Asean Biodiversity: Combating Land Degradation

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Asean Biodiversity: Combating Land Degradation

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Biodiversity will continue to bring you information on biodiversity conservation and management and other related concerns and issues from the 10 ASEAN Member-Countries (AMCs) – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (PDR), Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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  1. Contents Volume 1, Number 1 October-December 2006 Editor in Chief ABOUT YOU AND US Thailand Monina T. Uriarte Editorial Integrated Desertification We Are Back .................................................................................. 3 Control Activities Creative Artist to Arrest Degradation .............................................. 38 Nanie S. Gonzales 2006 in a Nutshell ............................................................. 4 Vietnam The ASEAN Centre Intensifying Environmental Writer for Biodiversity ........................................................................... 7 Protection ......................................................................................... 41 Sahlee Bugna-Barrer SPECIAL REPORTS PROFILES Hastening Ecological Preah Monivong (Bokor) EDITORIAL BOARD Restoration Using Beneficial National Park ............................................................................ 44 Microorganisms ..................................................................... 10 Members Mt. Kinabalu National Park .......................... 48 Roland Y.C. Yap Nam Ha National Diector, NPRM Protected Area ....................................................................... 52 Ma. Consuelo D. Garcia Director, BIM BOOKMARKS Aida B. Lapis Surfing the Web of Life ...................................... 54 Lauro S. Punzalan Imelda C. Pangga Philippines to Host Alma C. Logmao 12th ASEAN Summit .............................................. 56 39th ASEAN Day Celebrations ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) Philippines’ Best Practice Held in the Philippines ............................................ 57 to Combat Land Degradadtion ................. 13 Setting the Directions for ACB ........... 58 Headquarters: P.O. Box 35015 College, Laguna 4031 UNCCD COUNTRY REPORTS Philippines Desertification and Land Telefax: +63-49.536-2865 Degradation in ASEAN ........................................... 14 E-mail: Website: Cambodia Improving Agricultural Practices ACB Annex: to Enhance Soil Productivity ...................... 15 Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center Indonesia North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, 1156 Land Rehabilitation through Extensive Philippines Forest Programs .................................................................. 18 ACB Hits the International Email: Lao PDR Scene ........................................................................................................ 60 Printed by: IDG Quality Printing Corporation A Strategic Vision for the Forest and Signing of the Host Country Agriculture Sectors ....................................................... 21 Agreement of the ASEAN No. of Copies: 5,000 Malaysia Centre for Biodiversity .......................................... 62 Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed Promoting Sustainable Land Green Philippines Highways herein do not necessarily represent any Resource Management ........................................... 25 Project Launched with official view of the European Union or the Myanmar .5 Million Seedlings Planted ....................... 63 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat. The authors are Long-term Plans to Arrest Working Together to Protect responsible for any data or information Desertification ........................................................................ 29 Life on Earth .............................................................................. 64 presented in their articles. Philippines PUBLICATIONS Mainstreaming Agriculture Capsule Reviews of Some Letters, articles, suggestions and photos are and Rural Development welcome and should be addressed to: Training Resources Programs ............................................................................................ 33 Database Entries ................................................................ 66 The Editor-in-Chief ASEAN Biodiversity Singapore ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity Cover: Sand dunes in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, College, Laguna A Balance Between Philippines. Photo by Tina Basco Development and Nature .................................... 36 E-mail: 2 • OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2006
  2. ABOUT YOU AND US nity/NGO driven project entitled Editorial “Community Based Dry Land Wa- tershed Management Approach: A We Are Back Small Scale Grassroots Solution to Combat Desertification. The author discusses the project’s guiding prin- Y ES, DEAR READERS, ASEAN Biodiversity will continue to bring you information on biodiversity con- Accordingly, about 4 billion hectares (1/3 of the earth’s land surface) are threatened by desertification, and over ciples, among which are: reclaiming degraded land through market-de- fined soil and water conservation servation and management and other 250 million people directly affected measures; community initiatives and related concerns and issues from the by it, and one billion people in over farmer-lead collective actions, and 10 ASEAN Member-Countries 100 countries at risk. self-help and shared responsibility par- (AMCs) – Brunei Darussalam, Cam- Today, some 191 countries (includ- ticipatory approach. bodia, Indonesia, Lao Peoples Demo- ing the 9 ASEAN countries) have The other article discusses the cratic Republic (PDR), Malaysia, already become Parties to the results of a research study entitled Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, UNCCD, and are obligated to “pre- “Hastening Ecological Restoration Thailand and Vietnam. pare national action programs at the Using Beneficial Microorganisms”. For the information of first time regional and sub-regional levels”. The authors are hopeful that through readers, ASEAN In the ASEAN re- the use of microorganisms, rehabili- Biodiversity was first ports, you will note that tation of the environment would take published by the the more common place, vegetation would likely be re- ASEAN Regional Cen- causes of these environ- stored, and ecological succession of tre for Biodiversity mental issues that are degraded and denuded areas may be Conservation (ARCBC), now threatening biologi- attained. then a five-year project cal resources have been You will also find inside this (February 1999 – De- traced to human-in- magazine profiles of selected ASEAN cember 2004) funded by duced activities such as Heritage Parks, a regular section of the European Union. deforestation, poor ag- this magazine. The Parks profiled are Since then ASEAN ricultural practices in- the Preah Monivong National Park Biodiversity has gained cluding fertilizer use, of Cambodia; the Nam Ha Protected a wide readership not and overgrazing. These Area of Lao PDR; and Mt. Kinabalu only in the ASEAN but also in 60 are over and above such natural di- National Park in Malaysia. other countries all over the world. And sasters like the El Niño spells, flood- This issue still has the 4-page pull- withe the establishment of the ASEAN ing, global warming and others, which out Focus section that describes plant Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), the sometimes could also be attributed to and animal species within the ASEAN ASEAN Governing Board deemed it unregulated human activities. How region. In focus here are plant spe- essential to also endorse the regular each country hopes to or is already cies, namely: Bauhinia malabaricum production of ASEAN Biodiversity by doing to combat this growing envi- (Roxb.), Pithecellobium dulce (Roxb.) the Centre. ronmental challenge is likewise dis- Benth, Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaerth, This maiden issue of ASEAN cussed in the articles. and Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash. Biodiversity under the ACB features Added to the Special Reports There are a lot more interesting the country reports of nine ASEAN section of this issue are two articles information you will find as you go countries on desertification and land that briefly discuss some of the ef- through all the pages. We hope that degradation. These articles are sum- forts of the Philippine government to ASEAN Biodiversity will continue to marized versions of country reports combat land degradation. One is inspire and keep you updated of the of each ASEAN country to the United entitled “Philippines’ Best Practice to latest news, reports and other infor- Nations Convention to Combat De- Combat Land Degradation and De- mation about biodiversity conserva- sertification (UNCCD). The sertification”. The author shares that tion and protection and related issues UNCCD defines desertification as the “Philippines best practice to around the ASEAN region. “land degradation in arid, semi-arid combat land degradation and incipi- The theme for the second issue and dry sub-humid areas, resulting ent desertification is a multiple-agency, coming out in March 2007 is “Data from various factors, including cli- -country, self-financed, international Sharing and Biodiversity Information matic variations and human activity.” and local partnership of a commu- Exchange.” ASEAN BIODIVERSITY • 3
