ASEAN Cooperation on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity


  1. ASEAN is biologically rich with over 20 percent of all known species of plants, animals and marine organisms found in the region. The region is also home to three mega-diverse countries – Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. Philippines, for instance, holds the world’s fifth highest number of endemic mammals and birds. As of 2008, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines each have about 1,000 recorded endangered species.
  2.  ASEAN’s commitment to ensure that the rich biological diversity is conserved and sustainably managed toward enhancing social, economic and environmental well-being is reflected in the ASCC Blueprint (2009 – 2015).

ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2009-2015
Section D.8: Promoting Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Biodiversity
Strategic Objective: Ensure ASEAN’s rich biological diversity is conserved and sustainably managed toward enhancing social, economic and environmental wellbeing.


  1. Achieve by 2010, a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biodiversity through implementing relevant national, regional and international programmes of work;
  2. Promote collaboration, sharing of lessons learnt on access and equitable sharing of genetic and biological resources by 2015;
  3. Promote further listing and coordinated management of ASEAN Heritage Parks as an effective platform for ecosystem-based protected areas management by 2015;
  4. Enhance cooperation in the management of transboundary protected areas between neighbouring AMS
  5. Take appropriate measures to minimise impacts of transboundary movement of living modified organisms in accordance with the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-safety by 2015;
  6. Establish a functional regional network to promote capacity building in developing inventory of the biological resources and bio-safety measures of the ASEAN Region by 2015;
  7. Enhance the role and capacity of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity to function as an effective regional centre of excellence in promoting biodiversity conservation and management;
  8. Promote the involvement of local community to maintain biodiversity conservation and forest health by 2015;
  9. Promote effective management policies and practices to reduce the impact of invasive alien species at the regional and international levels;
  10. Promote regional cooperation on sustainable management of biodiversity such as sharing research and development experiences, exchange of experts, and training;
  11. Strengthen efforts to control transboundary trade in wild fauna and flora through the ASEAN Action Plan on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora 2005 – 2010 and the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network to implement commitments to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora;
  12. Explore cooperation among AMS to conduct joint survey and monitoring of migratory wildlife;
  13. Promote cooperation among AMS in combating and degradation for sustainable land management to support sustainable agriculture and environment

ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity

  1. Recognising the benefits of collective action towards achieving sustainable development as well as promoting clean and green environment, the ASEAN Leaders resolved to intensify cooperation in addressing problems associated with conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity through the establishment of the ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity (AWGNCB). The AWGNCB serves as a consultative platform to undertake concrete actions in ensuring that the region’s rich biological diversity is protected, conserved and sustainably managed. The AWGNCB shall also monitor and develop a common ASEAN stand where applicable on international and regional conventions and agreements related to nature conservation and biodiversity.

ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

  1. The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) was established in 2005 as a dedicated regional centre of excellence on biodiversity to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable use through policy support, networking, training, research, and database management.

ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) was established in 2005 to assist the AMS to protect and conserve its valuable and unique biodiversity resources
. The ACB supports ASEAN governments in the following areas that are of global and regional importance: agriculture and food security; access to, and fair and equitable sharing of benefits from biological and genetic resources; climate change and biodiversity conservation; ecotourism and biodiversity conservation; payment for ecosystems services scheme and valuation of biodiversity; wildlife enforcement; managing invasive alien species; peatland management and biodiversity; Global Taxonomic Initiative; support to the Programme of Work on Protected Areas; and managing biodiversity information and knowledge. These areas have been identified in the various global biodiversity related agreements such as the CBD, CITES, Ramsar Convention and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
 ACB’s core strategic goals are expected to benefit the AMS as follows:

  • serving as an effective coordinating body to facilitate discussion and resolution of cross-country biodiversity conservation issues
  • providing a framework and mechanism for sharing information, experiences, best practices and lessons learned for efficient access of AMS
  • implementing a pro-active approach in monitoring and assessing biodiversity conservation status as a strategic approach towards identifying critical issues and future trends
  • delivering/facilitating conduct of capacity-building services and technology transfer through engaging relevant and appropriate expertise
  • enhancing common understanding of biodiversity conservation issues strengthening ASEAN regional common understanding in negotiations and in compliance with relevant multilateral environmental agreements
  • promoting regional public awareness to develop champions and enhance support at different stakeholder levels on biodiversity concerns
  • undertaking innovative resource generation and mobilisation measures to pursue impact activities that will enhance biodiversity conservation in the region

ASEAN Heritage Parks Programme

  1. ASEAN Member States (AMS) share many species with their neighbours and as a whole are rather biologically distinct from the rest of the world. Five AMS are linked by the Mekong River while three AMS share the great island of Borneo, and therefore the coordinated conservation and sustainable use of this richness is crucial. In recognition thereof, ASEAN signed the ASEAN Declaration on Heritage Parks and Reserves in 1984, and agreed to designate 11 protected areas to be inscribed as the ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP). The AHP Programme serves as a regional network of national protected areas of high conservation importance preserving a complete spectrum of representative ecosystem to generate greater awareness, pride, appreciation, enjoyment, and conservation of ASEAN’s rich natural heritage. The declaration was revitalised in 2003 with ASEAN Declaration on Heritage Parks. The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) serves as the Secretariat of the ASEAN Heritage Parks Program.
  2. With the endorsement of the nomination of Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (MHRWS) and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP) from the Philippines by the 15th Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Environment (IAMME) on 30-31 October 2014 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, there are currently 35 ASEAN Heritage Parks.
  3. The ASEAN Heritage Parks are distributed as follows: Brunei Darussalam – 1; Cambodia – 2; Indonesia – 3; Lao PDR – 1; Malaysia – 3; Myanmar – 7; Philippines – 5; Singapore – 2; Thailand – 4; and Viet Nam – 5.
No.ASEAN Heritage ParksCountry
1Tasek Merimbun National ParkBrunei Darussalam
Preah Monivong National Park
Virachey National Park
Leuser National Park
Kerinci Seblat National Park
Lorentz National Park
Way Kambas National Park

