ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity (AWGNCB)

Bonn, 1 June 2016 – The 2016 meeting of the AWGNCB was held in Hanoi, Viet Nam from 23 to 27 May and was attended by ASEAN member countries, partner organizations such as the Convention on Migratory Species (represented by Francisco Rilla, the Capacity-building Officer), the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB), the ASEAN Secretariat, government organizations, and other regional and international NGOs.  

The countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are home to a wild range of species, including endangered ones, facing pressures and threats from development activities. Since 1991, ASEAN has reinforced its sustainable development target and its promotion of a clean and green environment by establishing a Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity (AWGNCB). It also enforces the cooperation within the region aiming primarily at the protection, conservation and sustainable management of biological diversity.

The Working Group serves as a consultative platform for ongoing actions and to develop a unique stand that will strengthen the region’s position on an international and regional level during convention and agreement negotiations. In 2005, ASEAN established the ACB to implement the same targets through policy support, networking, training, research and database management.

AWGNCB-26 first aimed at reviewing past activities and the progress of its programmes on nature conservation and biodiversity coordinated with partners of ASEAN. Particularly, the meeting was the opportunity for delegates’ countries to share experiences, seek solutions and propose ideas, in addition to new initiatives regarding ASEAN activities on nature conservation and biodiversity.

More precisely, the following issues were discussed during the meeting:

o   the status of the programme of ASEAN Heritage Parks;

o   ACB’s Operations Center;

o   CMS capacity-building activities to promote the Convention in the region.

o   projects to restore degraded forest ecosystems in tropical Southeast Asia;

o   management and conservation of biodiversity of protected areas in ASEAN;

o   partnership development of China-ASEAN for friendly urban ecology;

o   ASEAN draft of a UN-ASEAN work plan on the Environment and Climate Change 2016-2020

AWGNCB-26 also served to enhance cooperation and to support the implementation of the:

o   ASEAN Social-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2025;

o   Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020;

o   Aichi goals on biodiversity conservation.

In order to provide a framework for the AWGNCB’s activities in the region; the establishment of common objectives will strengthen the future position of ASEAN when it comes to the implementation of commitments and international agreements.  The Action Plan will also serve as the basis for the search and called on donors regarding ASEAN activities in the current climate change context.

Francisco Rilla provided updated information on the previous Capacity-building Workshop held in Manila, Philippines from 27-29 October 2015, and on the next CMS COP 12 which will take place in the Philippines 22-28 October 2017.  It was also highlighted that the Philippines is the only ASEAN country to have ratified CMS, and other ASEAN Member States were therefore encouraged to consider joining the Convention.

Last updated on 21 June 2016

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