ASEAN Biodiversity Outlook 3 (Executive Summary)

The ASEAN region is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies where people are enjoying a new era of prosperity. More than 660 million people are dependent on the region’s rich natural heritage for their livelihood, welfare, and well-being. However, pressures mostly brought about by anthropogenic factors are now exacting a high price—the depletion of the region’s precious and unique biodiversity that supports its economic advancement. The post-2020 global biodiversity framework presents the opportunity and means to address the unprecedented biodiversity loss in the region and the world.

The extensive conservation efforts of the ASEAN Member States (AMS), as reflected in their Sixth National Reports (6NRs) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), as well as regional initiatives to contribute to the sustainable use of the region’s biological resources, are presented by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) in the Third Edition of the ASEAN Biodiversity Outlook (ABO 3). The ABO 3 recommends narrative shifts to draw more attention to the collective, responsible, and pragmatic actions for biodiversity using the most recent available information on the progress, achievements, and areas for improvement of biodiversity in the region.

Guided by the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (Aichi Targets), the region’s progress, challenges, and ways forward are articulated through the following goals:
• Mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society;
• Reducing the direct pressures on biodiversity and promoting sustainable use;
• Safeguarding ecosystems, species, and genetic diversity;
• Enhancing the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services; and
• Enhancing implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management, and capacity building.

The AMS showed significant variability in their progress in achieving biodiversity conservation targets. Collectively, the ASEAN region faced both challenges and opportunities in realising the Aichi Targets, a scenario which is mirrored globally, as related in the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 (GBO 5).

The following matrix visually presents the combined progress of AMS towards each Aichi Target. It is a straightforward tallying of the AMS’ self-assessment for each target, based on their 6NRs. Blue indicates that the AMS has exceeded the target, green indicates ‘on track’ progress towards the target; yellow indicates progress towards the target but has not been completely met; red indicates no progress; purple indicates a trend that moves away from the target; and grey indicates no assessment. A span of colour equates to the number of AMS with the same country assessment.

Based on the matrix, at least 50 per cent of the AMS have indicated ‘on track’ progress in achieving 13 Aichi Targets: increasing awareness of biodiversity (Target 1); mainstreaming of biodiversity (Target 2); addressing incentives (Target 3); sustainable production and consumption; habitat loss halved or reduced (Target 5); sustainable agriculture, aquaculture, and forestry (Target 7); reducing invasive species (Target 9); preventing species extinction (Target 12); enhancing resilience (Target 15); implementing the Nagoya Protocol (Target 16); revising of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) (Target 17); improving knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity (Target 19); and mobilising resources (target 20). At least one AMS has exceeded the target when it comes to increasing awareness on biodiversity and another AMS in increasing the coverage of protected areas (Target 11). The region faces challenges particularly in restoring ecosystems (Target 14) and reducing pollution (Target 8). Overall, the region met most of the Aichi Targets based on country assessments.

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