Vol. 2, No. 6  l  June 2009


The ASEAN BIODIVERSITY UPDATES is published by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) to keep stakeholders posted on news about biodiversity concerns, and efforts of ACB, the ASEAN and its Member States in the areas of biodiversity conservation and advocacy.


About ACB l Contact Us

For more information on ACB 2009, log on to www.aseanbiodiversity.org


Uniting with the world to combat climate change

ASEAN workshop promotes payment for ecosystem
services as tool to boost economy and reduce poverty

ASEAN workshop strengthen sharing of biodiversity information

ASEAN biodiversity expert is 2009 outstanding Filipino forester

ACB and UNESCO-Jakarta partner to popularize biodiversity conservation

ACB participates in Asia-Europe Environment Forum on biodiversity and ecosystem services

ACB participates in 19th AWGNCB meeting

ASEAN prepares 4th State of Environment Report

Biodiversity Loss: The Forgotten Crisis" featured in Philippine radio station DZRH

ACB workshop proceedings now on website

ASEAN Heritage Parks Series

Conservation News Southeast Asia


Uniting with the world to combat climate change

Press Statement from Rodrigo U. Fuentes, Executive Director, ACB

on the occasion of World Environment Day – 05 June 2009

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), our partners at the European Commission, and our stakeholders in the 10 ASEAN Member States, join the rest of the world in celebrating World Environment Day 2009.

This year’s theme is “Your Planet Needs You!  Unite to Combat Climate Change.”  The topic is particularly important and timely for us as it comes in the heels of a study released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in April 2009, reiterating that Southeast Asia faces a bleak future if governments do not act quickly to address climate change. 

Entitled “The Economics of Climate Change in Southeast Asia:  A Regional Review,” the study found that Southeast Asia will be hit hard by climate change, causing the region’s agriculture-dependent economies to contract by as much as 6.7 percent annually by the end of the century. It also identified Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam as the most vulnerable countries.

With 80 percent of the region’s over 560 million people living within 100 kilometers of the coastline, we do have cause for concern.  As the ADB report highlighted, the sea level is rising one to three millimeters annually, and average temperature rose 0.1 to 0.3 degrees Celsius between 1951 and 2000.  Already, Southeast Asia is experiencing the impacts of climate change. It devastated by a spate of typhoons, floods, cyclones, heat waves, drought, and other calamities brought about by extreme weather conditions in recent years.  Such weather has resulted in water shortages, poor agricultural production, forest fires and coastal degradation, which then create negative impacts on food security and human health.

With Southeast Asia cradling 20 percent of the world’s total known plant and animal species, the loss of its natural treasures due to climate change will also have a significant impact on the entire global sustainability.

There is ample evidence that climate change affects biodiversity.  According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, climate change is likely to become the dominant direct driver of biodiversity loss by the end of the century.  Climate change is already forcing biodiversity to adapt either through shifting habitat, or changing life cycles.  We stand to lose thousands of species.

The loss of biodiversity will have far-reaching impacts on all of us – food insecurity, loss of livelihood, poverty.  In many parts of the globe, these are already grim realities.

There is an inextricable connection between climate change and biodiversity.  While climate change is a driver of biodiversity loss, the deterioration of habitats and loss of biodiversity also worsen climate change. Deforestation, for example, is currently estimated to be 20 percent of all human-induced CO2 emissions.

If no action is done to combat climate change, the peoples of the ASEAN region stand to lose a great deal. Dire consequences in all sectors could seriously hinder Southeast Asia’s sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts. 

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity encourages all citizens of the ASEAN region to take part in efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  Fighting global warming and its impacts is a shared responsibility among all of us who stand to lose so much – our planet and its various natural treasures that sustain our very existence.  There are practical actions we can take:

  • Plant trees.  This will increase the size of existing carbon pools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

  • Promote farmer-centered participatory approaches and indigenous knowledge and technologies toward cycling and use of organic materials in low-input farming systems.

  • Recycle.

  • Save on energy.

  • Save on paper.

  • Save on fuel.

  • Promote biodiversity conservation.

