Habitat loss halved or reduced
Economic growth, anthropogenic activities, and climate change threaten ASEAN’s biodiversity-rich areas, in scope and quality. The ecological crisis has led to species extinction, diminishing natural resources, and deteriorating ecosystems. Against this backdrop, ASEAN Member States (AMS) would need to set ambitious goals and radical measures to achieve this Aichi Target because the time to restore and recover these biodiverseareas is fast narrowing.
Based on country assessments reflected in the Sixth National Reports (6NRs), six AMS are
on course in bringing down the rate of habitat loss while four AMS are moving in that same
direction, but at a pace that is less likely to meet their national targets. On the other hand,
third-party assessments of progress towards this Aichi Target indicate that substantial loss
in forest, wetlands, and coastal habitats remain apparent in the region.1 The AMS have
conservation plans in place and are implementing measures to stem the further decline of
natural habitats. Several AMS have committed to significant reforestation targets including an
increase in mangrove cover.
Cambodia has expanded its terrestrial protected area system including the extended network
of biodiversity conservation corridors. For this, the country exceeded by 24 per cent the global
target of 17 per cent. Indonesia’s IBSAP 2015–2020 promotes in situ and ex situ biodiversity
conservation to maintain the existence of biodiversity and its optimal benefits for the present
and future. The Government of Lao PDR has enacted the Prime Ministerial Order (PM 15)
in 2016 to control the extraction and exportation of wood products from the forests. This
has been supported by the initiation of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade
(FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) in 2017.
Malaysia has its Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and forest plantation to minimise
forest loss and degradation, and undertaking the ongoing mapping of vulnerable ecosystems.
The Heart of Borneo is a government-initiated, tripartite project which also collaborates withCoral Triangle Initiative (CTI) to improve protected area gazettement, sustainable natural resource management, eco-tourism development, capacity building, sustainable fisheries management, climate change adaptation, as well as the establishment and management of priority seascapes. Over the past few years, Myanmar increased wetlands under protection, with four new areas recognised as Ramsar sites between 2015 and 2018, thus, exceeding its target. Locally-managed marine areas (LMMAs) and sustainable forest management through
community forests in the Taninthayi Region and Kachin Areas were established.
• The Philippines increased its forest cover within forestlands which may have resulted from the National Greening Programme (NGP), which aimed to plant 1.5 billion trees in about 15,000 square kilometres between 2011–2016.
• Thailand has been making progress in reducing the loss of natural habitats but still does not meet the indicative national target of 50 per cent of the country’s total area. But with the strong cooperation from all sectors, there is a high possibility of meeting its target.
• According to Viet Nam’s NBSAP, the primary target is to improve the quality and increase the area of its protected natural ecosystems. As a result, primary forest remains at 5,700 square kilometres with effective protection plans; while mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and coral reefs are maintained at current levels and 15 per cent of these degraded critical ecosystems are restored.
Based on country assessments reflected in the Sixth National Reports (6NRs), six AMS are on course in bringing down the rate of habitat loss while four AMS are moving in that same direction, but at a pace that makes them less likely to meet their national targets. AMS have conservation plans in place and are implementing measures to stem the further decline of natural habitats. Several AMS have committed to significant reforestation targets including an increase in mangrove cover.