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Asean Biodiversity: Multilateral enviromental agreements and the future of global biodiversity

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Asean Biodiversity: Multilateral enviromental agreements and the future of global biodiversity

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Established in 2005 by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and with support from the European Union (EU), the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity) ACB is regarded as the fi rst regional initiative to save the ASEAN region’s critically threatened biodiversity.

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  1. ASEAN BIODIVERSITY 1
  2. ASEAN CENTRE BIODIVERSITY FOR www.aseanbiodiversity.org Conserve Biodiversity, Save Humanity! medicine, and aesthetic and other life-sustaining resources. ASEAN Region’s Rich Biodiversity Without a concerted effort to protect and conserve biodiver- Despite occupying only three percent of the earth’s surface, sity, the ASEAN region’s 567 million people and the entire the ASEAN region hosts 20 percent of all known species human race would be in danger. that live deep in the region’s mountains, jungles, rivers, lakes and seas. The region includes three mega-diverse ASEAN’s Response: states (Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines); several bio-geographical units (e.g., Malesia, Wallacea, Sundaland, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity Indo-Burma and the Central Indo-Pacific); and numerous As an intergovernmental regional organization, the ASEAN centers of concentration of restricted-range bird, plant and Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) facilitates cooperation and co- insect species. ASEAN has one-third, translating to 284,000 ordination among the members states of ASEAN, and with square kilometers, of all coral reefs, which are among the relevant national governments, regional and international most diverse in the world. Common land and water borders organizations, on the conservation and sustainable use of bio- have allowed the ASEAN states to share many species that logical diversity guided by fair and equitable sharing of benefits are biologically diverse from the rest of the world. All these arising from the use of such biodiversity in the ASEAN region. make the ASEAN region significant to global diversity. ACB aims to contribute to the reduction of the current rate of loss of biological diversity by enhancing regional cooperation, capacitating stakeholders, promoting awareness for biodiver- The Threat sity conservation, and maintaining the regional biodiversity database. To contribute to the achievement of socially respon- The region’s rich biodiversity is heavily under threat. Out of sible access, equitable sharing, use and conservation of natural 64,800 known species, two percent or 1,312 are endangered. ecosystems and the biodiversity these contain, ACB builds stra- Seven of the world’s 34 recognized biodiversity hotspots are tegic networks and partnerships geared to mobilize resources in the ASEAN region. If the rate of deforestation continues, towards optimally augmenting effective programmes on biodi- the region will lose up to three-fourths of its forests, and up versity conservation. to 42 percent of its biodiversity by 2100. Some 80 percent of coral reefs are at risk due to destructive fishing practices and coral bleaching. Contact Us ACB Headquarters Forest conversion, forest fires, shifting cultivation, large-scale 3F ERDB Bldg., Forestry Campus mining, wildlife hunting and trading, population growth and College, Laguna 4031,Philippines Tel/fax: +632.534-4247, +6349.536-2865 poverty, climate change, and lack of conservation resources Website: www.aseanbiodiversity.org greatly contribute to biodiversity loss. Biodiversity loss could General Inquiry: contact.us@aseanbiodiversity.org trigger enormous effects on food security, health, shelter,
  3. Message from the Executive Director ACB is now a full-fledged International Organization ................................. 5 ASEAN Biodiversity Expert is 2009 Outstanding Filipino Forester ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 6 Global Conservation News .................................................................................................................................. 7 Special Reports MEAs: Why the Need for Harmonised Reporting? ............................................ 12 ASEAN Action on MEAs ................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 16 Global Harmonisation of National Reporting to Biodiversity-Related Conventions ............................................................................................................................... 19 Issue-Based Modules for the Implementation of MEAs 23 Inside .......... The Ramsar Convention: Issues and Progress in Harmonisation of Reporting .................................................................................................................................................................... 25 Indonesia: Using the Modular Approach ....................................................................................................... 29 Thailand: Experiences in Harmonisation of Reports to MEAs ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 35 Lao PDR: Case Study on Orchid Exports ..................................................................................................... 39 The Development of a Consolidated Reporting Template by Pacific Island Countries .......................................................................................................................... 45 TINA MARIE C. DE LEON Filipino amateur photographer Profiles May - August 2009 This photo with the caption “A little boy with his newborn pet bird” was among the finalists Indonesia in the amateur category of the Ujung Kulon National Park ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 48 ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity’s ASEAN-wide photo contest “Zooming in on Biodiversity.” Thailand Thungyai - Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries ....................................... 52 Vol. 8, No. 2 Viet Nam Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park .................................................................................................................................. 56 Photos by Rolly Inciong ASEAN BIODIVERSITY 3
  4. Bookmarks The Intricacies of Sharing the Benefits Editor-in-Chief of Nature’s Resources ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 60 Monina T. Uriarte, PhD The very first MAD (Mangyan, Aeta, Dumagat) Managing Editor Tribal Games: Wisdom from the Wild ................................................................................................................................. 61 Bridget P. Botengan ACB and PEMSEA to Promote Coastal and Marine Creative Artist Biodiversity Conservation in Southeast Asia ........................................................................................... 63 Nanie S. Gonzales SEA’s Protected Area Execs Enhance Skills Writer-Researcher in Conservation and Management ............................................................................................................................................................. 64 Sahlee Bugna-Barrer TV Maria Airs Videos on Biodiversity ......................................................................................................................................... 65 EDITORIAL BOARD ASEAN to Strengthen Sharing of Biodiversity Information ........ 65 Rodrigo U. Fuentes Executive Director ACB joins ASEAN Day Celebration ............................................................................................................................................................ 66 Philippine Science Fair Highlights Water and Biodiversity Clarissa C. Arida Director, Programme Development and for Human Survival 67 .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Implementation 2009 CSR Links Business and Biodiversity ..................................................................................................... 68 Rolando A. Inciong ASEAN Workshop Promotes Biodiversity Head, Public Affairs Conservation in Business ................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 70 Uniting with the World to Combat Climate Change .................................................... 71 ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) ASEAN Workshop Promotes Payment for Ecosystem Headquarters Services as Tool to Boost Economy and Reduce Poverty ............... 72 3F ERDB Bldg. Forestry Campus University of the Philippines-Los Baños Forest Management Bureau Hosts ASEAN Social College, Laguna, Philippines Forestry Network Meeting ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 73 Telefax: +632.584-4247; +6349.536-2865 Lao PDR Tracks Progress in Reducing Biodiversity Loss .............. 74 E-mail: contact.us@aseanbiodiversity.org Website: www.aseanbiodiversity.org IBD 2009 Highlights Invasive Alien Species .............................................................................................. 