MEDIA RELEASE: ASEAN celebrates 35 years of ASEAN Heritage Parks

To discuss national and regional efforts in protected area management and to celebrate the milestones of the ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP) Programme in its 35 years of existence, policy makers, protected area managers, biodiversity experts, representatives from various international organisations, businesses, indigenous peoples and local communities, academia, and the youth will convene in the Sixth AHP Conference in Pakse, Champasak Province, Lao PDR from 21 to 24 October 2019. The conference is organised by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and the Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Lao PDR, with support from the European Union (EU) and the German Development Cooperation through the KfW.

With the theme Sustainability and Innovation for Parks and People, the conference will facilitate sharing of good and innovative protected area management practices and challenges being faced by the AHPs. It will also serve as a venue for the AHPs to showcase their biodiversity-based products through the AHP6 Marketplace and Exhibits.

The first day of the conference is the ASEAN-EU Policy Dialogue on Protected Areas and Wildlife that aims to bring together members of the ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity (AWGNCB), ASEAN Working Group on CITES and Wildlife Enforcement (AWGCITES-WE), the EU Delegations in ASEAN, and other development partners. This will be spearheaded by the ACB and the EU as part of the Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN (BCAMP) Project.

Parallel sessions will focus on the following: accelerating progress on Aichi Biodiversity Target 11; species and wildlife conservation; innovative financing; business and biodiversity; women, youth, and indigenous peoples and local communities; sustainable livelihood and biodiversity-based products; and ecosystem-based solutions.

The AHP Programme is a flagship programme of the ASEAN that was established to recognise national parks and nature reserves with outstanding wilderness and biodiversity values. It offers opportunities to strengthen regional connectivity and cooperation, as ecosystems and their services transcend national borders. The ACB serves as the Secretariat of the AHP Programme.

“To date there are 44 AHPs in the ASEAN region. We are pleased to share that five protected areas from Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam were nominated to join the growing network of AHPs. These are Hat Chao Mai National Park and Mu Ko Libong Non-hunting Area (Thailand); Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park (Thailand); Lo Go-Xa Mat National Park (Viet Nam); Ngoc Linh Nature Reserve (Viet Nam); and Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary (Myanmar),” said Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim, executive director of the ACB.

The AHPs are the best protected areas in the ASEAN region in terms of ecological completeness, biodiversity richness, and conservation importance. To know more about the AHPs and the ACB, log on to www.aseanbiodiversity.org.

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