Wednesday, September 11, 2013



Saturday, 07 September 2013 00:00

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje has announced that the Philippines will host the 4th ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP) Conference in Tagaytay City on 1-4 October 2013. The conference is spearheaded by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), hosted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and supported by the ACB-GIZ Biodiversity and Climate Change Project and the Department of Tourism.
Some 300 delegates from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will participate in the conference that will bring together AHP managers, biodiversity experts, policy makers and scientists; and representatives from NGOs, indigenous and local communities, and relevant international and regional organizations.
ACB Executive Director Roberto V. Oliva said the conference will update the participants on recent knowledge and tools in addressing biodiversity loss and ecosystems degradation and the preservation of ASEAN’s natural heritage; discuss issues on biodiversity, in the context of the outcomes of the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to achieve the Aichi Targets and contribute to the successful implementation of the CBD Strategic Plan 2011-2020; and identify cooperation opportunities towards capacity building for effective management of AHPs and other critical ecosystems and biodiversity to contribute to poverty reduction.
AHP conferences are conducted every three years. The first conference was held in Khao Yai National Park in Thailand in 2004; the second in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in 2007; and the third in Brunei Darussalam in 2010. These conferences ensure that park managers, policy makers, conservationists, scientists and relevant stakeholders benefit from available best practices and lessons on the management of AHPs and other protected areas.
The conference in Tagaytay City will have five plenary lectures: Achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets: Global Impetus and Challenges in Implementing the Strategic Plan on Biodiversity; Ecotourism, Business and Biodiversity: Increasing Investments by Governments and Private Sector on Ecotourism; Towards Increased Visibility of Biodiversity Among Policy Makers: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity; Biodiversity and Climate Change: Building Resilience through Protected Area Management; and Protected Areas Governance and the Role of Indigenous and Local Communities
There will be six breakout sessions on the following biodiversity themes: Management Effectiveness of Terrestrial Protected Areas; Effectively Managing Aquatic Ecosystems; Biodiversity and Climate Change; Integrating Biodiversity Values; Ecotourism, Business and Biodiversity; and Indigenous and Local Communities in Protected Areas.
The session on Management Effectiveness of Terrestrial Protected Areas will look into the challenges in managing terrestrial protected areas, and the lessons learned from the field specifically in the management of terrestrial AHPs. 
The session on Effectively Managing Aquatic Ecosystems will take up issues and challenges in managing aquatic ecosystems and promote learning from experiences gained from projects implemented, evolving mechanisms and strategies adopted from implementation elsewhere. 
The session on Biodiversity and Climate Change will explore and review good practices and lessons learned in the past as well as ongoing efforts to address climate change’s mitigation and adaptation issues.
The session on Integrating Biodiversity Values will present developments related to The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). It will share case studies that highlight the application of the TEEB approach in valuing biodiversity and ecosystems as well as in the development of economic and financial tools for protected area management.
The session on Ecotourism, Business and Biodiversity will share the experiences and knowledge of experts and park managers in their respective areas. The importance of implementing ecotourism as a business model will be explained, and how this would help in the management of the ecotourism site, particularly in protected areas.
The session on Indigenous and Local Communities (ILCs) in Protected Areas will focus on cases of protected areas with ILCs taking into consideration their social, cultural, scientific, and economic values as part of the management approach. The involvement of ILCs, including the use of traditional knowledge and benefit-sharing will also be highlighted.
Side events during the conference will include a visit to Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve, the newest AHP; a Pre-Conference Workshop for Park Managers and AHP Committee Members; Launch of the Biodiversity Small Grants Programme by ACB and KfW; ACB Partners Forum; exhibits; and awarding ceremonies for the winners of the AHP Logo Design Contest, “Zooming In on Biodiversity and Climate Change” Photo Competition, and the Protected Area Recognition Awards.
The ASEAN Declaration on Heritage Parks was agreed and signed by the environment ministers of the ten ASEAN Member States in December 2003 in Yangon, Myanmar. The AHP Programme was then established to promote greater collaboration among the ASEAN Member States in the management of these parks.
To date, there are 33 AHPs in Southeast Asia; five are in the Philippines, which include Mt. Apo Natural Park, Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park and Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park, all in Mindanao; Mts. Iglit-Baco in Mindoro; and the newest, Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve, in Luzon. #


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