  3. ABOUT YOU AND US 2006 in a Nutshell 4 September 2006 – Experts in national park in 1999. The project which is listed in the Convention Indonesia say they have found aims to establish a foundation of on Trade in Endangered Species evidence suggesting that four support and management to (CITES). – Viet Nam News Javan rhino calves have been maintain the biological integrity and born in recent weeks, raising connectivity of KKK national park 19 June 2006 - Indonesia has hopes over the prospects for a and KCR nature reserve. – Viet announced plans to create a species on the brink of Nam News marine protected area (MPA) © WWF-Canon / Cat Holloway over 1.2 million hectares off extinction. Fewer than 60 Javan Manta Ray rhinos are left worldwide, most of 10 July 2006 - Scientists trying the eastern coast of the Derawan them believed to be living in and dolphins returning to the to photograph wild tigers deep in Archipelago in the Sulawesi Sea. Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National area. Working to restore the the Indonesian jungle captured a The area is an integral part of Park on the far west of Java area’s once rich marine glimpse of another endangered WWF’s Sulu-Sulawesi Marine island. A team of biologists and biodiversity, the World Wildlife species instead - the Sumatran Ecoregion, which contains some wardens saw signs of baby rhinos Fund (WWF), in close coordination ground cuckoo (Carpococcyx 450 species of coral and supports in the park, including small with the local government of viridis). An Indonesian-British footprints next to larger Mabini, has been implementing a survey team released rare images footprints belonging to the coastal resource management of the short, brown fowl, with mother in a number of locations. program for several years, black and green plumes, taken The team then came face-to- including the creation of with a sensor-triggered camera. face with a calf, identified as a community-based marine law The July spotting, near Kerinci female, and her mother. The only enforcement units and funding Seblat National Park in central- other known population of the other marine conservation west Sumatra, was the third © WWF-Canon / Jürgen Freund Javan rhino, the rarest of the activities. Currently, WWF is known recording of the bird since A feather star in the Sulu- world’s five rhino species, is in assisting the local municipality in 1916. The Sumatran rain forests Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion. Cat Tien National Park in developing water-use and zoning contain some of the world’s Vietnam. – Reuters plans for Mabini’s waters to richest biodiversity but they are one of the world’s largest further enhance coastal resource also among the world’s most varieties of reef fish, as well as 20 August 2006 – Ecologically management in the area. – WWF threatened forests, due mainly to commercial and community rich Bueng Kut Ting, a lake in illegal logging. – Associated Press fisheries. WWF and The Nature Nong Khai province in Thailand 9 August 2006 - Vietnam’s Conservancy are currently working that has fed and nurtured Ministry of Planning and 5 July 2006 - The latest survey with the Berau District and local generations, will be proposed as Investment (MPI) recently by the Global Environment Fund/ communities in developing a zoning a new internationally launched the project Making the World Bank-funded Integrating plan that will include no-take important wetland, or Ramsar link: The connection and Watershed and Biodiversity zones, as well as traditional-use site. If approved, Bueng Kut Ting sustainable management of Kon Management in Chu Yang Sin zones where only small-scale will be the 11th Ramsar site in Ka Kinh national park (KKK NP) National Park in Dac Lac traditional fishing will be allowed. Thailand and will give the area and Kon Cha Rang nature Province in Vietnam focused on Other zones will be set up for the opportunity to receive reserve (KCR NR). The KKK fish and butterfly faunas. A total tourism, fishing and other financial support for its national park contains 33,565 ha of 81 species was recorded, of recreational activities. – WWF conservation and sustainable of natural forest, equivalent to which 76 species are found in development. To local villagers, 80% of the total area of the NP. the Mekong River. Of the 81 8 June 2005 – Governments and the site is a source of food and It supports a range of mountain species, three need further various agencies celebrated World aquatic plants used for habitat types, particularly 2,000 identification, including Acantopsis Ocean Day, which focused on handicrafts. A recent survey ha of mixed coniferous and sp., Schistura sp and Schistura the theme: Save Fisheries, stated that there are at least broadleaf forest containing Po mu sp. Only one species recorded, Ca Reduce Poverty. Well-designed 103 fish and 59 aquatic plant (Fokienia hodginsii), which is listed May, Chinese algae-eater networks of Marine Protected species in the lake, which is also as near-threatened. The NP also (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri) is Areas are vital for ensuring home to an unknown variety of supports some of the most intact considered a nationally threatened healthy, productive marine birds and other aquatic species. fauna and floral communities in species by the Red Book of Viet environments that can support The lake’s ecology is threatened central Viet Nam, notably a Nam. Thirteen species recorded well-planned development. These by over-fishing, contamination by number of globally threatened during the survey were additions areas will provide income and toxic agricultural chemicals, a mammal species, including Vooc to the fish fauna of Viet Nam. nutrition for local communities, rubber plantation on the Va Chan Xam, Grey-shanked The butterfly survey was also the direct and indirect revenue for lakeshore, as well as introduced Douc, Vuon Den Ma Hung, first for the park. During the national economies, and safe species such as the water Yellow-cheeked crested gibbon survey, a total of 244 species havens for fish and other marine hyacinth and sherry nail. – Nation and Indochina tiger. Six were recorded, among which only life. This World Ocean Day, Fiji restricted-range bird species have one represented a new record for has been presented with the 14 August 2006 – Nine manta been recorded at the NP, among Viet Nam. Ten other species had Global Ocean Conservation Award rays were recently spotted for which are the Khuou Kon Ka not been found before in the Da in recognition of its leadership in the first time in 20 years Kinh, and the chestnut-eared Lat Highland. Another noteworthy marine conservation. In 2005, the gliding in Mabini, Philippines. In Laughingthrush which is endemic record was Buom Phuong Canh Fijian government committed to addition to manta rays, divers to the Kon Tum highlands and Chim Chan Lien (Golden Birdwing establishing a network of MPAs have also witnessed sea turtles was discovered at the KKK Troides Helena) (Papilionidae), covering 30 per cent of its 4 • OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2006
  4. ABOUT YOU AND US waters by 2020 — one of the companies whose operations have overfished, threatening the largest areas of protected ocean replaced forests and companies livelihood of thousands of in the world. – WWF who hold licenses to convert fishermen and an important whale additional forest. The map also shark population. Swimming 5 June 2006 – World shows distribution of elephants with whale sharks is Environment Day (WED) 2006 and information on elephant- contributing to the economy of celebrations were held in Algiers human conflict. – WWF the Philippines. According to with the theme “Don’t Desert government statistics, some Drylands!” This is in line with 31 March 2006 - Huge nature 7,000 tourists travelled to © WWF Cannon Thailand the declaration of 2006 as the The Himantura Kittipongi reserves that stretch across Donsol, some 500km southeast of United Nations International freshwater stingray. national frontiers are being the capital, Manila, in 2005 to Year of Deserts and ronment News Service formed in Asia, South America visit the “gentle giants”, earning Desertification. As part of WED and elsewhere, a sign that some PhP35 million (or 2006, the United Nations 13 April 2006 - A new species biodiversity has joined security and US$623,000). WWF is currently Environment Programme launched of freshwater stingray, known immigration as a border issue. working with local fishing a new publication on desert as Himantura kittipongi, has More than a dozen countries at communities on a fisheries tourism entitled “Tourism and been discovered in a river in the 8th U.N. Conference on the management plan which will Deserts - A Practical Guide to western Thailand. The stingray, Convention on Biodiversity in address such marine issues as Managing the Social and measuring 60 centimeters (23.6 Brazil this week agreed to set up illegal fishing and the exploitation Environmental Impacts in the inches) in width, was first transnational parks or link national of fishery resources — issues that Desert Recreation Sector.” The observed two years ago but has parks in the jungles of Borneo, could affect the whale shark’s tourism guide complements the only now been confirmed as a the steppes of Central Asia and habitat and overall future in UNEP Global Desert Outlook report, new species by researchers from the Pacific Ocean islands of Donsol’s waters. – WWF which describes how the world’s WWF-Thailand and the US-based Micronesia. In the Amazon rain deserts are facing dramatic Smithsonian Institute. Thai rivers forest, half a dozen governments changes as a result of global have been plagued by serious are working to create up to four climate change, high water pollution, overfishing and dam nature reserves. Dozens of demands, tourism and salt building. The new species was countries have agreed to meet a contamination of irrigated soils. named Himantura kittipongi after U.N. goal to slow the pace of – UNEP prominent Thai fish expert biodiversity loss by 2010. Kittipong Jaruthanin who first Extinctions are now more 22 May 2006 – Today’s observed the ray in 2004. – numerous than at any time since © WWF / Songpol Tippayawong celebrations of International WWF dinosaurs roamed the Earth. But The newly discovered reef Biodiversity Day will focus on many countries rich in biodiversity protecting the diversity of life in lack money. Government officials 21 February 2006 - The World drylands, in keeping with the UN at the conference have lobbied Wildlife Fund announced the designation of 2006 as the environmental groups, corporations discovery of a previously unknown International Year of Deserts and the United Nations to help coral reef, located off the coast and Desertification. Forty-seven pay for managing the parks and of Khao Lak, Thailand. Initial percent of the Earth’s land protecting them from poachers. In surveys reveal that the 270-ha surface is drylands. This includes Borneo, a biodiversity hot spot