Biodiversity strategies and action plans
ASEAN Member States (AMS) recognise the importance of local wisdom and indigenous knowledge and practices in the sustainable use of biodiversity, and some of them involved the IPLCs in drawing up laws and agreements on natural resources management and conservation.
Some of the AMS took steps to document the occurrence, associated remedies, and uses of medicinal plants. Efforts of IPLCs to protect biodiversity through “sacred forests and watersheds” have gained relevance. Some IPLCs such as the Penan Community of Long Iman
in Malaysia turned their community gardens into ecotourism sites.
The Philippines has legally recognised the value of traditional knowledge and provided for the rights of IPLCs to full ownership and protection of their cultural and intellectual rights. A number of AMS reported that traditional knowledge and practices have contributed to the protection of sacred sites, forests, caves, and bodies of water. They adopted several conservation tools to strengthen traditional practices that include the recognition of customary nature, co-management of protected areas, identification of Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCA), and adoption of community forestry practices.
Majority of the AMS consulted and involved IPLCs in the planning and implementation processes of NBSAPs and other natural resource management projects such as REDD+, Nagoya Protocol, ICCAs, and FLEGT. Students were periodically given orientation on environment and natural resources-oriented laws/codes of five AMS (Cambodia, Indonesia,
Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Thailand) which contain provisions to adopt indigenous and local
knowledge on medicinal plants.
Most AMS have been more actively engaging indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) in conservation initiatives. Policies and programmes that are inclusive and considers their local situations may enhance the benefits from their contributions.