75 ACB Annex ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity Celebrates Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center the International Day for Biodiversity 2009 .................................................................................................... 76 North Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City 1156 Philippines UPLB and Los Banos Youth Leaders Hold Forum on Biodiversity ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 77 Printed by: VJ Graphic Arts ACB, France and Japan Boost Southeast Asia’s No. of Copies: 2,000 Taxonomic Capacity ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 78 Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed herein ASEAN Countries Participate in the do not necessarily represent any official view 2009 World Ocean Conference .................................................................................................................................................................................. 79 of the European Union nor the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat. ACB and UNESCO-Jakarta Partner to Popularize The authors are responsible for any data or Biodiversity Conservation ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 80 information presented in their articles. Surfing the Web of Life ................................................................................................................................................................. 64 Letters, articles, suggestions and photos are welcome and should be addressed to: The Editor-in-Chief ABOUT THE COVER. When countries become members of multilateral environmental agreements ASEAN Biodiversity (MEAs), they show their commitment to environmental protection and the future of humanity. ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity MEAs can provide more data, better cooperation among stakeholders, and increase efforts to College, Laguna combat environmental issues such as climate change, loss of key species, and destruction of habitats. These agreements thus provide a better picture of the status of global biodiversity, E-mail: mturiarte@aseanbiodiversity.org set directions to protect the environment, and ensure a better quality of life for our children. sbbarrer@aseanbiodiversity.org 4 MAY-AUGUST 2009 www.aseanbiodiversity.org
  5. ACB is now a full-fledged int’l organization E stablished in 2005 by the Association of Southeast The ratification augurs well for the peoples of ASEAN Asian Nations (ASEAN) and with support from the who depend on biodiversity for food, medicine, livelihood, European Union (EU), the ASEAN Centre for Biodi- and shelter. With ACB’s new status as an international orga- versity) ACB is regarded as the first regional initiative to save nization, we can sustain our efforts in assisting ASEAN Mem- the ASEAN region’s critically threatened biodiversity. It is a re- ber States in preventing the loss of known animal, plant and gional intergovernmental organization that works with partners marine species that are critical to sustainable food production, to study and advocate, use and save biodiversity. The Centre health, and livelihood. ACB will be able to mobilize more re- promotes biodiversity conservation through policy and program sources and forge more partnerships that will result in more development, capacity building, information management and services to ASEAN Member States. sharing, and public advocacy. The ratification will further strengthen the momentum The Establishment Agreement of the Centre, however, re- gained by ASEAN Member States, the European Union and quires the ratification of majority of the ASEAN Member States ACB in working together to build ASEAN Member States’ for the organization to become a full-fledged international orga- capability to meet their obligations to the Convention on Bio- nization. This came into fruition when U Nyan Win, Minister logical Diversity and other relevant Multilateral Environmen- of Foreign Affairs of the Union of Myanmar signed the instru- tal Agreements, and increase Southeast Asia’s significant role ment of ratification on 08 July 2009. in reducing biodiversity loss by 2010, the International Year Following Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, the Philippines, of Biodiversity. We thank Myanmar and all those who ratified Singapore, and Viet Nam, Myanmar is the sixth ASEAN the Establishment Agreement. We also look forward to the Member State to ratify the agreement. The ACB Establish- ratification by Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand ment Agreement embodies the commitment of ASEAN Mem- this year which will greatly contribute to the One ASEAN, ber States in establishing ACB as a regional centre that facili- One Community Vision. tates cooperation and coordination among ASEAN Member States and with relevant organizations on the conservation and Rodrigo U. Fuentes sustainable use of Southeast Asia’s rich but highly threatened Executive Director biodiversity. ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity ASEAN BIODIVERSITY 5
  6. CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR! ASEAN Biodiversity Expert is 2009 Outstanding Filipino Forester R odrigo U. Fuentes, ACB Executive Director, was chosen 2009 Outstanding Professional in the field of Forestry by the Philippines Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). The forester and biodiversity expert received the Outstanding Professional Forester Award on 19 June 2009 during the PRC Awards Night after showing exemplary performance in his field. The award is the highest honor bestowed by PRC upon a professional as recommended by peers and colleagues for having ACB Executive Director Rodrigo U. Fuentes (center), Outstanding Forester 2009, with officials amply demonstrated and guests of the Professional Regulation Commission. professional competence of the highest degree. PRC also recognized Fuentes for contributing significantly to UNCCD and the Regional Action Program for the the advancement of the profession. Asian region. Fuentes has been specifically working in the field of Prior to his appointment at ACB, Fuentes environment and natural resources in the past 28 years was engaged by the United Nations Development notably as consultant and technical advisor to various Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines to undertake an intergovernmental and multilateral organizations such independent and thorough assessment and review of the as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Asian UNDP Country Program Action Plan (CPAP) on the Development Bank, United Nations agencies, and Environment and Energy Portfolios, within the ambit of World Bank. the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). A sustainable development and urban and He also served as advisor to the Secretariat of the regional planning expert, Fuentes also specializes UNCCD in Geneva, Switzerland, where he established in environmental program design and project the regional network and prepared the regional action development, policy and institutional assessment, plan for developing and pursuing subsequent work in policy and institutional assessment, environmental implementing the commitment of Asian countries to the monitoring and assessment, and capacity development UNCCD. His expertise was also sought by the Overseas in environmental management and sustainable Economic Cooperation Fund’s (OECF) Environmental development. Infrastructure Support Credit Program (EISCP), and by His previous undertakings at the regional and the Asian Development Bank. sub-regional levels included assisting governments to Before getting into the regional and international comply with their commitments to global agreements arena, Fuentes was with the Philippines’ Department of such as the implementations of Agenda 21 and UN Environment and Natural Resources, which he served Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), for 14 years, and became the National Director (1991- UN Framework Convention for Climate Change 1994) of the Environmental Management Bureau. (UNFCCC), and Convention on Biological Diversity Fuentes holds a B.S. Forestry degree and a masteral (CBD). He is also credited for developing the degree in Urban and Regional Planning, both from the Regional Framework program for implementing the University of the Philippines. 6 MAY-AUGUST 2009 www.aseanbiodiversity.org