reef is home to over 30 genera semi-arid lands such as the Karoo that holds 6% of the world’s of hard corals and at least 112 © WWF-Canon / Paul Forster and the Horn of Africa, savannah Sumatran elephant in Riau, species of plants and animals and species of fish from 56 families. landscapes such as the Eurasian Sumatra, Indonesia. where 361 species were Also found was a species of steppes and the North American discovered in the last decade, the parrot fish (Chlorurus rakaura) Great Plains, and Mediterranean 5 April 2006 - A coalition of governments of Brunei, Indonesia — first discovered in Sri Lanka landscapes. Dryland ecosystems conservation organizations has and Malaysia hope to stem and never seen in Thailand receive very erratic rainfall, and launched a new interactive deforestation by doubling a until now — as well as a rare as a result are very fragile. The mapping tool on elephant protected area to 84,950 square species of sweet lips Convention on Biological Diversity populations and forest cover on miles, an area nearly the size of (Plectorhincus macrospilus). Executive Secretary Ahmed the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Britain. – Environment News WWF is working closely with Djoghlaf called for rapid Sumatran elephants in Riau Network/Reuters Thailand’s Department of Marine implementation of the mutually have declined by nearly 75% and Coastal Resources, the supportive programs of work of over the past eleven years as a Department of National Parks, the Rio conventions - the result of a shrinking forest local communities and dive Convention on Biological habitat. Without improved operators to manage the reef, Diversity, the Convention to management, it is likely they which may ultimately be included Combat Desertification, and the could face extinction in another in a new marine national park. – United Nations Framework five years. In 2003, there were WWF Convention on Climate Change, approximately 400 Sumatran © WWF / Javier Ordóñez as “the solution to addressing elephants in Riau. The interactive Whale shark in Donsol, Sorsogon 8 February 2006 – A team led the root causes of desertification map helps readers visualize forest by Conservation International’s and alleviating the escalating loss in Sumatra’s Riau Province 3 March 2006 - A one-year Melanesia Center for Biodiversity risks of famine and disease since 1982. In addition to study conducted by WWF shows Conservation has found a “lost resulting from the failure of identifying protected areas in the that 32.5% of commercially- world” of new bird species, dryland ecosystems.” – Envi- province, it also identifies important fish species are being giant flowers, and rare animals OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2006 • 5
  5. ABOUT YOU AND US species and five forest palms powerful traditional medicine. previously unknown. Scientists Despite the fact that medical also discovered the habitat of claims have never been Berlepsch’s six-wired bird of scientifically proven, and hunting paradise, Parotia berlepschi, and and trading in parts of any rhino captured the first photographs of is forbidden under Vietnamese and the golden-fronted bowerbird international laws, the illicit trade displaying at its bower – a tower continues, and these creatures of twigs and other forest © Bonggi Ibarrando have already been pushed to the materials it builds for the mating Roti Island snake-necked turtle very brink of extinction. – WWF ritual. Other discoveries included what may be the largest 2 February 2006 – According to rhododendron flowers on record - a new report by TRAFFIC, the almost six inches across. Such wildlife trade monitoring network, Photo courtesy of CI Fearless golden-mantled tree abundance of food and other trade in Roti Island snake- kangaroo resources means the mountain necked turtles is leading this range’s interior – more than endemic species, found only in in the pristine forested Foja 300,000 hectares of old growth the wetlands of eastern mountains in Indonesia’s Papua tropical forest – remains Indonesia, to the brink of province. Discoveries include the untouched by humans, and the extinction. In 2000, the IUCN © National Petrochemical Public Co. Ltd. first new bird found on the island entire Foja forest area of more Red List categorized the Roti Map Ta Phut Olefins Plant in of New Guinea since 1939 - an than one million hectares (2.47 Island snake-necked turtle Thailand uses natural gas as fuel. orange-faced honeyeater, which million acres) constitutes the (Chelodina mccordi) as “critically has a bright orange face patch largest pristine tropical forest in endangered”, and is listed in 18 January 2006 – The with a pendant wattle under Asia and an important region for Appendix II of CITES, which United Nations Environment each eye. Large mammals that biodiversity. – Environment News requires any international trade to Programme introduced the have been hunted to near Service be carried out under a permit guidebook “Energy Efficiency extinction elsewhere were found system. International demand for Guide for Industry in Asia,” in the area in abundance, and the the turtle from hobbyists and which explores energy solutions scientists were able to simply pick collectors in Europe, North through case studies in over up two long-beaked echidnas, a America and East Asia is pushing 40 companies in nine countries primitive egg-laying mammal that this endemic species towards across Asia. It gives companies is little known. The scientists extinction. The new report issues information they can use to found a new large mammal for a number of recommendations, reduce production costs through Indonesia - the golden-mantled including better national real company examples, a tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus protection and capacity building methodology, technical pulcherrimus). The discovery of for increased and improved information, tools, and a the tree kangaroo was the most © WWF-Canon / Alain Compost enforcement. – WWF contact and information spectacular of all the team’s finds Irrawaddy dolphin database. Armed with the as the species is believed to be guide, companies can improve on the brink of extinction. 3 February 2006 – The death environmental performance and The scientists also found 20 new of ten Irrawaddy dolphins in reduce greenhouse gas frog species, four new butterfly the Mekong River in Cambodia emissions responsible for climate is raising serious concerns about change. The guide was the survival of this already developed by UNEP with critically endangered population. national bodies in Bangladesh, The WWF estimates that there China, India, Indonesia, © WWF Vietnam are only 80 –100 Irrawaddy Javan rhinoceros at the Cat Mongolia, the Philippines, Sri dolphins left in the Mekong, and Tien National Park, Vietnam Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam they are restricted to a 190-km and funded by the Swedish stretch of the river between the 19 January 2006 – A camera International Development Cambodia-Laos border and the trap recently captured photos of Cooperation Agency. The Cambodian town of Kratie. Eight a critically endangered Javan “Energy Efficiency Guide for Photo courtesy of CI Berlepsch’s six-wired bird of out of 10 of the dead dolphins rhinoceros in Vietnam’s Cat Industry in Asia” is the primary paradise were calves, continuing the trend Tien National Park. The Javan output of the project of high mortality in baby dolphins rhinoceros is perhaps the most Greenhouse Gas Emission in the Mekong. The trend is threatened large mammal in the Reduction from Industry in Asia suspected to be due to some world, with only two populations and the Pacific form of environmental pollution. known to exist in the wild. In the (, which seeks At least one of the dead dolphins Ujong Kulon National Park in Java to support Asian businesses to was killed by entanglement in (Indonesia) there are about 50 to address climate change by fishing gillnets. Fisheries bycatch 60 animals, and the second becoming more energy efficient, – the accidental capture of non- population is in Cat Tien National and thereby reducing green- targeted species – is one of the Park where only three to seven house gas emissions and Photo courtesy of CI A golden-fronted bowerbird greatest threats to freshwater rhinos remain. Throughout Asia, costs.– Environment News displaying at its bower dolphin species. – WWF rhino horn is highly valued as a Service 6 • OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2006
  6. ABOUT YOU AND US The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity By Gregorio I. Texon and Monina T. Uriarte Introduction anything and everything that has to of biodiversity institutions, thus fos- The Southeast Asian region is do with saving biodiversity, studying tering stronger collaboration among known internationally for its great biodiversity, teaching about biodiversity the ASEAN Member Countries in importance to global biodiversity being and using biodiversity, the four all- addressing biodiversity-related con- the natural habitat of up to 40% of encompassing roles of the ASEAN cerns such as the signing of the all species on Earth. It includes three Centre for Biodiversity or ACB. Declaration on the ASEAN Heritage mega-diversity countries (Indonesia, Parks. ARCBC had likewise formu- Malaysia and the Philippines); sev- Origin of ACB lated the ASEAN Guide on Occupa- eral biogeographical units (e.g., Although regional governments tional Standards for Protected Areas Malesia, Wallacea, Sundaland, Indo- have each undertaken several steps to Jobs, which was duly endorsed by Burma and the Central Indo-Pacific); conserve biodiversity in recent years, ASOEN to be used by the ASEAN and numerous centers of concentra- each country had acknowledged in in the development of training pro- tion of restricted-range species of more recent years that country-wide grams and for prescribing perfor- birds, plants and insects. Species action could not and would not be mance standards in protected area richness by area is also much higher able to confront biodiversity issues, management. Furthermore, it had in several ecosystem funded various re- types (e.g., lowland searches on rain forest, coral biodiversity that re- reefs) than anywhere sulted in the discov- else on Earth, and ery of more than 100 overall species rich- new species