Reducing risk of extinction
Overall, the ASEAN is progressing toward the target but at an insufficient rate. The Red List Index for Southeast Asia as of February 2020 shows a continuing and consistent increase in the rate at which the region is losing its biodiversity. Vertebrate extinction risks are highest in Southeast Asia and this is partly fueled by the huge explosion in trade demand for luxury food, medicine, tonics, horns, trophy parts, and captive animals. Many species in the region are bound for extinction soon if this trend is not reversed.
While AMS have worked hard to prevent this, they are faced with enormous challenges—from climate change, human activities and population pressure, poaching and hunting, and the highly organised global wildlife trading and trafficking.
Biodiversity expeditions, species surveys and assessments, and reproduction have been among the approaches the AMS have undertaken. They have also implemented various programmes and initiatives such as community-based collaboration, re-introduction, and covert operations to rescue wildlife from trafficking.
Crucial to conservation is identifying, locating, and protecting threatened species. But many
species in the region are not yet known to science and may have already gone extinct before they were even discovered and characterised. A key response in the region has been to increase the number of protected areas, however, biodiversity loss is still not effectively
addressed. In fact, the rate at which various species are disappearing is increasing such that
calls have been made for Southeast Asia to be prioritised in resources and measures to avert
A few AMS have reported using ex situ facilities for breeding endangered animals. In situ
approach is promoted with the establishment of protected areas, most of which were only
very recently created and far from being effectively managed. In situ and ex situ conservation
measures have been recommended as prevention approaches that will buy time for the
Overall, the ASEAN is progressing toward the target but at an insufficient rate. The Red List Index for Southeast Asia as of February 2020 shows a continuing and consistent increase in the rate at which the region is losing its biodiversity. The conservation of threatened species in the region remains a challenge because of habitat loss and the illegal wildlife trade. The implementation of comprehensive and collaborative conservation approaches at the global and regional scales could be pivotal in addressing these concerns.