The ten member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) occupy only 3% of the world’s surface but are home to 18% of all living species on Earth. Three ASEAN member states (Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines) are classified as “mega-diverse”. However, the ecosystems in the ASEAN regions are all under pressure due to ever-intensifying threats such as habitat loss, unsustainable use and over-exploitation of resources, climate change, invasive alien species, pollution, and poverty.
Recognising the importance of their ecosystems, the ASEAN member states have made concerted efforts at both regional and national levels to address biodiversity loss. In addition to this, ASEAN itself has engaged in activities to support member countries in their interventions. These include protecting areas of importance to biodiversity by establishing ASEAN Heritage Parks and launching the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) to strengthen the capacity of the ASEAN member states in formulating and coordinating biodiversity-related policies, strategies, and actions; fulfilling relevant treaty obligations; and promoting common positions.
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