We call on citizens in the ASEAN region to contribute their share in this battle against climate change.  Your planet needs you!  Let us all unite to combat climate change. Back to top


ASEAN workshop promotes payment for ecosystem
services as tool to boost economy and reduce poverty

Over 100 decision makers, private sector representatives, and development workers from Southeast Asia and China converged in Bangkok from 29 June to 1 July for the South-East Asia Workshop on Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES).

Organized by ACB, the USAID-Asian Regional Biodiversity Conservation Program (USAID-ARBCP), Asian Development Bank-Environment Operations Centre (ADB-EOC), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the workshop discussed the development and application of PES as a policy tool for economic development and poverty reduction.

The workshop was opened by ACB Executive Director Rodrigo U. Fuentes, represented by ACB Director for Programme Development and Implementation Clarissa Arida; Winston Bowman, Regional Environment Director of USAID in Asia; Masakazu Ichimura, Chief of the Environment and Development Policy Section of UN ESCAP; Pravit Ramachandran, Environmental Specialist of the Asian Development Bank; and Samuel Cantell, First Secretary of the European Commission Delegation to Thailand.

The workshop provided a venue for stakeholders involved in PES-related capacity building initiatives to share their experiences in developing sustainable finance, legal, and policy-enabling mechanisms that will secure and support national and regional economic development targets in the ASEAN region and in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Also known as payment for environmental services, PES is a scheme where beneficiaries of ecosystem services pay back the providers of such services. Vital ecosystems processes, along with raw materials, are provided by the natural world for the use of humankind. The development of markets through which these processes or services may be bought and sold represents a market-based policy approach to conservation.

The ecosystem services can range from watershed protection, forest conservation, biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, landscape beauty in support of ecotourism, and may be present at any scale, from local to national, regional, or international.

The PES workshop in Bangkok is the first in a series of workshops that seeks to identify more specific capacity-building needs for supporting PES enabling policy at the national level, and facilitate and mobilize regional institutions to support countries in addressing these needs. Back to top


ASEAN workshop strengthen sharing of biodiversity information

Strong biodiversity information networks to enable ASEAN Member States to share data on flora, fauna and other species are crucial components of conservation efforts.   

To lay the groundwork for these networks, ACB conducted a Regional Technical Workshop on the Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) Enhancement: Networking and Collaboration Tools from 30 June to 03 July 2009 in Bogor, Indonesia.  The four-day workshop, in collaboration with the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Tropical Biology (SEAMEO BIOTROP), and Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry and Ministry of Environment, was attended by managers of biodiversity database units, CHM web administrators, and information technology staff of ASEAN Member States.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) mandates its parties to establish CHM, a platform designed to enable sharing and harmonization of biodiversity information among member countries. The basic components of a national CHM include a National Focal Point, a stakeholder’s network, and a website. The CHM is also a useful tool for countries to meet environmental reporting requirements of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).

ACB is promoting the use of CHM, both as a tool to share biodiversity information, and as an aid to effectively implement the national biodiversity strategies and action plans of each country. Back to top


ASEAN biodiversity expert is 2009 outstanding Filipino forester

The executive director of ACB was chosen 2009 Outstanding Professional in the field of Forestry by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

Forester and biodiversity expert Rodrigo U. Fuentes received the Outstanding Professional Year Award on 19 June 2009 during the PRC Awards Night after showing exemplary performance in his field.  The award is the highest honor bestowed by PRC upon a professional as recommended by his or her peers and colleagues for having amply demonstrated professional competence of the highest degree. PRC also recognized Fuentes for contributing significantly to the advancement of the profession. Back to top


ACB and UNESCO-Jakarta partner to popularize biodiversity conservation

ACB has partnered with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Jakarta to popularize biodiversity conservation through the first ASEAN-wide photo contest “Zooming in on Biodiversity.” The two international organizations will join hands to promote the contest within their respective networks.

“We are honored to work with an organization like UNESCO-Jakarta which covers issues on education, culture, social and human sciences, communication and information and natural sciences in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor Leste,” said Mr. Rodrigo U. Fuentes, executive director of the European Union-funded ACB.

