Joint Statement of ASEAN Environment Ministers for the Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity

WE, the Ministers responsible for environment of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Member States of ASEAN, on the occasion of the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity;

RECOGNIZING that the ASEAN region occupies only three per cent of the earth’s total surface but is home to over 20 per cent of all known plant, animal and marine species, providing food, medicine, shelter, clothing and other biological goods and ecosystems services to almost 600 million people in ASEAN;

RENEWING our commitments made in the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Climate Change at the 19th ASEAN Summit in November 2011, the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Joint Response to Climate Change at the 16th ASEAN Summit in April 2010, the ASEAN Declaration on Environmental Sustainability at the 13th ASEAN Summit in November 2007, and the 2003 ASEAN Declaration on Heritage Parks;

COMMITTING to further strengthen ASEAN regional cooperation on biodiversity, as embodied in the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint of the Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on the Roadmap for the ASEAN Community (2009-2015), which aims to ensure ASEAN’s rich biological diversity is conserved and sustainably managed toward enhancing social, economic and environmental-well being as one of its strategic objectives;

ENHANCING the role of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity to function as an effective regional centre of excellence in promoting biodiversity conservation and management;

NOTING the Cha-am Declaration on Biodiversity adopted at the Asia Regional Forum on Biodiversity which recognizes that nature is the foundation of life and that protecting nature is the joint task of business, government, academia, and other multi-stakeholders in society;

FURTHER NOTING the regional initiatives, such as ASEAN-WEN, Heart of Borneo, Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security, ASEAN Heritage Parks, Greater Mekong Sub-Region; and the pivotal role of Indigenous and Local Communities (ILCs) and their traditional knowledge in the conservation of biodiversity;

REAFFIRMING our commitment to the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) namely the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources;

FURTHER REAFFIRMING our commitments to implement the CBD Strategic Plan on Biodiversity for the period 2011-2020 and the achievement of the Aichi Targets with the mission “to ensure that by 2020 ecosystems are resilient and continue to provide essential services, thereby securing the planet’s variety of life, and contributing to human well-being, and poverty eradication”;

NOTING the Multi-Year Plan of Action for South-South Cooperation on Biodiversity for Development, and reiterating ASEAN’s support to implement it in the context of nationally determined priorities, capacities and needs;
DO HEREBY AGREE TO:

  • REAFFIRM our right to sustainable development and urge the Parties to CBD to achieve the three objectives of the CBD namely conservation, sustainable use, and access and benefit sharing, in a balanced manner;
  • URGE all Parties to effectively implement the CBD Strategic Plan on Biodiversity for the period 2011 – 2020 and ensure that sufficient new and additional financial resources and appropriate transfer of relevant technologies are provided in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibility;
  • ENHANCE international cooperation in addressing the impacts of climate change by adopting an ecosystem-based approach that focuses on the role of biodiversity in adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, including REDD Plus mechanism;
  • NOTE the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising From Their Utilization, and urge Parties to develop domestic legislative, administrative and policy measures on Access and Benefit Sharing in contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, poverty eradication, and environmental sustainability;
  • URGE Parties, other governments, international organisations, the Global Environment Facility, regional development banks and other financial institutions, to provide financial resources to support national capacity building and development initiatives to support implementation of the Protocol;
  • RECOMMEND for the GEF-6 replenishment to provide support to Parties in the implementation of the Stategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and to provide support for national capacity building and development initiatives in the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol;
  • FURTHER REQUEST GEF to consider establishing a South-South biodiversity cooperation trust fund, based on voluntary contributions;
  • ENHANCE efforts on valuing ecosystem services and promoting investments by governments and private sector, considering also incentive and disincentive measures, and further promoting payment of ecosystem services schemes among the various stakeholders;
  • MOBILIZE efforts in awareness-raising in support of the “UN Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020” to promote implementation of the objectives of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, with the goal of significantly reducing biodiversity loss;
  • ENHANCE regional and national mechanisms to promote transition to a green economy, understanding its potential contribution for sustainable development and poverty alleviation in the region, including the conduct of an ASEAN study on the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity (ASEAN-TEEB) in the region as a means to mainstream green growth;
  • RESOLVE to make available information on the progress and development in working towards the Aichi Targets through the preparation of the 2nd ASEAN Biodiversity Outlook by 2015;
  • SUPPORT the implementation of the Plan of Action on Sub-national Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities on Biodiversity (CBD Decision X/22) and the application of the Singapore Index on Cities’ Biodiversity as a tool for cities and local authorities to monitor their biodiversity conservation efforts;
  • FURTHER RESOLVE to be more proactive in the capacity building program and public awareness campaign involving all concerned sectors and communities, forge policy-science interface for advocacy and decision-making, mainstreaming biodiversity conservation to the issues of poverty alleviation and climate change, and mainstream biodiversity conservation into other sectors; and engage cities and local authorities in national biodiversity conservation strategies and incorporating their inputs in national reporting frameworks.

Please click here to find more information on ASEAN’s Environment Ministers commitment to continued efforts in biodiversity conservation.