of flora ness is known to be and fauna in the very high although region. The research most species have program also spon- not yet been studied sored scholarships thoroughly and even for ASEAN young still unknown to sci- scientists to study ence. Not being able taxonomy (plant and to discover all the yet invertebrate) in Eu- unknown species is ropean universities. as alarming as the In addition, ARCBC extreme threats to Former Philippines’ Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources developed the biodiversity re- Michael Defensor (2nd from right) led the launching of the ACB in September 2005. Biodiversity Infor- sources from human mation Sharing Ser- activities and the substantial degrada- which are now global in scope. The vice (BISS) that made analysis of bulk tion of the natural beauty and diver- Southeast Asian nations thus banded biodiversity data readily accessible sity of the entire region in recent years. together to protect and conserve though the web. These biodiversity resources evolved biodiversity resources on a regional Acknowledging and recognizing and existed within the context of level in pursuance of the Hanoi Plan the achievements of the ARCBC as natural ecosystems, and cannot sur- of Action (HPA). The HPA stipu- valuable and indispensable in address- vive in ruined or disturbed ecosys- lates among others the establishment ing the challenges confronting tems. of the ASEAN Regional Centre for biodiversity in the ASEAN, the There is however an emerging Biodiversity Conservation ASEAN Ministers of the Environment awareness of a biodiversity sector that (ARCBC), which then became a joint decided during their 9th ASEAN has distinctive investment needs and cooperation project of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environ- attributes, while also being interac- and the European Union (EU). ment in December 2003, to continue tive with other sectors. The From 1999 to 2004, ARCBC the activities of ARCBC by establish- biodiversity sector includes almost successfully established the network ing an institution with a distinct legal OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2006 • 7
  7. ABOUT YOU AND US entity to be known as the ASEAN The key officers for the ACB are 2) Human and Institutional Ca- Centre for Biodiversity (ACB). the Executive Director, and a Direc- pacity Development. The compo- tor each for Networking, Partnerships nent will promote the adoption of The New ASEAN Institution and Resource Mobilization (NPRM); the ASEAN Guidelines on Compe- The ASEAN Centre for Program Development and Implemen- tence Standards on Protected Area Biodiversity (ACB) is now an inter- tation (PDI); and Biodiversity Infor- Jobs in the management of the governmental and international re- mation Management (BIM). Detailed protected areas of ASEAN. This is gional centre of excellence of the staff from the AMC, recruited staff intended to enhance competence of ASEAN for policy formulation, ca- and consultants would support the key staff and improvement of perfor- pacity development, awareness rais- officials in the day-to-day operations mance standards on the job; design ing and linkage-building with the of the Centre. and implement training courses; international donor community for As of this writing, two key offic- develop instructional materials and the sustainable use of biodiversity, ers have so far been selected and teaching tools; provide exchange and conservation of biodiversity for appointed by the ACB Governing visits and study tours and other the present and future generations Board (GB). They are the BIM Di- measures to promote effectiveness of the ASEAN Member Countries rector who reported on 01 Septem- of protected areas staff. (AMC). The ACB was formally es- ber 2006 and the NPRM Director 3) Digital Knowledge Manage- tablished on 27 September 2005 who came on board on the 8th of ment Capacity Enhancement. This when all the AMC signed the September 2006. component intends to enhance the ca- ASEAN Agreement on the Establish- The Centre’s Governing Board has pability of AMC to conduct regional ment of the ASEAN Centre for also designated the NPRM Director data analysis; formulate data sharing Biodiversity. as the Acting Director for ACB ef- strategies and develop a uniform re- The ASEAN and the EU jointly fective 12 October 2006. (Please refer porting scheme, monitoring indica- agreed to finance the establishment to the Profiles Section and the Book- tors and early warning system; and and initial operation of ACB when marks Section for related stories). facilitate reporting to national, regional they signed the Financing Agreement and international needs and commit- for ACB in April 2005. Goals, Objectives ments. The ASEAN Agreement for the and Components of ACB 4) Promotion of Awareness on Establishment of ACB also stipulated The Goal of ACB is to facilitate Biodiversity Values for the ASEAN that the Philippines will host the cooperation and coordination through Leaders and Public. ACB will con- ACB. The Host Country Agreement the establishment of linkages to net- duct a market survey to identify the (HCA), which defines the obliga- works of institutions in the ASEAN relevant and effective messages for tions of the host country, was signed and other parts of the world. the information materials as well as on 8 August 2006 during the 39th Its overall objective is to encour- the media and channels to be used ASEAN Founding Anniversary cel- age and enable the ASEAN region to in order to enhance the capacity of ebration. The Philippine Govern- meet the call by the World Summit the ASEAN leaders and the public to ment then ratified the HCA, which on Sustainable Development to appreciate the values and importance is now with the Philippine Senate achieve a significant reduction in the of biodiversity. It will thus produce for concurrence. rate of biodiversity loss by the year video presentations, pamphlets and The ACB will continue to hold 2010. posters containing messages on the office at the ERDB Building located The ACB has five Project Com- principles of biodiversity conserva- at the Forestry campus of the Univer- ponents. These are: tion, sustainable use and access and sity of the Philippines at Los Baños, 1) Policy Development and Coor- sharing of benefits from biodiversity, Laguna, Philippines, nestled at the foot dination. This component will encour- and translate and publish conserva- of the legendary Mt. Makiling. age the formulation, development and tion guides to major ASEAN lan- coordination of policies on conserva- guages. Institutional Arrangement tion, sustainable use, access and 5) Sustainable Financing Mecha- The ACB Governing Board, which equitable sharing of benefits from nism. This component will plan, es- is composed of members of the biodiversity at the ASEAN level. It tablish and manage an endowment ASOEN, provides overall guidance will also provide a venue for the fund to sustain the operations of ACB. and supervision, approves the annual formulation of ASEAN common For more information about the work plan and budget, and evaluates positions on biodiversity issues in Centre, please log on to the performance of ACB key officials. international conventions. 8 • OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2006
  8. ABOUT YOU AND US PROFILES ROLAND Y.C. YAP is currently the Director of MA. CONSUELO D. GARCIA is the the Networking, Partnership and Resource Mobilization of the Director for Biodiversity Information Management (BIM) of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), and has recently been ap- ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB). As Director for BIM, her pointed as the Centre’s Acting Executive Director. Prior to his current three-pronged mission is to: (1) help unlock the power of and position and appointment, he has been developing a distinguished facilitate the harnessing of biodiversity information in the ASEAN career over the last 12 years in the private, public and NGO sectors. Member Countries (AMC), the European Union (EU) and other In the field of biomedical science, he has data holder partners through a renewed culture of sharing via served as Chairman of the Asia Pacific communities of practice; (2) develop and provide innovative ser- BioDevelopment Alliance, Williamsburg vices on biodiversity regional analysis and early warning systems; BioProcessing Foundation (WilBio). He and (3) promote the use of standardized and harmonized was also the Executive Director and biodiversity information to facilitate national and regional report- Chairman (International Relations ing to key international biodiversity-related conventions. In opti- Committee) of BioSingapore, an in- mizing the use and management of biodiversity information through dustry/trade organization tasked ACB’s BIM program, she hopes to contribute to the overall ASEAN to create awareness, develop and vision on reducing the loss of biodiversity through a knowledge- promote business networking op- based policy development and information-supported decision- portunities and maximize investment making process within the region. and employment in the life sciences Prior to her post at the ACB, Connie worked on knowledge sector. management at the United Nations Economic and Social Com- Roland has held senior appointments in international mission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), where she initiated marketing and business development in the private sector; informa- the pilot development of the Regional Advisers Database and tion, defense relations and policy, public affairs, human resource facilitated the transfer of an ADB-developed electronic newslet- and organizational consulting, training and development at The Min- ter application to UNESCAP. At the ADB, she istry of Defence; industrial relations, corporate restructuring and last held the posts of Policy Officer and planning, international affairs, leadership development at the Knowledge Management (KM) Officer Singapore National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and general man- at the Regional and Sustainable De- agement and business governance at the Consumers Association of velopment Department. As KM Of- Singapore (CASE). ficer, her work involved serving as Given Roland’s in-depth knowledge of business and human secretariat for the implementation resources issues in the