  7. GLOBAL CONSERVATION NEWS Wood-pigeon, Slender-billed rests within the Northern well as another pitcher plant Curlew, Sulu Bleeding-heart, Sierra Madre Natural Park, Nepenthes deaniana, which is and White-eyed River-martin. one of the Philippines’ most said to have not been visible – mongabay.com important parks. Nearby in the wild for a hundred communities are supportive years. – abs-cbnNEWS.com of the reintroduction and are working to develop a Palawan’s highest peak community-based ecotourism now a protected area The Komodo dragon is endemic to a small number of Indonesian project with the Mabuwaya August 15 – Mt. islands. Photo by Rhett A. Butler Foundation. – mongabay.com Mantalingahan, towering over Palawan, Philippines at Gold mining threatens Rat-eating plant 6,800 feet above sea level, has the Komodo dragon discovered in been officially declared as a August 24 – Critics 20,000 orangutans Philippines protected site. The 120,457- contend that the proposed killed or poached August 17 – A carnivorous hectare Mt. Mantalingahan development of eight gold in 10 years without pitcher plant that eats rats and Protected Landscape is a key mines around Komodo a single prosecution insects has been discovered biodiversity area. A survey by National Park threatens the August 24 – The Indonesian in the Philippines and named Conservation International ecology of the park and the Chainsaw Massacre, a report Nepenthes attenboroughii (CI) has recorded about 861 species within. The park is published by Nature Alert after wildlife broadcaster Sir plant species in the area, home to the Komodo dragon and the Centre for Orangutan David Attenborough. The including eight that were and the Timor deer, both Protection, states that at least plant is among the largest of “previously undescribed by listed as vulnerable by the 20,000 orangutans have been all pitchers and is believed scientists” and five newly IUCN. Created in 1980 killed or captured for the to be the largest meat-eating discovered ones in the over several islands, the park illegal pet trade in the past shrub, dissolving rats with province. CI also counted 169 contains half of the world’s 10 years in Indonesia without acid-like enzymes. The team species of vertebrates, 26 of Komodo dragons: 2,500 a single prosecution. The of botanists, led by British which are in varying stages individuals. Many also believe report urges the Indonesian experts Stewart McPherson of threat or near-extinction, that the mines will damage government to enforce and Alastair Robinson, found and 90 bird species, making tourism. Komodo National existing laws designed to the plant on Mount Victoria it one of 11 important bird Park brings annual revenues protect endangered species; in the municipality of Narra, sanctuaries in Palawan. of US$7 million. Mining immediately stop issuing Palawan, Philippines. The – GMANews.TV activities near the park will new permits, and cancel team published details of their only ruin the park’s image and existing permits for logging discovery in the Botanical Nearly half of Sabah diminish the government’s and plantation concessions Journal of Linnean Society is protected forest revenue. – mongabay.com in forests that contain following a three-year study August 3 – Nearly half of orangutans; and ban new of all 120 species of pitcher Sabah’s 7.6 million-hectare Birders asked to look roads that bisect orangutan plant. The Philippines is land area is now under for extinct species habitat. – mongabay.com home to 17 Nepenthes species, permanent forest cover August 24 – Birdlife 16 of which are endemic. following amendments to a International has called on 50 Philippine crocodiles Other discoveries were state law that has seen the birders around the world released into the wild made during the expedition, creation of 12 new forest to keep an eye out for birds August 18 – Fifty critically including a new species of reserves. About 3.6 million ha classified as extinct. It wants endangered Philippine sundew, strange pink ferns are now preserved as forests, to confirm whether or not 47 crocodiles have been released and blue mushrooms, as thus exceeding the national species of birds have actually into Dicatian Lake, Isabela forestry policy requiring states disappeared from the face of Province on Luzon Island. to preserve 47 percent of their the earth. Since 1600, 133 Ten crocodiles were fitted land under forest cover. – the bird species have gone extinct, with radio transmitters, so star online but, Birdlife International their movements can be is focusing on 47 species monitored by the Mabuwaya Hope of freedom for that may still exist. Birdlife Foundation, an NGO devoted orangutans dashed is asking birders to look for to saving the crocodile, and July 27 – A program by the specific species in specific the Philippines’ Department Nyaru Menteng Orangutan regions. In Asia, these species of Environment and Natural Rehabilitation Centre to are Banggai Crow, Blue- Resources. The groups release orangutans into fronted Lorikeet, Crested hope to gather information the forests of Kalimantan Shelduck, Himalayan Quail, that will be helpful in suffered a blow when the Javan Lapwing; Negros Fruit- future reintroductions of mining company BHP Hilton dove, Pink-headed Duck, the crocodile. Dicatian announced its withdrawal Rueck’s Blue-flycatcher, Lake was chosen as a Rat-eating pitcher plant. from Indonesia. BHP Siau Scops-owl, Silvery reintroduction site since it Photo by Stewart McPherson Hilton had been supporting ASEAN BIODIVERSITY 7
  8. GLOBAL CONSERVATION NEWS longer. Its largest passageway areas that have been set ecological service and save has been measured at 460 by aside for selective logging governments millions 460 ft. The cave features an under sustainable forest of dollars a year in pest underground river, poisonous management. They account destruction as natural centipedes, and monkeys that for 82 percent of Malaysia’s controllers of termites and enter the cave through various remaining forest cover. ants. – mongabay.com skylights. A more extensive The development has been survey will be done in 2010. facilitated by a system which G8 pledges US$20 Conservationist Lone Dröscher billion for agriculture Nielsen interacts with a baby – National Geographic classifies single-species orangutan. Photo by AP monocultures as forests. July 11 – G8 leaders World’s 1st commission The replacement of natural meeting in Italy unveiled the rehabilitation centre on ecosystem loss forests with plantations a plan to commit US$20 by airlifting and releasing launched has significant ecological billion of funding to the endangered orangutans into July 21 – The International implications. Plantations development of agriculture forests that were concessions Commission on Land Use house fewer plant and to tackle persistent food of the mining company. 650 Change and Ecosystems animals species and generally shortages in developing orangutans are currently was set up by the Global store less carbon than natural countries. The initiative housed in the rehabilitation Legislators Organization forests. Clear-cutting also will also help developing center and 48 were set to (GLOBE) with financing results in soil erosion and countries develop scientific be released into the wild. from the Global Environment increases the risk of fire. research in agriculture; foster A plan for BHP to create Facility (GEF) and the Untied – mongabay.com international collaborations a 250,000-hectare wildlife National Environment and improve the reserve in central Borneo Programme (UNEP). The dissemination of research. By that could have sited 1,000 aim of the commission is linking the efforts of partners orangutans is now unlikely. to propose public policy and stakeholders around the Some conservationists fear frameworks that will build on world, the leaders agreed to that orangutans could be the increased understanding design and implement a food wiped out in the wild in little of the economic value of the security strategy whose core more than a decade due to the world’s natural capital. The principles will be country destruction of their habitat commission was launched in ownership and effective for logging, mining and Nairobi, Kenya, where the management. – SciDev.net palm oil plantations. – The commission discussed policy Malayan pangolin. Photo by Bjorn Independent instruments that can place Olesen and © 2009 TRAFFIC Southeast Asia. an economic valuation on World’s biggest cave ecosystem services, such as Pangolins threatened found in Viet Nam generating rainfall, preventing by illegal trade for July 24 – Measuring 262-by- flooding, regulating the soil, traditional Chinese 262 feet in most places, the storing carbon, and providing medicine Son Doong cave in Phong clean air and clear water. July 14 – Due to poaching Nha-Ke National Park in Other measures included the for use in traditional Chinese Viet Nam beats the previous creation of a Global Network medicine, Asian pangolin world-record holder, Deer of Marine Protected Areas, populations are rapidly Wildlife Healthcare Cave in the Malaysian section a globally consistent ban on declining and are nearly & Research Centre of the island of Borneo. the trade in illegal timber wiped out in Cambodia, Explorers walked 4.5 kms into and a payment mechanism Viet Nam and Lao PDR. New conservation fund the cave before being blocked to ensure that forests are Though the species has to protect Singapore’s by seasonal floodwaters and protected. – China.org.cn been protected under the endangered species the passage may be even Convention on International July 10 – Wildlife Reserves Malaysia’s rainforests Trade in Endangered Singapore (WRS) has set being replaced with Species of Wild Fauna and aside S$1 million to protect plantations of clones Flora (CITES) since 2002, and save Singapore’s native July 20 – Rainforests once slowing international trade in endangered species. The fund managed for selective logging pangolin will require better will concentrate on native in Malaysia are now being enforcement of existing animal conservation efforts replaced with latex-timber national and international and the issue of climate clones—rubber trees that laws, better monitoring of change. The first recipient yield latex and can be the illegal trade, and basic is the National University harvested for timber. Up research to find where viable of Singapore’s (NUS’) Ah to 80 percent of Malaysia’s pangolin populations still Meng Memorial Conservation remaining forest cover exist and whether ravaged Fund, which will receive could be at risk. Permanent populations can recover. S$500,000 over five years. Photo by BARM/Fame Pictures forest reserves are forest Pangolins provide a major This will support the 8 MAY-AUGUST 2009 www.aseanbiodiversity.org
