of the Convention on Biological Diversity to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and its importance in the region.

Four major biodiversity concerns will be highlighted in the ACB2016: (i) Progress in achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and its linkages to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; (ii) Ecosystem-based approaches to manage critical ecosystems and biodiversity; (iii) Sustainable use and benefit sharing; and (iv) Business and biodiversity.

The Conference is held back-to-back with a number of parallel side events, among others the soft launch of the Second ASEAN Biodiversity Outlook, the Partners Forum, and the ASEAN Meeting in Preparation for the 20th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice and the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, to be held in April 2016 in Montreal, Canada and in Cancun, Mexico in December 2016, respectively. An exhibition is also set up during the Conference to showcase the rich biodiversity of ASEAN Member States and various initiatives of ASEAN countries, ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, and other partner organisations on biodiversity conservation.

The three-day Conference is hosted by the Royal Thai Government and co-organised by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity in cooperation with the ASEAN Member States and partner organisations. Participants in this Conference include government officials from the ASEAN Member States, international organisations, scientific and research community, private sector, NGOs and academe.

For more information on the ACB2016, please visit: https://www.aseanbiodiversity.org/acb2016/#conference

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