Awareness of biodiversity increased
The AMS have made clear progress in their initiatives in preserving agrobiodiversity and minimising genetic erosion of cultivated plants and farmed or domesticated animals and their wild relatives. Generally, AMS undertook programmes to build ex situ and in situ collections as well as their gene banks as insurance to agrobiodiversity loss.
Aside from their commitments to the Aichi Targets, AMS collectively committed to various initiatives towards attaining said targets, through the development of a regional action plan with the support of the ACB, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), and Maejo University in Thailand. Moreover, the Biodiversity-based Products as an Economic Source for the Improvements of Livelihoods and
Biodiversity Protection Project is being implemented with the assistance of the ACB and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Viet Nam has undertaken ex situ conservation of a high number of medicinal plant species. It
established ten medicinal plant research centers and more than 50 medicinal plant gardens
to conserve and develop this rich resource. The National Institute of Medicinal Materials has
preserved 905 genetic resources by in situ conservation and 630 species of medicinal plants
by ex situ conservation, of which 26 species are threatened. Moreover, the Botanical Garden
of Hanoi at the University of Pharmacy houses about 20,000 samples of its medicinal plants
collected from its establishment in 1910.
Remarkable in the breadth of implementation of in situ conservation is Cambodia’s assignment of a 506-hectare area in the Cardamom Mountains, an internationally recognised biodiversity hotspot; and Indonesia’s identification of 22 biodiversity parks across the country for the purpose of agrobiodiversity conservation.
Collectively, the AMS have secured plant genetic resources from 55,000 accessions in 2010 to 58,000 in 2018, about 5.0 per cent of which are crop relatives. However, with the continuous decline of agrobiodiversity resources, efforts need to focus on opportunities where agricultural production is most viable and sustainable.