  9. GLOBAL CONSERVATION NEWS academic research and study Forest clearings leave coasts. This prompted vows wood and soil. Peat forests of endangered native wildlife orphaned orangutans from the Timorese leadership can release more than 2,000 undertaken by students and June 25 – As Borneo’s rain to declare the area a protected tonnes of carbon dioxide faculty members of NUS. forests are razed for oil palm national park and develop it per hectare when drained The first NUS project will plantations, wildlife centers for ecotourism. – Associated and burned, as well as large focus on a detailed study of are taking in more and Press amounts of methane, a far the ecology of the banded leaf more orphaned orangutans. more powerful greenhouse monkey. More information is Orangutans at the Nyaru New online tool gas than CO2. The program available at www.wrscf.org.sg. Menteng Center run by the for conservation is one of the first large-scale – Channelnewsasia Borneo Orangutan Survival June 20 – The Zoological demonstration projects under Foundation (BOS) are mainly Society of London has the UN forest carbon scheme “oil palm orphans” whose developed a National Red called reduced emissions from forest habitats were destroyed, List website that currently deforestation and degradation and parents killed, by the holds over 50,000 species (REDD), which aims to use swiftly spreading oil palm from 40 countries and carbon credits from saving industry in Indonesia. BOS regions. It highlights that forests to reward developing hopes to eventually release some of the world’s most nations. KFCP aims to tackle all of these orangutans back biodiverse countries, such as the causes of deforestation, into their natural habitat, Indonesia and Madagascar, such as subsistence farming, Photo by PA but increasing deforestation lack National Red Lists logging or other uses of mean that many orangutans and are in dire need of the forests, and focus on More animals than will remain in captivity. Two conservation investment. economic development ever in danger of thousand orangutans are This is the first time that opportunities to address becoming extinct currently in the rehabilitation National Red Lists have been them. – Reuters July 2 – The extinction crisis system. Indonesia and centralised, and is a powerful facing the world’s wildlife Malaysia are the world’s complementary information Biofuel does well could be even worse than largest producers of palm oil, source to the IUCN Red List in flight test previously thought with accounting for more than of Threatened Species. The June 17 – Continental more than 44,000 species 85 percent of global output. website will also allow people Airlines said a blend of under threat. The Wolrd – Yale Environment 360 to track the success of their biologically derived fuel Conservation Union (IUCN) nation in meeting the targets and jet fuel performed of Nature reports that set by the Convention on slightly better than jet fuel there are currently 44,838 Biological diversity to reduce alone during a test flight. species on the IUCN Red biodiversity loss by 2010. Continental estimates List considered under threat – Red Orbit greenhouse gas emissions – the greatest figure ever were cut at least 60 percent by recorded. Of those, 16,928 Borneo project to yield using the blend. Airlines have species are in danger of lessons on saving been exploring alternative fuel going extinct. Considering forests sources for years in an effort Orphaned orangutans at the June 18 – Conservation to counter volatile fuel prices. that only 2.7 percent of the Nyaru Menteng rehabilitation world’s 1.8 million known center in the Borneo. Photo by Rhett groups are currently helping Jet fuel rivals labor as the top species have been analysed, Butler/ mongabay.com Australia and Indonesia cost at most major airlines. conservationists say this is a develop the Kalimantan The biofuel blend consisted gross underestimate. Nearly Timor seeks help Forests and Climate of oil derived from algae and one third of amphibians and to protect whale, Partnership (KFCP) which jatropha plants. – Reuters coral, more than one in eight dolphin hotspot aims to preserve and birds and nearly a quarter June 25 – The government rehabilitate 100,000 hectares Mekong dolphins on of mammals are threatened of East Timor says it plans to of carbon-rich peat land in the brink of extinction with extinction. For some establish a national park to Central Kalimantan. Half June 18 – The Mekong River plant groups, the situation is protect a bounty of dolphins the area has been cleared Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella even more serious with and whales. East Timor is one and half is still forested but brevirostris) population 28 percent of conifers in of a few places in the world under threat unless alternative inhabits a 190-km stretch of danger of dying out. The with an exceptional diversity livelihoods are found for the Mekong River between situation is expected to get and abundance of large sea the 20,000 people living Cambodia and Lao PDR. worse as a result of climate mammals due to its unusual in and around the project Since 2003, the population change. Since records began, geography and years of area. Australia has pledged has suffered 88 deaths of more than 1,000 species relative isolation. Researchers A$30 million to fund the which over 60 percent were have gone extinct including have spotted endangered blue project until 2012. Tropical calves under two weeks old. the dodo and passenger whales, sperm whales and sei rainforests and particularly The latest population is pigeon and more recently whales, as well as spinner and peatland forests, soak up vast estimated between 64 and 76 species like the golden toad. spotted dolphins along the amounts of carbon-dioxide, members. Necropsy analysis - telegraph.co.uk island’s northern and southern locking away carbon in the identified a bacterial disease ASEAN BIODIVERSITY 9
  10. GLOBAL CONSERVATION NEWS information on the long- change could see animals and beaked echidna’s biology, plants “trapped” in homes feeding behavior and ecology that become too hot or dry, has prevented conservationists raising the possibility of from formulating plans for extinction. Some scientists its protection. Echidnas are have developed a plan that is members of the monotremes, partly funded by the National Irrawaddy dolphins at Koh Kon an order of mammals that Science Foundation (NSF), Sat, Mekong River, Cambodia. Deforestation in Borneo. lay leathery eggs. They are Photo by Rhett A. Butler which involves moving species Photo by David Dove / WWF Greater Mekong more reptile-like than other into more accommodating as the cause of the calf deaths. mammals. Echidnas lay a that ecosystem recovery habitats. Species that could This disease would not be single egg, which the female take centuries. Researchers be saved by assisted migration fatal unless the dolphin’s holds in a sticky pouch. analyzed 240 independent include the Spanish lynx, immune systems were The hatchling resides in the studies that explored the which has become trapped in suppressed by environmental pouch for between 40-50 days recovery of degraded increasingly arid pockets of contaminants. In these cases, and receives milk from two ecosystems due both to the Iberian peninsula, while researchers found toxic levels mammary patches. Once the human-caused disturbances certain species of butterflies of pesticides such as DDT, hatchling develops spines, and natural disasters. In the and corals have been polychlorinated biphenyls the mother digs a nursery, study published in PLoS previously identified as good (PCBs), and high levels of which she returns to every five ONE, the researchers found candidates. Rare fish trapped mercury were found in some days to nurse the hatchling. that on average forests in lakes could also be moved of the dead dolphins. A The baby is weaned in seven recover in 42 years, while to cooler waters. – telegraph. transboundary preventative months. – ENN ocean bottoms recover in less co.uk health programme is urgently than a decade. Ecosystems needed to manage the disease Forest conservation that suffered from a variety “Alien” pests wreak affected animals in order to in Indonesia could of disturbances took on vast economic damage reduce the number of deaths be as profitable as average 56 years, while those May 21 – The United each year. The Mekong River palm oil plantations recovering from mining, Nations noted that many Irrawaddy dolphin has been June 5 – A study in the invasive species, oil spill, governments are ignoring on the IUCN Red List of journal Conservation Letters and trawling recovered on invasive alien species (IAS) Threatened Species since found that selling credits for average in five years. These such as weeds or rats but these 2004. – WWF the billions of tons of