Now is the time for ASEAN member states to join a global effort to protect at least 30% of Earth’s land and oceans

AsiaNet 89706

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 25, 2021 (Antara / Bernama-AsiaNet) – On World Biodiversity Day, a growing number of elected officials, indigenous leaders, scientists and other experts are calling on leaders of ASEAN to endorse ambitious proposals to protect biodiversity and advance the rights of indigenous peoples through the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

After a year of delay, formal negotiations for the Convention on Biological Diversity resumed this month and are expected to end in Kunming, China, in October. As delegates from 196 countries – including all ASEAN member states – participate in the negotiations, all eyes are on the ASEAN region. As one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, ASEAN member states have a crucial role to play in shaping a successful global strategy to safeguard biodiversity. ASEAN is a leader among like-minded megadiverse countries that have championed the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity since its inception in 2002 and are home to 70% of the world’s biodiversity.

Although ASEAN member states have yet to finalize their positions, there is growing support around the world for a scientific proposal to conserve at least 30% of the world’s land and oceans, which would respect indigenous rights and involve indigenous peoples and local communities as partners in implementation.

The 30×30 proposal is championed by the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC) – an intergovernmental coalition of over 60 countries co-chaired by Costa Rica, France and the United Kingdom. Cambodia is the first HAC member from the ASEAN region. The other Asian members are Japan, Pakistan and the Maldives. The 30×30 proposal has been included in the draft strategy of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity as a global target, as countries will have different opportunities for biodiversity conservation depending on the particular circumstances of their national territory. How to implement such a globally agreed goal should be a sovereign decision made in collaboration with the best science.

Overwhelming scientific evidence and economic data show that conserving at least 30% of the planet’s land and oceans is a key way to help tackle global biodiversity loss – in addition to storing carbon, preventing future pandemics, stimulate economic growth, increase fisheries production, and promote indigenous rights.

The economic benefits are significant: An independent study prepared by more than 100 economists and experts found that reaching the 30% target would result in at least five times the financial benefits and ecosystem services.

With these benefits in mind, the following leaders explain why ASEAN member states should publicly support the 30×30 global goal and advance the rights of indigenous peoples.

The undersigned approve this declaration:

1. Prof Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid – Chairman of Atri Advisory, Ambassador and Scientific Advisor for the Campaign for Nature, former Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia

2. Dr Antonio GM La Viña – Executive Director, Manila Observatory, former Under Secretary for the Environment, Philippines

3. Prof Dr Emil Salim – Member, Brundtland Commission, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the President of Indonesia, former Minister of State for Population and Environment

4. Dr Yongyuth Yuthavong – Senior Advisor to the President, National Science and Technology Development Agency, former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand

5. Dr Salleh Mohd Noor – Former President, International Union of Forestry Research Institutes, 2016 Merdeka Prize Laureate, Former Secretary General of the Malaysian Academy of Sciences

6. Dr Ravi Sharma – Advisor for Athena Infonomics, formerly at the CBD Secretariat, Montreal

7. Dr Saw Leng Guan – Curator of Penang Botanic Gardens, Medal Recipient of Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

8. Prof Dr Ahmad Ismail – President, Malaysian Nature Society, Fellow, Academy of Sciences Malaysia

9. Prof Dr Mohamad Osman – Former President, Genetics Society of Malaysia

10. Prof Dr Khatijah Yusoff – Vice-President, World Academy of Sciences, 2015 Merdeka Prize Laureate

Possible quotes:

. Prof Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid (Malaysia)

Ambassador and Science Advisor for the Campaign for the Wild, former Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, ASEAN Biodiversity Hero 2017 for Malaysia

“To overcome the current global health crisis and alleviate the ones to come, science guides us. Having delivered life-saving COVID-19 vaccines – which the IMF estimates will cost the global economy $ 28 trillion by 2025 – scientists are now urging us to preserve unspoiled natural areas in order to prevent the future of outbreaks of similar infectious diseases. Protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030 is a timely and important action to defend and improve the health of our planet, our economies and ourselves. I urge all Malaysians and ASEAN neighbors to support this goal. ”

. Prof Dr Emil Salim (Indonesia)

Chairman of the Advisory Board of the President of Indonesia, former Minister of State for Population and Environment

“The proposal to protect at least 30 percent of the planet by 2030 is based on the belief that the best conservation actions are those that benefit local communities and reflect local wisdom. Adopting and contributing to this global goal is a powerful opportunity for ASEAN countries to re-engage nature conservation as an essential means of achieving sustainable economic growth. ”

. Yongyuth Yuthavong (Thailand)

Senior Advisor to the President, National Science and Technology Development Agency, former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand

“The science is extremely clear: we need to protect more of our planet and time is running out. The proposal to protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030 is ambitious, achievable and a good first step towards solving the problems. crisis facing our natural world. Currently, Thailand still owns 32% natural forest land and 10% economic forest land. In our strategic plan, we aim to achieve 35% natural forest land and 15% economic forest land. I encourage all ASEAN countries to support the important global goal, at least through national plans and cooperation with the global community. ”

. Dr Antonio GM La Viña

Executive Director, Manila Observatory, Former Under Secretary for the Environment, Philippines

“It is increasingly recognized that an effective response to climate change will require greater attention and increased investment in nature conservation. I encourage all ASEAN countries to embrace the proposal to protect at least 30 percent of the planet as an important part of an ambitious climate. strategy.”

. Prof Dr Ahmad Ismail

President, Malaysia Nature Society, Fellow, Academy of Sciences Malaysia

“Malaysia, as the 12th mega-biodiversity country in the world, should address its biodiversity for the benefit of mankind. Not only by protecting a sufficient area of ​​forest land and marine areas, but developing capacity building for the protection, management and conservation of nature. ”

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Name: Azmil Zakri

SOURCE: Atri Notice


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