Empowering Communities and Countries to Conserve Biodiversity at the National and ASEAN Levels: Status, Challenges, and Ways Forward
The importance of biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use to realise the ASEAN vision of promoting sustainable development and a green economy is well recognised. However, the current state of biodiversity in general, and agro-biodiversity in particular, in the region is a matter of serious concern. There has been significant progress in the expansion of protected areas in the region, as well as the setting up of both in situ and ex situ biodiversity conservation programmes. Nonetheless, urgent steps still need to be taken at the community, national, and regional levels to ensure biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use. This paper analyses the opportunities and constraints of biodiversity conservation in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Such analysis has been used to identify important strategies and initiatives to promote community empowerment, as well as promote and strengthen national and regional collaboration to enhance biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use for the realisation of the ASEAN vision.