carbon recoveries may not mean cause $1.4 trillion in damages that are locked in Indonesia’s the ecosystem returned to a a year to the world economy. tropical rain forests could truly natural state and many The cost is split between be quite profitable. It also of the ecosystems had likely losses from introduced pests found that conserving the already experienced large- in crops, pastures and forests 3.3 million hectares that are scale changes such as loss in and other environmental slated to become plantations biodiversity, loss in water damage. IAS spread from on Kalimantan on the island and air quality, and climatic one continent to another of Borneo would boost the changes. The message via the global agricultural, Echidna region’s biodiversity. The however is that if societies horticultural and pet trades or 800 proposed plantations choose to become sustainable, by hitch-hiking lifts in ballast First study on rare that were studied contain ecosystems will recover. water and on ship’s hulls. The egg laying mammals 40 of the region’s 46 – mongabay.com UN stressed that too many June 10 – A study by the threatened mammals countries have failed to grasp Wildlife Conservation including orangutans and the threat of IAS to global Society, published in the pygmy elephants. The study biodiversity, and praised Journal of Mammalogy, concluded that conserving countries such as South Africa chronicles the behaviors of forests would be more for eradication programs or the long-beaked echidna (also profitable than clearing them New Zealand for imposing called the spiny anteater), for palm oil if the credits tough customs controls. the first mammal to lay eggs. could be sold for $10 to $33 The Spanish Lynx has become – Reuters The long-beaked echidna is per ton. Currently, the rate trapped in increasingly widespread in the montane per ton is around $20. – ENN arid pockets of the Iberian Logging threatens forests of New Guinea and peninsula. Photo by EPA orangutans, tigers, finds refuge in hollow logs, Degraded ecosystems elephants root or rack cavities, and can recover in less Rare animals to be May 19 – Five conservation burrows. The long-beaked than a lifetime moved from native groups warned that a logging echidna population has May 31 – A study by the habitats because of operation by Asia’s biggest greatly declined largely due Yale School of Forestry climate change pulp producer in Indonesia’s to hunting, since it is a highly and Environmental Studies May 25 – Conservationists Sumatra island threatens the prized game animal. Limited rebuts a common assumption fear that rapid climate habitat of rare orangutans, 10 MAY-AUGUST 2009 www.aseanbiodiversity.org
  11. GLOBAL CONSERVATION NEWS The Kutai National Park has National Academy of been changing into a city, Sciences states that islands complete with an airport, gas are the key to saving global stations, marketplace, towers, biodiversity. While islands and a bus terminal. Only have fewer overall species time can tell if orangutans than continental areas of the can survive in the area. The same size, they have far more population of orangutans endemic species, i.e. animals in Borneo is uncertain, but and plants that can be found most scientists estimate nowhere else in the world. there are fewer than 50,000 WWF warns vast coral The study also found that individuals. – mongabay.com reef in Southeast Asia while islands make up less may disappear by end than four percent of Earth’s More bird species of the century land area, they are home to facing extinction May 13 – Pollution, nearly a quarter of the world’s Sumatran Tiger known plants, 70,000 of May 14 – An update of the overfishing and climate tigers and elephants. A IUCN Red List indicates change are destroying the which are not found on the license has been given to a that 12 percent or 1,227 area known as the Coral continents. Due to small joint venture between Asia bird species worldwide are Triangle, which covers an populations and limited Pulp & Paper and the Sinar facing extinction, with 24 area about half the size of the habitats on many islands, Mas Group to clear 50,000 more threatened now than United States and is home species extinction is always a hectares of forest near the in 2008. This includes two to more than 30 percent of very real possibility. Modeling Bukit Tigapuluh National bird species - the Gorgeted the world’s corals and more future human impacts on Park in Jambi to supply a Puffleg and the Sidamo Lark than 35 percent of coral- biodiversity up to 2100, nearby pulp mill. The forests - which have been added to reef fish – around 3,000 the study found that island are home to around 100 a list of critically endangered species. The Coral Triangle biodiversity will face greater orangutans that have been birds, bringing the total spans Indonesia, Malaysia, pressure than continental successfully reintroduced into in this group to 192. The Papua New Guinea, the biodiversity, due largely to the wild, 100-400 critically Gorgeted Puffleg, a type of Philippines, Solomon Islands human land-use, including endangered Sumatran tigers, hummingbird, was recently and Timor-Leste and covers deforestation and agricultural and up to 60 endangered discovered in Colombia, around 18,500 islands rich expansion. – mongabay.com Sumatran elephants. The but its 1,200 hectares of in mountain forests and green groups - the Sumatran habitat is shrinking annually woodlands. The escalation Tiger Conservation and by eight percent as they are of modern practices, such Protection Foundation, being turned into cocoa as deforestation, coastal Frankfurt Zoological Society, plantations. The Sidamo reclamation, destructive Zoological Society of London, Lark from Ethiopia faces the fishing and the pumping WWF-Indonesia and WARSI danger of becoming Africa’s of pollution and sewage - have sent a letter to the first extinct bird species into sea, over the last 40 Ministry of Forestry asking it as pastures are overgrazed. years have already destroyed The endangered kagu to protect the area. – Reuters The rising number of about 40 percent of coral (Rhynochetos jubatus) of New critically endangered birds reefs and mangroves in this Caledonia. Photo by Miguel Vences Orangutan population on the IUCN Red List is unique environment. If such in Borneo park plunges worrisome given the number practices are unchecked, Thailand aims 90% in 5 years of successful conservation half the species in the Coral to raise forest cover May 16 – The population initiatives around the world. Triangle will continue to 40% in 8 years of orangutans in Indonesia’s – Agence France-Presse disappear at a rate of 1-2 May 9 – In Thailand, several Kutai National Park has percent a year. This will have forest plantation projects plunged by 90 percent in tremendous impacts on the will be launched to help the past five years due to economy of the six nations the Ministry of Natural large-scale deforestation within the area, where 100 Resources and Environment promoted by local authorities, million residents depend on achieve the goal raising forest reports the Centre for mangroves, seafood beds, and cover over 40 percent in Orangutan Protection (COP). marine resources for their eight years. Aside from tree The population of morio food, livelihood, and housing planting schemes, the Royal orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus material. – guardian.co.uk Forest Department is also morio) declined from 600 preparing to launch a project in 2004 to 30-60 this year. Protecting global that will offer financial aid to COP attributes the drop to biodiversity must farmers who want to invest in A critically endangered include islands state-sponsored colonization Antilophia bokermanni, planting economic trees such of the Kutai, which has led to a bird from the Manakin May 12 – A new study as teak, neem, and eucalyptus. hunting and forest clearing. family. Photo by AFP in the Proceedings of the – Bangkok Post ASEAN BIODIVERSITY 11
  12. SPECIAL REPORTS MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS WHY THE NEED FOR HARMONISED REPORTING? G lobal agreements are crucial to resolving international issues and concerns, and this is particularly important in environmental conservation. Loss of species and habitats, wetlands conservation, wildlife trade, pollution, and climate change are concerns requiring concerted global effort to be effectively addressed. 12 MAY-AUGUST 2009 www.aseanbiodiversity.org
