Protection of biodiversity in the ASEAN member states

Project description

Title: Protection of Biological Diversity in the ASEAN Member States in Cooperation with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (CARE4BioDiv)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: 10 ASEAN states, based in the Philippines
Lead executing agency: ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity
Overall term: 2015 to 2019

Philippines. Main office of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity. © GIZ

Context

Protecting biodiversity in the ASEAN states is essential for sustainable economic development in the region, a healthy environment and food security. However, in the face of diminishing biodiversity in all the countries concerned, action is required at regional level to facilitate an effective response.

Appropriate strategies and instruments are needed to meet the challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change. The political approaches pursued by individual ASEAN nations are not harmonised. Stakeholders currently involved in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity – both at governmental and non-governmental level – need to consider the threats and opportunities presented by climate change to a greater extent in their strategies.

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) in Los Baños in the Philippines was established in 2005. Its mandate is to harmonise at regional level and refine the varying political approaches adopted by ASEAN nations, and to collect and manage information and knowledge about the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The Centre also supports member states in their efforts to meet the targets set out in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UN-CBD) and functions as the Secretariat of the ASEAN initiative to develop ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP).

The Centre currently lacks the necessary human and financial resources to meet the growing need for strategies at the interface between biodiversity and climate change. The challenges of climate change must be better harnessed in order to firmly embed biodiversity issues in development policy.

Objective

As the body mandated to advise ASEAN member states on regional biodiversity and climate change policies and strategies, the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity is increasingly involved in the ASEAN integration process.

Approach

The project aims to make ACB and its key regional partners (the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN working groups and environment ministries) more effective. It supports ACB in developing its organisational structure and promotes the work of its partners in the member states on related processes and strategies. Subsidies, financing, pilot measures, workshops, dialogue events, studies and publications allow the Centre to offer its regional and global partners and the public at large a platform for services, information and strategy development. Measures to conserve biodiversity and natural ecological systems are to be combined with activities in other sectors, involving key social and political forces in the region where possible.

Support is also given to the Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) for the implementation of the ECO-BEST project on the issue of payment for environmental services in Thailand and Laos. ECO-BEST is cofinanced by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Based on its regional mandate, the project cooperates on a case by case basis with the bilateral projects and programmes in the ASEAN member states that are connected thematically. In the global context, the project works together with the Blue Solutions project commissioned by the German environment ministry in the field of protection of marine areas, thereby linking it to the ASEAN states.

Field activities of the project are implemented by GFA in cooperation with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), in and around ASEAN Heritage Parks in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Results

Support provided to the initiative for the development of ASEAN Heritage Parks has contributed to the designation of eight additional parks. Currently, 10 to 15 new areas have been proposed. Experience with the management and sustainable economic development of the terrestrial Heritage Parks is helping the member states to achieve the Aichi Targets under the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 (Nagoya Protocol).

Staff at the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity and the national partner organisations have gained valuable experience through exchange programmes and cooperation ‘on the ground’ with the member states.

Within the context of international exchange, ACB joined the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and regularly participates in its meetings.

ACB has designated staff members who, working independently, will be responsible for the modules of the future German development cooperation programme.