KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia—“Now is the time to ensure a dignified existence for ourselves and future generations by preserving and protecting the global commons, which include the atmosphere, oceans and ecosystems that sustain us.
Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor, Chief Minister of Sabah, stressed the importance of nature protection during the opening ceremony of the recent Second Asia Parks Congress
The event brought together representatives from protected area authorities, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia, youth, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities from across Asia.
The five-day congress, hosted by Malaysia, was to set Asia’s protected and conserved areas agenda for the next 10 years.
Online and on-site discussions focused on the following thematic areas: nature-based solutions for health and well-being; governance of protected and conserved areas; cross-border connectivity and conservation; effective protected and conserved areas; economic and financial sustainability of protected and conserved areas; and urban conservation and a new generation.
Investing in the region’s natural capital, including strengthening protected and conserved areas, is poised to make a significant contribution to today’s pressing challenges.
During the plenary discussion, Dr Madhu Rao, Chair of the World Commission on Protected Areas, remarked that “protected and conserved areas are the critical link linking the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. “.
The congress declarations were expected to open up opportunities and promising paths towards recovery and building resilience.
The Asean Center for Biodiversity (ACB) led a session that highlights the diversity of governance mechanisms for protected and conserved areas in the region, as well as lessons learned from these grounded experiences.
CDA Executive Director Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim pointed out that “the region is home to over 700,000 and 300,000 square kilometers of terrestrial and marine protected areas, respectively.”
She pointed out that these areas are directly related to the well-being of nearly 700 million Asean citizens.
Lim added, “As one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, ASEAN holds rich perspectives and valuable lessons for the rest of Asia and the world.”
Image credits: ACB