manufacturing, electronics, building and of ADB’s Knowledge Management construction, marine engineering, chemical, metal, precision engi- Framework; undertaking business neering, and biomedical sciences industries, he was appointed by processes and functional needs the Board of Governors for Spirit of Enterprise to serve as their analysis; supervising and managing interim Executive Director to drive initiatives to honor, inspire and IT applications development projects. promote entrepreneurship. She also substantively contributed to ADB’s In the public sector, Roland has served as Assistant Director, key working groups on initiatives relating to In- International Affairs and Leadership Development Departments at formation Systems Technology Strategy preparation, GIS pro- NTUC and as Deputy Director at CASE. He was also part of the tocol and applications, performance management system, coun- team that was involved in the US-Singapore Free Trade Agree- try strategy planning and monitoring, and the ADBToday news- ment process in 2003. letter. Roland has a Bachelor’s degree from The National Univer- Connie also served the Philippine government for 11 years. sity of Singapore, Master of Arts in Criminology with Distinc- She was Assistant Chief, Information Services Division at the tion from the University of Leicester (UK), Master of Education National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) in Training and Development from the University of Sheffield where she initiated the implementation of promotions and mar- (UK), and Master of Public Policy & Management (MPPM) from keting of NAMRIA information products and services. Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). In 2001, Roland was Connie holds degrees in M. App. Sci. in Remote Sensing from appointed as an Honorary Fellow of The International Centre the University of New South Wales, Australia, M.S. Fishery Biology for Management in Government (Melbourne, Australia) and was and B.S Marine Science from the University of the Philippines. She elected as Licentiate Fellow of The Institute of Training and completed a coursework on Coastal Zone Management Planning at Occupational Learning, Liverpool, U.K. in 2004. Roland has also the Asian Institute of Technology. Under the MOU between UNEP received training from international patent attorney firm Lloyd and ADB, she worked as an intern on using Geographic Information Wise on patent rights, intellectual property, trademarks and de- Systems for Environment Applications at the UNEP Regional Re- signs in 2005. source Centre for Asia-Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand. ASEAN BIODIVERSITY • 9
  9. SPECIAL REPORTS Hastening Ecological Restoration Using Beneficial Microorganisms By Aida B. Lapis, Evangeline T. Castillo and Paul J. Cuadra T HE DEGRADATION OF NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS CAN occur naturally and may therefore be uncontrollable, or may be arti- ficially caused by or become consequences of human intervention under the vironmentally and scientifically difficult re-vegetation of marginal sites. The natural ecosystem is endowed shadow of human needs. Disastrous events that have occurred in the past with a wide array of biological micro- past have left natural ecosystems under grim situations. Landslides and floods organisms that have beneficial symbio- sis with plants. Symbiosis of higher plants are so prevalent that they have left the earth so devastated, with the appear- with microbial organisms is an adap- ance that life will not exist in certain areas again. On the other hand, human tive mechanism to overcome adverse activities that have been justified for economic reasons have degraded vast environmental conditions. Mycorrhiza tracts of heavy metal-laden areas after the extraction of precious metals like as a symbiont, for example, was found gold through industrial mining. to be effective colonizers of disturbed habitats. Usually overburdened areas are left by wide laterally growing root systems Foremost of these are the associ- for rehabilitation, which poses a tall or creeping plants that can easily colo- ated microorganisms: Enterobacter, order among environmentalists par- nize open sites. Such rehabilitation Klebsiella, Beijerinkia, Azospirillum, ticularly foresters. With such condi- schemes need high input, which be- Pseudomonas, Nitrobacter and nitrifying tions, natural regeneration or the comes prohibitive especially for devel- bacteria, the symbiotic microorganisms process of colonization is slow or does oping countries due to financial con- Anabaena, the Rhizobium nitrogen-fix- not happen at all, commonly leaving straints. Rehabilitation may be done ing bacteria and actinomycetes Frankia an open barren site. Restoring lost vegetatively, but again, with the soil and the large group of mycorrhizal fungi vegetation takes a lifetime because the which is either of high acidity or alka- (ectomycorrhizae, endomycorrhiza, influencing factors towards plant res- linity, lack of nutrients or poor water- ectendomycorrhizae, ericoid mycor- toration, growth and survival have holding capacity, plants can barely rhizae). Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi been ecologically disrupted: the soil survive in the area. alone which infects almost all vascular is infertile (generally deficient in However, nature has its own unique plants is a highly diverse species with macro elements such as phosphorus, course to arrest the economically, en- more than 500 species worldwide. potassium and nitrogen that are es- In slope rehabilitation works, high sential nutrients for plant survival and species biodiversity of these symbiotic growth). Restoring such areas is fur- fungi were observed after two to five ther challenged by either loose soil years, and these tolerated environmen- characteristics, which makes such The natural ecosystem tal stresses of drought and nutrient de- areas vulnerable to erosion and run- is endowed with a wide ficiency. Species that thrived in degraded off, or compacted, thus having poor array of biological areas (cutslopes) included: Glomus (G. water-holding capacity. microorganisms that constrictum, G. aggregatum, G. arborense Rehabilitation of the areas described macrocarpus var. geosporum, G. have beneficial symbiosis earlier requires a combination of proper palbidum, G. cerebriforme), Acaulospora selection of species and adoption of with plants. Symbiosis (A. lacunosa, A. laevis, A. spinosa, A. appropriate technologies. Among indus- of higher plants with appendiculata, A. bireculata), Gigaspora trialized countries, bioengineering has microbial organisms is (G. margarita, G. gigantea) and proved to help the process of bringing an adaptive mechanism Paraglomus occultum. back the earth’s condition closer to its A case in point in the Philippines former state. This is done through the to overcome adverse is the application of mycorrhizal inocu- combined construction of permanent environmental conditions. lants to the seedlings of selected indig- structures to hold the earth, and the enous species planted in marginal soils. introduction of vegetation characterized Initially the Ecosystems Research and 10 • OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2006
  10. SPECIAL REPORTS Untreated eight-month-old Batino (Alstonia macrophylla) Inoculated eight-month-old Batino Untreated one-year-old Kupang (Parkia roxburghii) Inoculated one-year-old Kupang Untreated one-year-old Benguet Pine (Pinus kesiya) Inoculated one-year-old Benguet Pine ASEAN BIODIVERSITY • 11
  11. SPECIAL REPORTS observed in its average diameter. In the case of Kupang, about 33% increase in average height and 13.6% in average diameter were also recorded. As for Benguet pine and Batino, minimal growth was monitored between controlled and untreated seedlings. Glomus, an endomycorrhiza isolate collected from seed production areas of Narra from different parts of the coun- try, was the microbial organism used in this study. As expected, inoculated Narra Untreated one-year-old Agoho (Casuarina Inoculated one-year-old Agoho gave the best growth performance of equisitifolia) almost 82% difference in average height and around 47% in average diameter compared to the untreated seedlings. In spite of the poor soil quality and harsh conditions in the experimental area, survival was relatively high for all the species. Agoho gave the highest survival rate of more than 96%, while Kupang had a 90% survival. Batino, on the other hand, had the lowest survival rate of 74%, followed by Narra with 85% and Benguet pine, 87%. Untreated 18-month-old Narra (Pterocarpus Inoculated 18-month-old Narra Concluding Remarks indicus) Microorganisms like mycorrhizae, when linked with plant roots or arti- Development Bureau, the research arm site preparation techniques for ficially inoculated, will continuously of the Philippines’ Department of outplanting of seedlings, such as wider multiply and thus enhance soil condi- Environment and Natural Resources plant holes five times larger than the tions for plant growth even in an im- (DENR), embarked on the use of in- size of the seedling poly-potting bag, poverished state. Likewise, if we bring digenous forest species for the rehabili- added compost and coir dust, plus back to nature the diversity of micro- tation of areas that are environmentally timing of outplanting at the onset of the organisms lost when terrestrial ecosys- restricted due to prolonged exposure to rainy season, resulted in remarkable field tems are abused, as well as the func- weathering, physically and chemically performance of the seedlings. After one tional mutualism of microorganisms degraded, mined-out and quarried. year of field exposure in the overbur- particularly with higher plants like Indigenous forest species that can dened, heavy metal-laden and mined- trees, then the environment would be revegetate these sites were screened. out areas of mountainous Benguet Prov- rehabilitated and the vegetation would Endomycorrhizal isolates of Glomus sp. ince in Northern Luzon, Philippines, likely be restored. In the long run, eco- were inoculated to the seedlings at the the seedlings of Agoho (Casuarina logical succession of degraded and de- nursery stage and the seedlings showed equisitifolia), Benguet Pine (Pinus kesiya), nuded areas maybe attained. enhanced growth in terms of marked Kupang (Parkia roxburghii), and Batino Aida B. Lapis is the Supervising Science height and diameter growth. (Alstonia macrophylla) inoculated with Research Specialist and Chief, Land The versatility of symbiosis in the Glomus sp. significantly increased in Rehabilitation Section of the Grassland and nursery was observed and the mycor- height and diameter compared with Degraded Areas Ecosystems Research Division of ERDB; Evangeline T. Castillo is the rhiza had a high potential to develop those without inoculation. Supervising Science Research Specialist and vigorous seedlings in the nursery stage. Initial results of field trials in a mined- Chief, Hydrology Section, Grassland and However, a greater challenge was faced out area showed that inoculated Agoho Degraded Areas Ecosystems Research Division, when these nursery-grown seedlings were were taller by more than 17% compared ERDB and Paul J. Cuadra is the Science Research Specialist II, Land Rehabilitation exposed to adverse field conditions. to those that were not inoculated, while Section, Grassland and Degraded Areas Nevertheless, employing additional significant disparity of 13.5% was also Ecosystems Research Division, ERDB. 12 • OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2006