8Nam Ha National Biodiversity Conservation AreaLao PDR
Kinabalu National Park
Mulu National Park
Taman Negara National Park

Alaungdaw Katthapa National Park
Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
Inle Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
Hkakaborazi National Park
Lampi Marine National Park
Nat Ma Taung National Park in Myanmar
Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary

Mt. Apo National Park
Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park
Mt. Kitanglad Range National Park
Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park
Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve
Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
Mts. Timpoong-Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Ao Phangnga-Mu Koh Surin-Mu Koh Similan Marine National Parks
Kaengkrachan Forest Complex
Kaho Yai National Park
Tarutao National Park

Kon Kan Kinh National Park
Chu Mom Ray National Park
Ba Be National Park
Hoang Lien Sa Pa National Park
U Minh Thuong National Park

Viet Nam
  1. As part of the AHP Programme, ASEAN Heritage Parks Conference is held regularly to bring together park managers, government officials, and other stakeholders to exchange information and views on parks management best practices. The latest conference was the 4th ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP) Conference held on 1-4 October 2013 in Tagaytay City, Philippines. With the theme “Integrating Global Challenges for Sustainable Development and Effective Management of Protected Areas,” the conference aimed to develop a strategy and concept to improve the management of AHP sites and other protected areas, taking into consideration the issues of climate change, biodiversity values, sustainable financing through ecotourism and engagement of private sector, and involvement of indigenous and local communities (including traditional knowledge and access and benefits sharing). The conference also provided recommendations toward the updating of the AHP Regional Action Plan for 2014-2020.

Ongoing/Completed Activities

  1. A Capacity-Building Workshop on the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing and Traditional Knowledge Digital Library for ASEAN and India, supported under the ASEAN-India Green Fund, was held on 4-5 September 2012, in New Delhi, India. The Workshop recommended exploring further ASEAN-India cooperation on Access and Benefit-Sharing, Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, and other areas of biodiversity such as urban biodiversity and achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.


  1. The ASEAN-India Environment Ministers Meeting (AIEMM) was held on 6-7 September 2012 in New Delhi, India, as one of the commemorative activities to mark the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN-India dialogue relations. The AIEMM focused on biodiversity with the theme ‘Learning from the Past, Assessing the Present and Planning for the Future’ in view of the recently concluded Rio+20 Summit and the (then) forthcoming Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on 8 – 19 October 2012 in Hyderabad, India. The AIEMM adopted the New Delhi ASEAN-India Ministerial Statement on Biodiversity, expressing commitment to mutual cooperation with a view of achieving the objectives of CBD to conserve and sustainably utilise biological diversity in the region.

Ongoing Activities

  1. Biodiversity and Climate Change Project (BCCP). The overall objective of BCCP is to support AMS in developing and enhancing their strategies to appropriately address the interface between biodiversity and climate change. With support from the Federal Republic of Germany though the GIZ for 5 years, 2010-2015, this project is envisioned to be increasingly oriented towards regional policy development focusing on ecosystems management and enhancing economic benefits from biodiversity. BCCP supports AMS through the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) on: [a] implementing sustainable development options for selected ecosystems; and [b] utilising the concepts and instruments developed by ACB on enhancing the use of economic and financial tools for ecosystems and biodiversity.
  2. Small Grants Programme (SGP) for Biodiversity Conservation in Southeast Asia. The project is supported by the KfW Entwicklungsbank (German Development Bank) in selected AMS. SGP pilot countries for the initial phase will cover Indonesia and Myanmar only. SGP aims to improve biodiversity protection in line with the interest of local population directly dependent on selected AHPs and adjacent areas; to improve the livelihood of local communities directly dependent on selected AHPs or adjacent areas; and to strengthen the role of ACB in promoting biodiversity protection among the ASEAN Member States.
  3. The ASEAN-Korea Environmental Cooperation Project (AKECOP) Phase VII titled “Restoration of Degraded Ecosystems and Conservation of Biodiversity in the ASEAN Region” with support from the ASEAN-ROK Special Cooperation Fund continues to be implemented for 2014-2015. The Project has gone through a lot of changes since it started its activities in Phase I (July 2000~June 2005) and Phase II (June 2005~June 2008) under the theme “Restoration of Degraded Forest Ecosystem in the Southeast Asian Tropical Region” up to Phase III (July 2008~June 2011) under the theme “Restoration of Degraded Terrestrial and Mangrove Forest Ecosystems in ASEAN Region”. AKECOP Phase IV up to VI were implemented since 2011 on a one (1) year duration funded by the ASEAN-ROK Special Cooperation Fund. The project aims to restore degraded forest land and conserve ecosystem through practical collaboration between AMS and ROK and to develop capacity building of human resources through educational or training program.


Declarations/Joint Statements

  1. The Joint Statement by the ASEAN Environment Ministers to the Twelfth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 12) was conveyed at the High-level Segment of CBD COP 12 on 15 October 2014 in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, to express their commitment to the implementation of the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets.

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