Promoting biodiversity-based products to improve livelihoods and protect biodiversity

Project description

Title: Biodiversity-based products as an economic source for the improvement of livelihoods and biodiversity protection
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


Together, the ASEAN member states are home to about 18 per cent of the world’s species. They account for three of the 18 mega-diverse countries, about 35 per cent of global mangrove forests and 30 per cent of the coral reefs. This wealth of biodiversity also creates opportunities for the economic development of the region.

The member states want to use this economic potential by further developing trade relations for bio-products (organic trade) at national, regional and perhaps global levels. However, the potential benefits of biodiversity-based products, especially for the local indigenous people in the buffer zones of protected areas, has not yet been adequately assessed, and their market potential is often unknown.

To promote the national conservation policies of its members, particularly in the framework of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), ASEAN has established the intergovernmental ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity to address the protection of biodiversity at the regional level. The centre develops and disseminates collective strategies and explores win-win opportunities that combine biodiversity protection with the improvement of livelihoods for the mostly poor population.


The ASEAN member states receive support from the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, according to their needs, for the promotion of biodiversity-based products to improve livelihoods and biodiversity protection.


This project is one of the three modules in the programme, Protection of Biological Diversity in the ASEAN Member States, which GIZ is implementing in cooperation with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity. It focuses on four areas of activity at regional, national and local levels:

  1. Policy advice: the development and implementation of a strategy to promote biodiversity-based value chains and policies in ASEAN and its member states.
  2. Information exchange: the creation of a central information platform to make existing policies workshops, and other information related to biodiversity-based products and value chains, available to the member states from the website of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity.
  3. Pilot measures: in the buffer zones of selected ASEAN heritage parks, biodiversity-based value chains are being piloted, which will improve livelihoods and promote biodiversity conservation. Experiences, good practices and lessons learned from the pilot measures will be documented and feed into the other areas of activity.
  4. Human capacity development: knowledge transfer to promote the importance and development of biodiversity-based value chains to relevant target groups within the member states.


The role of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity as a regional policy and strategy catalyst for the promotion of biodiversity-based products has been enhanced, and the cooperation between the key stakeholders in the region has been strengthened.

Memorandums of cooperation have been signed by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, GIZ/GFA and the environment ministries of Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam.

Proposals have been received and approved for eight pilot projects in the selected heritage parks in Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam.

Representatives of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity and the staff of GIZ projects in the region have received relevant training for the project activities.