Biodiversity Data:
Close this search box.
Close this search box.
Close this search box.

News, Events, and Opportunities

  • Messages
  • Institutional Strengthening of the Biodiversity Sector in the ASEAN (ISB II) Closing Forum Welcome Remarks

    Institutional Strengthening of the Biodiversity Sector in the ASEAN (ISB II) Closing Forum and Partners’ Night back-to-back with the ABBI Workshop

    Theme: From Vision to Action: Celebrating 14 years of cooperation for ASEAN Biodiversity


    20 March 2024 | Alabang, Philippines

    Distinguished guests, 

    Mr. Mathias Kruse

    Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Philippines

    Mr. Ky-Anh Nguyen

    Director, Sustainable Development Directorate of the ASEAN Secretariat

    Members from the diplomatic missions of ASEAN Member Countries in the Philippines, representatives from the ASEAN Member States, our dialogue and development partners, representatives from the private sector led by the members of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, my ACB colleagues, members of the Philippine media, friends, good day!

    Over the course of its nearly 20-year existence, the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) has played a valuable role in promoting the sustainable management of biodiversity in Southeast Asia. Its inclusive and multilateral approach to carry out its mandate has led to its recognition as a partner of choice for nature conservation and biodiversity action not just within the region, but also at the global level.

    The cooperation and support from the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Member States, and the region’s dialogue and development partners all contributed to making this possible. And for almost 15 years, the Federal Government of Germany through the GIZ has worked together with the ACB in four fruitful projects—the Biodiversity and Climate Change Project from 2010 to 2015; the Biodiversity-based Products Project (BBP) from 2014 to 2019; the Institutional Strengthening of the Biodiversity Sector in ASEAN or ISB I Project from 2015 to 2019; and the ISB II Project from 2019 up to present.

    Today, we are not just here for the culmination of the ISB II, but to celebrate a long-standing partnership between the ACB and GIZ. From institutional strengthening to biodiversity mainstreaming across sectors, this cooperation resulted in a multitude of benefits for a wide range of stakeholders, even the improvement of the livelihoods of ASEAN communities. The BBP project, for example, not only increased household income of communities within and around some AHPs in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam from 70 to 140 per cent, but also encouraged more active community participation in protecting the national parks. 

    The ISB I and II on the other hand, focused on strengthening the ACB to better respond to the needs of the AMS in meeting globally agreed biodiversity goals and targets, particularly on species conservation, protected area management, and mainstreaming biodiversity in the development sector. One of the key outputs of ISB II is the development of the ASEAN Multisector Biodiversity Mainstreaming Framework, which will chart the path for the region’s efforts towards integrating biodiversity considerations across sectors at all levels. Through ISB II, mainstreaming action plans for the tourism, fisheries, and infrastructure sectors, as well as e-learning modules on mainstreaming biodiversity in the agriculture sector were developed. 

    The project, likewise,  supported the development of the ACB’s Strategic Plan that will serve as the Centre’s blueprint to achieve its institutional targets by 2030. It also aided the enhancement of the Centre’s human resource and development operations, knowledge management systems, and communication, education, and public awareness programme. The “talk shows” that we will soon be witnessing will offer details and specific instances of how the GIZ and ACB collaborated to support the biodiversity sector in ASEAN, as well as prospective areas of collaborations in the future.

    The project likewise supported the implementation of capacity enhancement initiatives for the AMS such as the ASEAN Secondment Programme that will be institutionalised by the ACB, and in the conduct of Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool Workshops, and other training sessions for the ASEAN Heritage Parks.

    With a more strengthened ACB, you can all be assured that we will sustain the gains of this project, and will continue to scale up regional efforts for sustainable development. In the last three years, the ACB has mobilised more than USD 24M (24,810,035.60) from various sources—development and dialogue partners, private sector and multilateral funding entities, to support current and future regional level biodiversity projects. This was complemented by ACB through its own programmes, with around 7.4 million USD contributions from the ASEAN Member States, including the Philippines as the Centre’s host country, which has substantially increased in the last three years. 

    In order to optimise the utilisation of these existing resources, the ACB has identified initiatives that meet not only the global biodiversity goals under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework or the Biodiversity Plan, but also contribute to the attainment of targets under the Sharm-el-sheikh Plan of Action of the UN Climate Convention, and other multilateral environmental agreements. This approach fosters synergies across MEAs and yields multiple benefits.

    I believe that the coming days will not signal the end of a successful partnership but will only mark the beginning of more collaborative efforts for ASEAN biodiversity. Let this series of events allow us to reflect on how far we have achieved together, and explore how we can further collaborate for the sustainable management of ASEAN biodiversity. 

    In closing, allow me to recognise the hardworking people behind this project and this closing programme. None of these would have been possible without each and every one’s collective efforts—from the provision of administrative support to technical assistance—you all deserve to be recognised!
    Thank you all so much, and I officially welcome you all to this celebration of turning a vision into action for ASEAN biodiversity!

    Happy International Day of Happiness!

    Explore More