ASEAN’s Response to the Challenge of Biodiversity Loss

This event, moderated by Clarissa Arida, ACB, brought together key partners and stakeholders to share progress and experiences on the ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP) Programme. The second edition of the ASEAN Biodiversity Outlook (ABO2), showcasing developments for biodiversity conservation in the region, was also launched at the event.

Berthold Seibert, GIZ, presented the work of the ACB on the protection of biodiversity in ASEAN member states. He reported on three projects: the UN Development Programmes Small Grants Programme (SGP) project on strengthening biodiversity protection and management of natural resources in line with basic needs of communities in the ASEAN region; and two GIZ projects, on climate change, agriculture and natural resource management, and on cities, transport and energy.

Roberto V. Oliva, Executive Director, ACB, said that in 2005, ASEAN leaders made a decision to promote biodiversity protection on a regional basis across the Southeast Asian region to promote regional cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of, and fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of, biodiversity. In expressing gratitude for support towards regional cooperation efforts for biodiversity conservation, he presented a plaque of appreciation to CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias.

Dias said biodiversity in Southeast Asia is under intense pressure and urged increased conservation actions. He said collaborations between countries with similar history and social and environmental contexts are the best way to strengthen partnerships, lauding the ASEAN region for achieving regional cooperation in biodiversity conservation.

Saroj Srisai, ASEAN Secretariat, presented on the institutional framework of ASEAN cooperation for environmental issues and ASEANs efforts for regional and international cooperation for promoting biodiversity conservation. He identified key activities planned for 2017, which prioritize biodiversity, including the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes programme in recognizing outstanding achievements in biodiversity conservation and advocacy within the region, and implementation of an ASEAN-European Union agreement for the management of protected areas.

Arida presented the ASEAN-EU Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas (BCAMP) project, which is expected to improve effectiveness, generate knowledge and capacity building for biodiversity conservation and protected area management, and mainstream protected area management into development plans and education.

Praopan Tongsom, Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), Thailand, presented outcomes of the second ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity held in Thailand in February 2016 (ACB 2016). She highlighted key outcomes in diverse topics including on: agrobiodiversity; mainstreaming biodiversity into national and sectoral plans; and species conservation and wildlife management.

Win Naing Thaw, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Myanmar, discussed objectives and outcomes of the 5th ASEAN Heritage Parks Conference in sharing experience for solutions, good practices and tools to effectively manage and govern protected areas. He discussed the importance of,inter alia: collaborative partnerships for livelihood development; strategies for the management of invasive alien species (IAS); policy support and internationally-accepted standards for protected area management; and transboundary protected areas and wildlife law enforcement.

Sheila Vergara, Director, ACBs Biodiversity Information Management, presented the second edition of the ABO2. She noted that while ABO1 presented baselines, ABO2 assessed progress based on drivers of biodiversity loss, including climate change, over-exploitation, IAS and pollution. She highlighted ABO2s four chapters, namely: progress towards achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; biodiversity and changing environment; priority actions for enhancing implementation; and ABO: 2020 and beyond.

 

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