  12. SPECIAL REPORTS Philippines’ Best Practice to Combat Land Degradation and Desertification By Dr. Rogelio N. Concepcion, Director, Bureau of Soils and Water Management T HE PHILIPPINES’ BEST PRACTICE TO COMBAT LAND degradation and incipient desertification is a multiple-agency, -coun- try, self-financed, international and local partnership of a community/ All soil and water conservation projects were decided after a series of informal and formal discussions with NGO-driven project entitled “Community-Based Dry Land Watershed farmer leaders and the general farming Management Approach: A Small-Scale Grassroots Solution to Combat communities, and where women played a role in selecting crops for their Desertification. food and marketing values. Farmers The project was conducted in four The project had the following el- provided voluntary labor in implement- agro-ecosystem micro-watersheds ements of governing principles of ing soil and water conservation mea- ($28,500.00 each site) with the collec- sustainable rural development: sures, such as the construction of small tive partnership support to the multi- 1. Reclaiming degraded lands with retention dams, development of spring agency-financed land degradation con- monetary benefits through market- boxes for domestic use, and irrigation. trol project composed of the: defined soil and water conservation 4. Transparency and community 1. Federation of Free Farmers, measures (conforming to China’s prin- ownership-management of project headed by Mr. Leonardo Montemayor, ciple of “Combating Land Degrada- capital. former Secretary of the Philippines’ tion is Profitable!”). Farming communities and other Department of Agriculture, who pro- Live barriers and crops/commodi- local farmers are made aware of the vided leadership and motivation for ties that have local markets and re- availability and use of budget in the the farmer’s collective cooperation in quire low cost simple technologies are project, and participate in the purchase all phases of project implementation; selected through a series of discussions of materials. 2. Bureau of Agricultural Research, with farmers and are given priority for 5. Mutual learning between and Department of Agriculture, as source use as measures to reclaim degraded among farmer experts, government of funds; lands, improve soil fertility and reduce technicians and international experts. 3. Bureau of Soils and Water soil erosion. For instance, pineapple, This is accomplished through the Management (BSWM) as implement- which has a good market price and is pilot micro-watershed demonstration ing agency, and source of additional easy to transport, was used as live on market-defined soil and water budget and locally- defined soil and barriers for contour farming. conservation technologies. water conservation technologies; 2. Community initiatives and 6. Farmer to farmer sharing of 4. Local farming communities, as farmer-led collective action towards knowledge and adaptation of soil and source of local labor and indigenous needs prioritization for self-reliance. water conservation technologies. knowledge, as project counterpart and Village leaders with the assistance 7. Strengthening the role of rural decision-makers in the selection of of the Country NGO Federation of women in implementing indigenous technologies and the location site of Free Farmers defined their problems and negotiated external sources of technology demonstration; and recommended measures that the soil and water conservation technolo- 5. ICRISAT, an international re- village can implement. The final soil gies. search institution based in India, and and conservation measures were dis- 8. Strong participation and local headed by Dr. William Dar who pro- cussed with offers from local and in- support (governance) provided by the vided and shared their knowledge and ternational experts. The initial long Local Executive (Mayor of the Mu- experience with local farmers; BSWM shopping list of probable measures was nicipality of Dona Remedios local technicians and academic re- pared down to minimum doables and Trinidad), an upland watershed mu- searchers and teachers from the local is now being tested for suitability, nicipality, who assigned the munici- university involved in the project; and acceptability, and economic returns to pal technicians to the project, and 6. Researchers and soil science and the community. has further inspired the local com- agronomy professors in the local uni- 3. Self-help and shared responsi- munity to support the implementa- versity. bility participatory approach. tion of the project. ASEAN BIODIVERSITY • 13
  13. UNCCD COUNTRY REPORTS Desertification and Land Degradation in ASEAN D ESERTIFICATION IS DEFINED BY and assistance in ensuring that adequate the United Nations Convention to Com financial resources are available for programs bat Desertification (UNCCD) as “land to combat desertification and mitigate the degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid effects of drought; areas, resulting from various factors, including • Prepare national action programs at the climatic variations and human activity.” About 4 regional and sub-regional levels; billion hectares or 1/3 of the earth’s land surface • Provide support (by developed countries) to is threatened by desertification, with over 250 affected countries by providing financial million people directly affected, and one billion resources and by facilitating access to appro- people in over 100 countries at risk. Twenty four priate technology, knowledge and know-how; billion tons of fertile soils disappear every year and ( • Report measures undertaken to implement The UNCCD traces its roots to the Plan of the Convention. Action to Combat Desertification (PACD), which was adopted by the United Nations Conference In ASEAN member countries, desertification on Desertification (UNCOD) in 1977. The Plan and land degradation is largely attributed to poor was created in response to early concerns about agricultural practices and deforestation. Most desertification and its global economic, social and human activities that can lead to desertification environmental impact. By 1991 however, the issue include: of desertification had intensified. During the 1992 • Overgrazing, which removes the vegetation United Nations Conference on Environment and cover that protects against erosion; Development (UNCED), participants supported • Overcultivation, which exhausts the soil; and an integrated approach to the problem, emphasiz- • Deforestation, which destroys the trees that ing action to promote sustainable development at bind the land to the soil. the community level. The Convention to Combat Poor irrigation practices raise salinity, and Desertification was then adopted in 1994, and sometimes dry the rivers that feed large lakes. The currently 191 countries have become Parties to intensification of human activities brings an in- the Convention. creased greenhouse effect, causing global warm- ing. Drylands are likely to be especially vulnerable Under the UNCCD, Parties are obligated to: to effects of climate change ( • Cooperate in the implementation of the CCD Exacerbated by other issues such as climate at all levels, particularly in the areas of change, land degradation and desertification has collection, analysis and exchange of informa- become a major concern in the ASEAN. Efforts tion, research, technology transfer, capacity undertaken to face this growing environmental building and awareness building, the promo- challenge has been summarized in the following tion of an integrated approach in developing UNCCD country reports of each ASEAN mem- national strategies to combat desertification, ber country. 14 • OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2006