  13. SPECIAL REPORTS Photo by TunAung Ratification of multilateral environ- of bio-geographical, social, economic, ment of data. Streamlining reporting to mental agreements (MEAs) is largely legal and political information. These MEAs will reduce reporting burdens on motivated by national concern for eco- have to be meticulously prepared by Parties, encourage more data sharing, systems and species. ASEAN Member the focal points or reporting agencies and create synergy in environmental States are now Parties to a number of and crafted according to formats set by work among concerned national and biodiversity-related international agree- the secretariats of MEAs. These formats international agencies. ments including the Convention on may be different across conventions, but Reporting such information, how- Biological Diversity ever, may be hindered (CBD), Convention on Wetlands of In- “Ratification of multilateral environmental by lack of coordina- tion among relevant ternational Impor- tance (Ramsar), agreements (MEAs) is largely motivated agencies. There is also limited collaboration Convention on In- by national concern for ecosystems and between the secretari- ternational Trade in ats of various global Endangered Species species. ASEAN Member States are now agreements to stream- of Wild Fauna and line their approaches. Flora (CITES), Con- Parties to a number of biodiversity-related Gathering and use of vention on Migratory information also pos- Species (CMS), and international agreements.” es a problem. the World Heritage The CBD en- Convention (WHC). These were devel- they often require similar or cross cut- courages parties to harmonize the oped to establish wide-ranging coopera- ting information, such as habitat cov- gathering and management of data for tion in protecting plants, animals, and erage, species inventory, composition the biodiversity-related conventions. other species. of local communities, human activities The Conference of Parties (COP) MEAs require national reporting that may affect the local environment, encouraged the Liaison Group of the from all Parties to create a global pic- protected area status, number of rang- Biodiversity-related Conventions to ture of environmental efforts, as well as ers, and others. Since a number of issues give further consideration to issues provide directions for the future. Re- may need to be presented in reports to of harmonization of reporting among ports often require data from different various MEAs, there is a need to har- the biodiversity-related conventions, national agencies covering a wide range monize the gathering of and manage- and to develop proposals thereon. ASEAN BIODIVERSITY 13
  14. SPECIAL REPORTS This has resulted in collaborations tions; exchange of national approaches cumstances vary between coun- with other convention secretariats to and experiences; training on relevant tries. develop measures to harmonize re- tools and approaches for harmoniza- • Emphasis on the need to un- porting to various conventions. The tion; as well as reflections on challenges derstand that reporting is an ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity thus to harmonized reporting allowed repre- output of information man- conducted the ASEAN Workshop sentatives of AMS to craft an outline of agement which serves national on Harmonization of Reporting to general observations and recommenda- implementation of the conven- Biodiversity-Related Conventions tions on harmonized reporting. This tions. on 15-17 April 2009 in Hanoi, Viet outline will provide the basis for an These observations underline the Nam to assist ASEAN Member States action plan for AMS, as Parties to the need to strengthen information man- (AMS) in streamlining their reports Conventions, to guide their efforts to agement and collaboration between to various MEAs. The workshop harmonize their reporting and for con- national focal points and agencies to sought to promote national and re- vention secretariats to pursue harmoni- improve national reporting. Improved gional efforts to harmonize or syner- zation and standardization of reporting information management will require gize reporting to biodiversity-related formats. the need for a fully operational (meta) conventions; strengthen national ca- The outline contains elements for data warehouse, such as a Clearing- pacities in harmonized reporting by action at the national and global level. House Mechanism or National Biodi- providing training on use of relevant General observations that merit atten- versity Information Network, to cover tools and approaches; and discuss pos- tion at the national level include the fol- all biodiversity-related conventions; in- sible ways and means for harmoniza- lowing: volvement of all stakeholders that hold tion of reporting at the global level. • Lack of a single model for relevant information; and the use of on- Meaningful discussions on global improved information man- line tools to assemble national reports. and regional initiatives to harmonize re- agement, collaboration and Stronger collaboration is also needed porting to biodiversity-related conven- harmonization as national cir- among national focal points of various SOME MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS Convention on Biological underpinnings as countries go about the exploitation and trade of some animal Diversity (CBD) business of economic development. The and plant species are high, and combined The CBD was inspired by the Convention establishes three main goals: with other factors, such as habitat loss, understanding that the Earth’s biological the conservation of biological diversity, is capable of heavily depleting their resources are vital to humanity’s the sustainable use of its components, populations and even bringing some economic and social development. As a and the fair and equitable sharing of species close to extinction. Many wildlife result, there is a growing recognition that the benefits from the use of genetic species in trade are not endangered, but biological diversity is a global asset of resources. There are currently 191 the existence of an agreement to ensure tremendous value to present and future Parties to the CBD (www.cbd.int). the sustainability of the trade is important generations. At the same time, the threat in order to safeguard these resources for to species and Convention on the International the future. The trade in wild animals and ecosystems Trade of Endangered Species plants often crosses borders between has never of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) countries, and the effort to regulate it been as The aim of CITES is to ensure that requires international cooperation to great as it is today. Species extinction international trade in specimens of wild safeguard certain species from over- caused by human activities continues animals and plants does not threaten their exploitation. CITES was conceived in at an alarming rate. The CBD traces survival. Annually, international wildlife the spirit of such cooperation. Today, it its origins to the 1992 Earth Summit trade is estimated to be worth billions accords varying degrees of protection in Rio de Janeiro, where world leaders of dollars and to more than 30,000 species of animals agreed on a comprehensive strategy for includes hundreds and plants, whether they are traded as “sustainable development” -- meeting of millions of live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs. our needs while ensuring that we leave plant and animal There are currently 175 Parties to the a healthy and viable world for future specimens. Trade convention (www.cites.org). generations. The CBD was one of the ranges from live animals and plants key agreements adopted at Rio. This pact to a vast array of derived products, Convention on Migratory Species among the vast majority of the world’s including food, exotic leather goods, (CMS or Bonn Convention) governments sets out commitments wooden musical instruments, timber, The CMS aims to conserve terrestrial, for maintaining the world’s ecological tourist curios and medicines. Levels of marine and avian migratory species 14 MAY-AUGUST 2009 www.aseanbiodiversity.org
  15. SPECIAL REPORTS MEAs, and these can be facilitated by reviewing institutional and administra- tive arrangements for the implementa- tion of conventions, and development of formal collaborative mechanisms with a specific lead agency to include various focal points, among others. At the global level, there is a need to address the following concerns: • Development of models for har- monization of national reporting between the biodiversity-related conventions; • Formulation of specific guide- lines for the preparation of the reports, such as the CBD 4th National Report (4NR) Report- ing Guidelines; • Harmonization of reporting cycles to maximize time and re- sources; and • Use of online reporting systems and increasing capacity to use online tools. throughout their range. It and international cooperation for the therefore has at its heart the conservation is an intergovernmental conservation and wise use of wetlands and sustainable use of wetlands and their treaty, concluded under and their resources. It is the only resources, for the benefit of humankind the aegis of the United global environmental treaty that deals (www.ramsar.org). Nations Environment with a particular ecosystem, and the Programme, concerned Convention’s 159 member countries United Nations Framework with the conservation cover all geographic regions of the Convention on Climate Change of wildlife and habitats on a global scale. planet. The Convention’s mission is “the (UNFCCC) Since the Convention’s entry into force, its conservation and wise use of all wetlands The UNFCCC sets an overall membership has grown steadily to include through local and national actions framework for intergovernmental efforts 110 Parties. Migratory species threatened and international to tackle the challenges posed by climate with extinction are listed on Appendix cooperation, as a change. It recognizes that the climate I of the Convention. CMS Parties strive contribution towards system is a shared resource whose towards strictly protecting these