ACB joins the Asian initiative on ecosystem restoration
The forests of Asia are of immense ecological, social and economic importance, covering 549 million hectares, or 14 percent of the total global coverage. The area provides vital ecosystem services and protection from climate impacts for 4.5 billion people living in the region.
These ecosystems contribute to the spiritual, cultural and physical well-being of people in Asia and the Pacific.
With increasing pressures on biodiversity in recent years, the conservation of vital habitats and ecosystems has become an urgent priority.
Executive Director Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim of the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) said the economic benefits arising from the sustainable use of biological resources are essential to the overall stability of ASEAN.
“Disruptions to these vital ecological processes can therefore have substantial or even serious impacts affecting the safety, health and well-being of individuals and communities,” Lim said.
ACB joined the ‘International Symposium on Ecosystem Restoration for Green Asia and Peace’, an online event held on August 18 that aims to network among forest-related institutions in the Asian region, policy makers and international organizations.
The symposium was organized by the Korea Society of Forestry Sciences and the Institutes of Biosciences and Green Technologies at Seoul National University.
He highlighted success stories and lessons learned from ecosystem restoration projects or programs in Asia, including regional organizations, such as ACB and the Asian Forestry Cooperation Organization (AFoCO), who shared and discussed their respective greening strategies.
These reforestation initiatives contribute to the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration, a global call to rehabilitate and restore the world’s vulnerable ecosystems.
ASEAN Green Initiative
Among Asean’s responses to the global call for ecosystem restoration is the Asean Green Initiative (AGI), which was launched on August 6.
Led by ACB and the Asean Secretariat, the AGI aims to recognize the best ecosystem restoration activities in the region that focus on a holistic and participatory approach in the regeneration and conservation of vital ecosystems and habitats. for wildlife.
The initiative encourages the planting of at least 10 million native tree species in the 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) over a period of 10 years – or 10.10.10 – in harmony with the Decade of Nations United for Ecosystem Restoration.
“The 10.10.10 target is just the start of a collective greening movement in the region, and even beyond,” Lim said.
She stressed that “meaningful collaboration and cooperation among development and dialogue partners” are essential to intensify regeneration and restoration efforts.
Establish all over Asia
After the symposium, ACB and AFoCO met to discuss common areas of collaboration.
Capacity development for forestry and biodiversity conservation, mapping of degraded ecosystems and promotion of AGI were among the steps identified during the meeting.
The formation of a working group composed of representatives of the two regional organizations is in preparation to better flesh out the concept and plans of the future partnership.
The ACB also had initial talks for a possible partnership with the Republic of Korea, particularly in the area of coastal and marine conservation.
Lim said Korea’s green growth policies could be synchronized with ACB’s efforts to mainstream biodiversity into various sectors, including business, industries and finance.
During the symposium, she pointed out that pro-nature prospects and processes in the economic and financial sectors would alleviate the pressure of land use expansion and conversion which has a huge impact on large areas. forests and other vital ecosystems.
Restoring ecosystems is a massive global endeavor that would take a holistic approach to society. Thus, cultivating these partnerships and forging a solid cooperation within and beyond ASEAN is essential to rebuild better and more ecologically.
In addition to ACB and AFoCO, other regional organizations, such as the Center for International Forestry Research and the Mekong Institute, attended the international symposium, as well as resource persons from Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea from the South, the Philippines, Mongolia, Vietnam and Uzbekistan who also shared their respective greening strategies.
Image courtesy of Ramon Ramirez from the DENR website