  14. UNCCD COUNTRY REPORTS CAMBODIA Improving Agricultural Practices to Enhance Soil Productivity CAMBODIA HAS A TOTAL velopment of cities, towns and villages have cre- 2 area of 181,035 km , comprising 20 ated urban ecosystems. provinces and three municipalities. Cultivated land comprises 21% of the total The country is divided into three sides by moun- land and is mainly concentrated in lowland areas tains with the large central plain containing the around the Tonle Sap Lake and the north side of Tonle Sap lake and river complex in the center. the Mekong River. Upland crops and fruit gardens The central plains are extremely flat, and are a are usually found along the banks of the main result of long-term deposition originating from rivers. the mountains within Cambodia and from sedi- Forest and other natural vegetable areas are ments carried into the plain by the Mekong River. found in the northeastern, northern and south- The Mekong River rises and falls approximately western parts of Cambodia. Forest areas used to nine meters each year, its height influenced by cover 73% or 13,320,100 ha of the total land area, melting snow in the Himalayas and rainfall in of which 47,622.30 were dense evergreen broad- China. In Cambodia, the Mekong passes through leafed forest. Deciduous forests occur mainly in the province of Steung Treng, Kratie and Kampong the northeastern parts of Cambodia. Cham until it converges with From 13,320,100 ha, cur- Tonle Sap at Phnom Penh. rent forests are estimated at When it reaches Phnom Penh, only 1,300,000 ha. Forests de- the water divides and flows teriorated rapidly during the 20 down to both the Mekong and years of conflict, resulting in Bassak rivers to Vietnam. As destroyed resources and con- the river rises, some water also tinued conversion to agricul- flows back up to Tonle Sap tural areas. Lake. The Lake can expand Despite a growth in agri- 2 tenfold in area to approximately 25,000 km cultural areas, Cambodia continues to experience between May and November. Receding water poor crop productivity. Lost soil fertility has been from the large reservoir flows primarily down attributed to the following: the Bassak and Mekong rivers and feeds many • Poor soils management and cultural prac- irrigation areas. tices; The 2002 National Report on the Convention • Deforestation and shifting cultivation of to Combat Desertification provides insights into upland populations; Cambodia’s efforts to regenerate environmental • Drought and floods; growth in the country and prevent the increase in • Increased acidity and/or salinity in some rice drylands and degraded habitats that could lead to production areas; desertification. Following are some of the factors • Lack of knowledge among farmers to im- that have led to environmental concerns in the prove soil fertility through modern technol- country. ogy; • Extensive and careless fertilizer application; Land Usage • Lack of irrigation systems, poor water man- The natural ecosystems of Cambodia consist agement and drainage; of tropical forests, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. • Lack of mechanization for land preparation Human activities have, however, continued to alter and other farm management; Cambodia’s natural environment. Forests have been • Poor research on soil conservation and im- cleared for agriculture and the development of provement; and rice ecosystems. Human settlements and the de- • Continuous mono-cropping practices. ASEAN BIODIVERSITY • 15
  15. Fertilizer Use Fertilizer use in Cambodia is considered small compared to other countries in the region. Farmers have applied up to 8,000 tons of organic fertilizers per year from 1965 to 1990. In the last two years, more than 40,000 tons of fertilizers have been applied in Cambodia’s agricultural areas. This pales in comparison with over 500,000 tons to 1,000,000 tons that were being used in neighboring countries in 1990. Still, it is believed that fertilizer use will continue to rise in the country to further improve crop produc- tion. Human Activities Mekong River In Cambodia, the major root causes of soil erosion are deforestation, poor of good physiological quality from well-managed agricultural practices and gemstone mining in the seed sources of priority woody species to meet the border between Cambodia and Thailand. As a need for the country’s tree planting activities. Func- result, massive erosion has taken place at the tions included the development of the institutional northeast mountain ranges and high plateau along capacity of the national tree seed sectors in the main tributaries of the Mekong River, and at Cambodia with special emphasis on indigenous the northwest high plateau, where sediments flow species and regional cooperation. The project also into the Tonle Sap Lake. In the 1960s, a sedimen- plans to establish model in-situ gene conservation tation rate of 2 cm per year was recorded. In- plots, seed sources, and a seed laboratory. creased sedimentation of the lake is attributed to deforestation in the upper reaches of the Tonle sap Agriculture and Food Production watershed and the flooded forest, gemstone min- Rice is the staple food of the population in ing, and increase in Mekong silt load due to de- Cambodia and accounts for 68 -70% of the daily forestation in other parts of the Mekong Basin. calorie intake. The remainder is derived from fish, maize, root crops, fruits and vegetables, and other Forest Rehabilitation and Reforestation crops such as mung bean, soybean, cassava and To address the continuing environmental deg- sesame. radation in the country, the government, through To sustain economic growth and significantly the Department of Forestry and Wildlife (DFW) reduce rural poverty, Cambodia urgently needs under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and to improve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Fisheries has collaborated with other organiza- of agriculture and sub-sectors of crops, livestock, tions to rehabilitate Cambodia’s forests. One such fisheries and forest, as well as related downstream project, which was supported by the Japan Inter- processing industries. The agricultural sector national Cooperation Agency, aimed to strengthen needs to raise productivity and remove structural the DFW’s institutional and staff capacity in constraints such as inadequate transport infra- forestry management, and improve technologies structure and weak control of water resources for restoring forest resources. that adversely affect trade. Crop production would Other efforts involved the Cambodia Tree Seed increase with the application of modern tech- Project (CTSP) funded by the Danish Interna- nologies. Existing reforms must be adjusted to tional Development Agency (DANIDA). This promote agricultural growth and rural develop- project aimed to provide genetically suitable seeds ment. 16 • OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2006
  16. Institutional Agencies • Optimize benefits of irrigation development; Government agencies that are responsible for • Improve farming systems; water resource management include: • Intensify and diversify crop production; 1. Ministry of Agriculture Fishery and For- • Expand and improve livestock production; estry: Department of Hydrology, Depart- • Improve management and develop appropri- ment of Fishery, Department of Forestry ate technologies for rice-fish farming and and Wildlife aquaculture schemes; 2. Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy: • Promote community-based forestry and agro- Department of Provincial Water Supply forestry; 3. Ministry of Rural Development: Department • Improve land tenure and titling and of Clean Water Programs strengthen essential agricultural services 4. Ministry of Environment: Department of including market research and develop- Natural Resources Conservation, Depart- ment programs, delivery of extension ment of Environmental Pollution Control, services, input supply and distribution, Department of Environmental Data Man- credit, farm mechanization and post-har- agement, vest facilities; 5. Department of EIA Review • Provide other essential social services and 6. Ministry of Public Work and Transport: De- public goods; and partment of Transport and Navigation, • Empower the poor through land title distri- Department of Sanitation. bution, access to common property resources, 7. Ministry of Health: Department of Hygiene health and nutrition, and food procurement 8. Ministry of Interior: Phnom Penh Water schemes. Supply Authority Other than agriculture, follow-up actions re- 9. Council for Development of Cambodia garding forest management concerns include the (CDC): Department of Investment following: Despite the number of government agencies, • Eliminate illegal forest and wildlife activities, various constraints have led to poor water resources as well as land encroachment; management. These constraints include the fol- • Lobby the National Assembly to discuss the lowing: new forestry law; • Poor definition of roles, responsibilities and • Continue to rigorously enforce laws that sus- relationships between institutions; pend forest exploitation in concessions; • Lack of physical capacity and resources for • Encourage logging concessions to apply the enforcement; Code of Practice for Timber Harvesting in • Low appreciation of and understanding of company operations; conservation measures; • Review and recommend the cancellation of • Weak capacity for policy formulation and concessions that do not comply with the rules, strategic planning; regulations and technical advice issued by • Insufficient flow and use of existing data and the MAFF/DFW; information; and • Strengthen the support infrastructure such • Difference in administrative levels among as communications systems, equipment and government departments. transportation to detect, prevent and sup- press illegal activities that may occur in forest Urgent Actions estates; The following actions are needed to bolster • Strengthen genuine cooperation with neigh- agricultural production and improve soil produc- boring countries to fight cross-boundary il- tivity in Cambodia: legal trafficking; • Accelerate development of small-scale ir- • Increase public awareness and encourage local rigation systems using shallow tube-wells, residents to participate in the protection of motorized pumps, and hand and treadle forest resource and reforestation activities; pumps; and • Improve and rehabilitate existing irrigation • Continue to cooperate with international ex- systems; perts/organizations to develop and implement • Develop small storage reservoirs and canals; forestry and wildlife projects. ASEAN BIODIVERSITY • 17