animals, achieving sustainable stability can be affected by industrial and conserving or restoring the places where development other emissions of carbon dioxide and they live, mitigating obstacles to migration throughout the world”. other greenhouse gases. The Convention and controlling other factors that might The Convention enjoys near endanger them. Aside from establishing uses a broad definition of the types of universal obligations for each member state, CMS wetlands covered in its mission, including membership, promotes concerted action among the lakes and rivers, swamps and marshes, with the Range States of many of these species. wet grasslands and peatlands, oases, ratification of 192 countries. Under the Migratory species that need or would estuaries, deltas and tidal flats, near- Convention, governments gather and significantly benefit from international shore marine areas, mangroves and coral share information on greenhouse gas cooperation are listed in Appendix II of the reefs, and human-made sites such as emissions, national policies and best Convention (www.cms.int). fish ponds, rice paddies, reservoirs, and practices; launch national strategies for salt pans. At the centre of the Ramsar addressing greenhouse gas emissions Convention on Wetlands philosophy is the “wise use” concept. The and adapting to expected impacts, of International Importance wise use of wetlands is defined as “the including the provision of financial and (Ramsar) maintenance of their ecological character, technological support to developing The Ramsar Convention is an achieved through the implementation of countries; and cooperate in preparing intergovernmental treaty that provides ecosystem approaches, within the context for adaptation to the impacts of climate the framework for national action of sustainable development”. “Wise use” change (unfccc.int/2860.php). ASEAN BIODIVERSITY 15
  16. SPECIAL REPORTS ASEAN ACTION ON MEAs T he Association of Southeast Asian Nations facilitates obligations to various MEAs with the assistance of the ASEAN Working Group on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (AWGMEA). The policy frameworks that provide the foundation for the AWGMEA include the following: ASEAN Vision 2020 – In 1997 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the heads of government of the ASEAN Member States developed the ASEAN Vision 2020, which aimed to chart a new development for ASEAN that features dynamic development and economic integration, and a community of caring societies that is conscious of its ties of history, aware of its cultural heritage, and bound by a common regional identity. 16 MAY-AUGUST 2009 www.aseanbiodiversity.org
  17. SPECIAL REPORTS This is highlighted by a vision for a reports for policy-making and gotiations in MEAs. “…clean and green ASEAN with fully addressing impacts on the envi- established mechanisms for sustainable ronment. The AWGMEA primarily focuses on development to ensure the protection of the following international conventions: the region’s environment, the sustainabil- Aside from addressing global envi- Atmosphere related conventions ity of its natural resources, and the high ronmental issues, the VAP also primar- • Montreal Protocol on Substances quality of life of its peoples.” ily promotes national and regional co- that Deplete the Ozone Layer ASEAN Socio-Cultural Communi- operation to address measures related to - This landmark international ty Plan of Action – In Bali, Indonesia in the cluster of multilateral environmen- agreement was designed to pro- 2003, the ASEAN Member States issued tal agreements addressing atmospheric tect the stratospheric ozone the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II, issues such as climate change, the Vien- layer. The treaty was originally a framework to achieve a dynamic, co- na Convention and its protocols. It also signed in 1987 and substantially hesive, resilient and integrated ASEAN supports national and regional coopera- amended in 1990 and 1992. The Community by adopting plans on the tion on measures related to MEAS that Montreal Protocol stipulates that ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Commu- Institutional Framework - Environment nity, and the ASEAN Note: Socio-Cultural Com- AWGNCB - ASEAN Working munity. The ASEAN Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity Socio-Cultural Com- AWGCME - ASEAN Working munity Plan of Action ASEAN Summit Group on Coastal and Marine Environment (ASEAN Heads of State/ expressed the need for Government) AWGMEA - ASEAN Working Group on Multilateral Environment Agreements coordinating responses AWGWRM - ASEAN Working to MEAs since it strives ASEAN Ministerial ASEAN Environment Secretary-General Group on Water Resources Meeting (AMM) Ministers Meeting of ASEAN Management for the “…harmonisa- (ASEAN Foreign Ministers) (AMME, IAMME) AWGESC - ASEAN Working Group on tion of environmental Environmentally Sustainable Cities policies, legislation, ASEAN Standing ASEAN Senior Officials Committee (ASC) on the Environment AWGEE - ASEAN regulations, standards (ASOEN) ASEAN Secretariat Working Group on Environmental Education (Bureau for Resources and databases, taking Development) into account the na- tional circumstances of Member Countries, to Other Environmental support the integration AWGNCB AWGCME AWGMES AWGWRM AWGESC AWGEE Activities (ASEAN Secretariat) of the environmental, social and economic goals of the region.” Vientiane Action Programme address chemical and chemical wastes the production and consump- (2004-2010) – The VAP promotes sus- such as the Basel, Stockholm and Rot- tion of compounds that deplete tainable development, monitoring and terdam Conventions. ozone in the stratosphere - chlo- reporting/database harmonization in the rofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, region and recommends the following The AWGMEA aims to: carbon tetrachloride, and methyl actions: • Strengthen cooperation in the im- chloroform - are to be phased 1. Implement the 13 priority envi- plementation of existing interna- out by 2000 (2005 for methyl ronmental parameters and ensure tional instruments or agreements chloroform). Scientific theory region-wide harmonisation in in the field of environment. and evidence suggest that, once terms of measurement (method- • Identify and address problems in emitted to the atmosphere, these ology), monitoring and report- implementing international envi- compounds could significantly ing. ronmental agreements or instru- deplete the stratospheric ozone 2. Consolidate and promote syner- ments. layer that shields the planet from gy in the reporting requirements • Promote and support the effec- damaging UV-B radiation. under the various multilateral tive participation of ASEAN • United Nations Framework Con- environmental agreements, aim- countries in the negotiation of vention on Climate Change and ing for consolidated region-wide obligations to conventions. the Kyoto Protocol - The UN- reporting. • Exchange views and information FCCC sets an overall framework 3. Produce informative periodi- on new or revised MEAs. for intergovernmental efforts to cal state of the environment • Upgrade ASEAN capacity for ne- tackle climate change. It recog- ASEAN BIODIVERSITY 17
  18. SPECIAL REPORTS nizes that the climate system is in the international trade of cer- At the AWGMEA 12, which was a shared resource whose stability tain hazardous chemicals in or- held on 19-20 June 2008 in Kuala can be affected by industrial and der to protect human health and Lumpur, Malaysia, the following ac- other emissions of carbon diox- the environment from potential tions were proposed in ASEAN in rela- ide and other greenhouse gases. harm; and contribute to the en- tion to the various MEAs: Under the Convention, govern- vironmentally sound use of those • Montreal Protocol - close coop- ments gather and share informa- hazardous chemicals, by facilitat- eration among ASEAN Member tion on greenhouse gas emissions ing information exchange about States (AMS) both at the nation- (GHGs), national policies and their characteristics; providing al and regional level to combat best practices; launch national for a national decision-making illegal trade in Ozone Depleting strategies for addressing green- process on their import and ex- Substances (ODS). Further ex- house gas emissions and adapting port; and disseminating these de- change of information among to expected impacts, including cisions to Parties (www.pic.int). AMS is necessary to effectively the provision of financial and • Stockholm Convention on Persis- address imbalance in halons. technological support to devel- tent Organic Pollutants – This is • UNFCCC - detailed studies oping countries; and cooperate a global treaty to protect human should be conducted for the in preparing for adaptation to the health and the environment from ASEAN region to make in- impacts of climate change. The chemicals that remain intact in formed policy decisions, as well Kyoto Protocol is linked to the the environment for long peri- as develop appropriate mitiga- UNFCC and sets binding targets ods, become widely distributed tion and adaptation measures. for 37 industrialized countries geographically and accumulate It was suggested that a workshop and the European Community in the fatty tissue of humans and be conducted to discuss the im- for reducing GHGs (unfccc. wildlife. Exposure to Persistent plementation of such a study for int/2860.php). Organic Pollutants (POPs) can the ASEAN region. Chemicals related conventions lead to serious health effects in- • Basel Convention – a Basel • Basel Convention on the Control of cluding certain cancers, birth Convention Regional Centre Transboundary Movement of Haz- defects, dysfunctional immune for South-East Asia (BCRC- ardous Wastes and their Disposal and reproductive systems, greater SEA) proposal was developed – This is the most comprehensive susceptibility to disease and even on regional database develop- global environmental agreement diminished intelligence. Given ment on hazardous chemicals on hazardous and other wastes. their long range transport, no and wastes management in The Convention has 172 Par- government acting alone can pro- ASEAN countries. ties and aims to protect human tect its citizens or environment • Rotterdam Convention – ASEAN health and the environment from POPs. In response, the should consider acceding to against the adverse effects result- Stockholm Convention, which the Convention expeditiously ing from the generation, man- was adopted in 2001 and entered so that AMS can participate in agement, transboundary move- into force 2004, requires Parties training programmes for capac- ments and disposal of hazardous to take measures to eliminate or ity building in implementing and other wastes. A central goal reduce the release of POPs into the Rotterdam Convention. of the Convention is “environ- the environment (chm.pops.int). • Stockholm Convention – the mentally sound management” meeting discussed a project (ESM), which addresses the issue ASEAN Participation in MEAs on Persistent Organic Pollut- of hazardous waste through an ants (POPs) information ware- “integrated life-cycle approach”, Atmosphere related conventions ASEAN house, as well as the need to which involves strong controls Vienna Convention 100% identify the priority areas for from the generation of a hazard- the regional training workshop ous waste to its storage, transport, Montreal Protocol 100% on “Familiarisation and Use of treatment, reuse, recycling, recov- UNFCCC 90% UNEP’s Standardised Toolkit ery and final disposal (www.basel. on Identification and Quanti- int). Kyoto Protocol 50% fication of Dioxins and Furans • Rotterdam Convention on the Chemicals related conventions Releases.” Prior Informed Consent for Cer- tain Hazardous Chemicals and Rotterdam Convention 30% More information on the ASEAN Pesticides in International Trade Stockholm Convention 60% Working Group on Multilateral – The Convention aims to pro- Environmental Agreements (AWGMEA) mote shared responsibility and Basel Convention 80% can be accessed at environment.asean. cooperative efforts among Parties Source: ASEAN SoER3 org. 18 MAY-AUGUST 2009 www.aseanbiodiversity.org
  19. SPECIAL REPORTS GLOBAL HARMONISATION OF NATIONAL REPORTING TO BIODIVERSITY- RELATED CONVENTIONS P arties to multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) are required to submit national reports to convention secretariats primarily to demonstrate compliance with the convention, develop an overview of its implementation, assess its effectiveness and take stock of the work that has been done to identify measures that have to be undertaken for the future. National reports also provide information on the status and trends on biodiversity that will enable informed decision-making as well as identify necessary interactions with other processes and agencies in biodiversity conservation. ASEAN BIODIVERSITY 19
  20. SPECIAL REPORTS There are a number of challenges required to facilitate national reporting challenges remain for both conven- to reporting, and these include the de- on global forest resources. This will also tion secretariats and the Parties to the velopment of reports to a multitude of require significant strengthening of in- various conventions. MEAs often have conventions (thus creating a ‘reporting stitutional coordination and scientific different reporting cycles. Informa- burden’ on Parties), as well as duplica- studies to improve data quality. Partici- tion also usually comes from different tion or lack of information necessary pants also suggested the development of ministries and agencies, and some of for the reports. There is also the issue regional cooperation among countries the data required maybe very specific of the lack of cooperation and coordi- for sharing of experience and expertise (such as greenhouse gas inventories for nation among agencies, and sometimes, to improve national capacities for for- the United Nations Framework Con- Parties do not submit reports at all. est-related reporting. vention on Climate Change). Biodi- Recent Conference of Party (COP) versity knowledge has to be managed Steps towards harmonisation mandates from various MEAs also di- in a manner where national reports do The United Nations Environment rect convention secretariats to develop not become a by-product of national Programme - World Conservation mechanisms for harmonizing reports to biodiversity information management. Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) better assist Parties, streamline the man- Rather, such information should sup- has been working to produce a for- agement of information, and provide a port the implementation of the various mula that would allow streamlining better picture of the conservation of the environmental conventions. and harmonization of national reports world’s natural resources. These resolu- to MEAs. Some of the activities con- tions include the following: Approaches to harmonisation ducted towards this end include the • Ramsar: Resolutions IX.5, X.11 There are promising approaches to following: • Convention on Biological Di- streamlining national reports, such as • Feasibility Study for a Harmo- versity (CBD): VIII/14, VIII/20, the use of joint reporting portals; mod- nized Information Management IX/19 ular reporting; core reports; joint the- Infrastructure for Biodiversity- • Convention on the Internation- matic reporting formats; consensus on relatedTreaties (UNEP-WCMC, al Trade of Endangered Species information needs and sources; and on- 1989) (CITES): Decisions 14.37 and line reporting. • WCMC Handbooks on Bio- 14.38 The Collaborative Partnership on diversity Information Manage- • Convention on Migratory Spe- Forests (CPF) Portal is an example and ment (1998) cies (CMS): Resolutions 8.11, facilitates the streamlining of forest-re- • Cambridge workshop (UNEP 8.24, 9.4 lated reporting. It provides access to for- & UNEP-WCMC, 2000) est-related information from reporting • Pilot projects: Ghana, Indone- Resolutions from Ramsar specifi- to various conventions and processes, sia, Panama, Seychelles (UNEP/ cally state the following: and allows users to search national re- UNEP-WCMC 2001-2003) Ramsar resolution IX.5: 9 addition- ports by process (e.g. MEAs) or coun- • Haasrode workshop (2004) on ally requests the Secretary General to try. pilot project results (Belgium, continue working with UNEP’s Divi- Modular reporting is another ap- UK, UNEP-WCMC, 2004) sion of Environmental Conventions proach that is gaining ground and has • UNEP – MEA Secretariats‘ and the secretariats of other biodiver- been piloted in some countries to deter- Knowledge Management proj- sity-related conventions and agreements mine its feasibility. ect (2006-08) concerning more effective convention The core report, on the other hand, • Streamlining reporting by Pacif- implementation. Topics could include, is the model used for human rights ic Island Countries (DEWHA, inter alia, and as appropriate, the devel- conventions. These feature a common SPREP) opment and implementation of issue- core report for all the treaties, as well based modules and harmonization of as smaller treaty-specific reports. The In 2008, the Food and Agriculture national reporting requirements subject potential elements of a core report in- Organization (FAO) and the Forestry to the mandate of each individual con- clude: Department of Malaysia organized the vention bearing in mind their Contract- • General factual and statistical Regional Workshop on Strengthening ing Parties. information about the reporting of Harmonization of National Report- Ramsar resolution VIII.26 further Party – this may encompass an ing to the Global Forest Resources As- urges Parties to consider initiating trials overview of the state of biodiver- sessment 2010 and Other International of joint reporting involving Ramsar and sity as well as relevant govern- Processes on Forests in Asia in Kuala other multilateral environmental agree- ment departments and agencies. Lumpur, Malaysia. The workshop par- ments, seeking the advice, as appropri- • General framework for conserva- ticipants emphasized that coordination ate, of the United Nations Environment tion and sustainable use of bio- among different national agencies and Programme. diversity – including the status programmes is essential, and that coor- While recognizing the need for of conventions and agreements; dination among different focal points is streamlining reports to MEAs, many legislation, strategies, plans, and 20 MAY-AUGUST 2009 www.aseanbiodiversity.org

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