  17. UNCCD COUNTRY REPORTS INDONESIA Land Rehabilitation through Extensive Forest Programs INDONESIA HAS EXERTED Focal Point (NFP) in December 2002. tremendous efforts in rehabilitating The NCB initiates cooperation programs to degraded land through reforestation combat degraded land at a national scale and and afforestation projects such as the Forest and conducts meetings at least once a year to prepare Land Rehabilitation Programme (RHL) and the the national report, determine Indonesia’s posi- National Movement on Forest and Land Rehabili- tion and carry out an internal review of the NAP. tation (GNRHL). These projects were launched It also provides the roles of the NFP in combating in Yogyakarta in 2003, a year after the National land degradation that include mobilizing resources, Action Programme (NAP) on Combating Land integrating cross-sectoral activities, providing Degradation (CLD) in Indonesia was adopted. guidelines, and coordinating the activities of the The strategy of combating land degradation in provincial and local stakeholders. Indonesia is also integrated into the strategies of New initiatives have been undertaken to in- the agriculture, fishery, and forestry sectors. tegrate the NAP into the national economic, social All strategies in the National Action Plan (NAP) development, and environmental planning system. have been incorporated into the National Devel- One such initiative is the imple- opment Plan 2004. To combat mentation of national move- land degradation, sustainable ments such as the National forest management (SFM) has Movement on Forest and Land been integrated into forestry Rehabilitation (GNRHL); Na- sector strategies that classify tional Movement on Water Con- forests according to their func- servation Partnership (GNKPA); tions: conservation, protection, and Agricultural, Fisheries, and and production. Each forest Forestry Revitalization. function detailed regulations and Empowerment of human is homogenous throughout Indonesia. resources and institutions has not been carried The government has also adopted the UNCCD out specifically through the NAP at both the principles of participatory processes and consul- national and local levels due to lack of financial tative mechanisms. These have been integrated support. But training of human resources in terms into the environmental frameworks to ensure that of combating land degradation has been conducted stakeholders are involved in the processes of occasionally both at the national and local levels planning, implementation, and monitoring to even before the NAP was adopted. evaluation. Within the framework of sustainable development and the environment, stakeholders Participatory Process in Implementing generally include the central and local government, the National Action Programs private sectors, NGOs, community-based organi- Participatory processes have been carried out zations (CBOs), and key farmers. during the formulation of the NAP through field visits, community meetings, workshops, and dis- Institutional Measures Taken to cussions in seminars, among others. Measures to Implement the Convention improve community capability and participation The Directorate General of Land Rehabilita- in land rehabilitation activities, such as social tion and Social Forestry (DG LRSF), which was forestry and the crop-livestock (CLS) program for established by the Ministry of Forestry in 2002, upland conservation, have become the top prior- is the National Coordination Body (NCB) in ity of the Government, NGOs, and CBOs. Indonesia. The NCB appointed the Directorate In the implementation of the NAP through the of Watershed Management as Indonesia’s National GNRHL program, the Government seeks the 18 • OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2006
  18. participation of NGOs, CBOs, and the private valley, Central Sulawesi. The sustainability of these sector. One of the movement’s objectives is to systems, however, is in doubt due to high main- generate rural people awareness on the dangers of tenance costs and unwillingness of some farmers land degradation and, in turn, encourage them to to pay for operational and maintenance cost. rehabilitate degraded land. For the period 2003 Measures to mitigate the effects of drought, to 2007, the movement is targetting 3 million based on the weather forecast, are also being done hectares of the more than 70 million ha of de- by the Ministry of Agriculture and Public Works. graded land in Indonesia in the hope of generating The NAP has also established a Natural Re- a multiplier effect in other degraded lands of the sources Database System, which is undertaken by country. BAKOSURTANAL (National Survey and Mapping Mechanisms established for participative Coordinating Agency). In terms of forestry re- monitoring include consultation, networking, field sources, the Forest Planning Agency (BAPLAN) does visits, workshops, direct intra-personal commu- the Forest Resource Accounting (NSDH) as an input nication, and electronic media. Consultations are for a sustainable forest management program. not regularly conducted because of poor sched- Water harvesting through the construction of uling and budget constraints. ‘embungs’, infiltration wells, infiltration ditches A number of participatory awareness campaigns (rorak), and application of mulch and organic matter have also been conducted, and deal with various have been conducted to achieve a positive water issues such as growing threats to ecosystems, balance (water surplus). This effort has to be poverty eradication, land degradation prevention, combined with efficient use of water. lessons learned and best practices. These cam- Indonesia has a low capability in terms of de- paigns include Planting One Million Trees, Green- veloping an early warning system for food security ing Indonesia, Plant Today Harvest Tomorrow, and drought forecasting, particularly at the local No Forest No Life, Don’t Export Smoke, and level. In some instances when the local govern- Combating Illegal Logging. ment was not able to anticipate the occurrence of drought and the failure of crops, there was no food Measures within the Framework allocated when famine occurred. This issue has to of National Action Programs be addressed and mitigating measures must be Efforts to rehabilitate degraded land include integrated into the NAP. the establishment of plantation forests, commu- Laws passed by the government relative to the nity forests and private forests, management of UNCCD include the: ‘embung’ (small reservoir), and development of 1. Law of Forestry No. 41/1999. agroforestry in East and West Nusatenggara. The 2. Decree of Minister of Forestry No. 020/ construction of pipe and drip irrigation systems 2001 concerning Guidelines, Standard and also are significant investments being done in Palu Criteria of Forest and Land Rehabilitation. PROJECTS DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY IMPLEMENTED UNDER THE UNCCD Project Timeframe Partners Involved Water Use Optimalization 2005 Local Government of NTB, University Forest and Land Rehabilitation (RHL) Programme Every year Local Government National Movement of Forest and Land Rehabilitation 2003-2007 Local communities, (GNRHL) Private companies Embung (small reservoir)-based agriculture 2002-2004 Local government of NTT province Enhancing food security throungh maize and 2002-2003 Local government of Belu district horticultural development in the border of Indonesia – Timor Leste Cendana (Santalum albums L.)-based agroforestry 2002-2006 Local government of Belu, development in NTT province Rote-Ndao, and Ngada district Assessment of Gewang (Corypha utan Lamk.) 2005-2006 Local government of Belu district domestication in the savana of NTT province ASEAN BIODIVERSITY • 19
  19. 3. Decree of Minister of Forestry No. 052/ proposed for reforestation. This project, which 2001 concerning Guidelines on Implemen- has been proposed by the Provincial Forest Ser- tation of Watershed Management. vice, is still in its initial stage. 4. Law of Water Resource No. 7/2004. 5. Government Regulation of Reforestation Benchmarks and Indicators Fund No. 35/2002. The Ministry of Forestry has implemented measures to assess land degradation through the Financial Assistance inventory of degraded land, using standardized and Technical Cooperation and improved methods and criteria, satellite im- Funds for forest and land rehabilitation are ages or aerial photographs, and Geographical In- provided and mobilized by the Government and formation Systems techniques. As a result, the coordinated by the Ministry of Finance and Min- digital data and the so-called “critical land” map istry of Forestry. Though these funds come from being used throughout the country since 2004 the national budget and the Local Budget and Re- are the bases for prioritizing rehabilitation pro- grams. Land degradation is also evaluated in the field through the inventory of natural springs. For example, the decreasing number of natural springs from 726 to 256 is likely due to land degradation. Mapping of land slides and flood prone areas, and the monitoring of land productivity have also been used as bases for identifying land degradation in selected areas. Based on the inventory, degraded land has increased significantly, mainly due to the impacts of drought and flooding in most parts of Indonesia. The rate of land degradation attributed to drought and climate change so far have yet to be evaluated quantitatively, except for isolated cases in research projects. In general, the rate of degradation has been identified qualitatively through: increasing Mt. Kerinci frequency of forest and bush fires, extensive area of dead plants due to drought, increas- forestation Fund, there have been problems in the ing rate of harvest failure, decreasing number and budgeting system and fund allocations for related discharge of natural springs, increasing encroach- Ministries. ment of livestock to forest, decreasing livestock Measures have thus been taken to ensure access population, and increasing areas of abandoned by local stakeholders to fund sources through land. information campaigns of the GNRHL and the Initial efforts have been done by the Ministry Water Saving Partnership (GNKPA). These allow of Agriculture to develop early warning systems to people to benefit from and utilize these funds for mitigate the effects of drought and land degrada- forest, land, and water rehabilitation and conser- tion, but these efforts remain at initial stages and vation activities. In the GNRHL program, the have been used only in limited areas. Government Government supplies planting materials, while the policies should therefore be expanded to encourage communities make their land available for the the development of early warning systems. program as well as take the lead in planting. NGOs Benchmarks and indicators for the assessment and independent organizations such as universi- have been formulated and included in the NAP. ties then participate in the monitoring and evalu- The Partnership Workshop of UNCCD held in ation of the conduct of the GNRHL. Bogor, Indonesia in June 2004 has revised and Funds from the Clean Development Mecha- produced a new indicative list of benchmarks nism (CDM) scheme have also been explored and and indicators. 20 • OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2006



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