“We are very pleased to work with ACB on this interesting and important endeavor. The power of the image can transcend many limitations – of words, concepts, and physical barriers - and bring people together to learn about and appreciate the interconnectedness between humans and the rest of the environment.  We hope to work with ACB on other innovative efforts to promote biodiversity conservation in the future,” said Dr. Robert Lee, Deputy Director, UNESCO Office, Jakarta and head of Environmental Sciences for UNESCO’s Regional Science Bureau for Asia & the Pacific.

The European Commission (EC), ASEAN Member States, and the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) are also partners in the photo contest.

“Zooming in on Biodiversity,” which will run until 30 August 2009, was organized to promote a greater awareness on the values of biodiversity through the medium of photography. 

For contest details and mechanics, log on to www.aseanbiodiversity.org. Back to top


ACB participates in Asia-Europe Environment Forum
on biodiversity and ecosystem services

Executive Director Rodrigo Fuentes participated in the Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) 7th Roundtable: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Hayama, Japan on 27-30 June 2009.  The forum facilitated multi-stakeholder dialogue from both Asia and Europe, and provided useful inputs to relevant policy processes in the domain of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Among the topics discussed were the impact of climate change and human activity on key ecosystems in Asia and Europe; conserving ecosystem services for promoting environmental integrity and human well-being; potentials and challenges of voluntary payment schemes for ecosystem services; and strategies for valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services. Back to top


ACB participates in 19th AWGNCB meeting

Environment officials from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat and  ACB attended the 19th meeting of the ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity (AWGNCB) on 15-17 June 2009 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Among the topics discussed were the draft ASEAN Framework Agreement on Access to, and Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from the Utilization of Biological and Genetic Resources; the ASEAN Heritage Parks Programme; the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Blueprint; the Heart of Borneo Initiative; and the Fourth ASEAN State of the Environment Report.

ACB Executive Director Rodrigo U. Fuentes and Policy and Programme Development Specialist Dr. Filiberto Pollisco, Jr. represented the Centre and presented the progress of various ACB projects.

In the meeting, Ms. Sirikul Bunpapong, the Director of Biological Diversity Division,Thailand  congratulated Myanmar as the sixth country to ratify the Establishment Agreement of ACB.  She stressed that the ratification will enhance ACB’s role in promoting biodiversity conservation and management. Back to top


ASEAN prepares 4th State of Environment Report

The ASEAN Secretariat hosted the meeting of the Task Force for the Fourth ASEAN State of the Environment Report (SOER4) on 18-19 June 2009.  Senior representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam and ACB participated in the meeting which discussed the draft content of the report.

SOER4 will be launched at the 11th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment (AMME) in October 2009 in Singapore. 

Published periodically every three years, the State of the Environment Report highlights the status of the region’s various ecosystems and how the region is responding to the various challenges that these ecosystems face. Back to top  


Biodiversity Loss: The Forgotten Crisis" featured
in Philippine radio station DZRH

The four Fs -- food, feed, fuel, finance -- are the most recent major crises that have affected the Philippines and the ASEAN region, On top of them is the health crisis caused by the AH1N1 virus. Thus, it is not surprising that one major crisis that affects the Philippines and planet earth — biodiversity loss — receives little attention.

Biodiversity loss, due to environmental pollution, introduction of invasive foreign species, and other man-made actions and climate change, is directly linked to the other crises mentioned above. But how many people, especially leaders, see that connection?

The issue of biodiversity loss was featured in Kalikasan, Kaunlaran! on June 24, 2009, Wednesday, 6:30-7:30 PM, at DZRH-AM radio (666 in Metro Manila, other kHz nationwide), TV (Ch. 9 in Metro Manila, other cable TV channels nationwide),   and Internet (http://dzrh.tripod.com or http://dzrh.prepys.com).

Guests were top officials of ACB: Executive Director Rodrigo Fuentes, Policy and Programme Development Specialist Dr. Filiberto Pollisco, Jr., and Public Affairs Heas Rolando Inciong. Dr. Cora Claudio,President, Earth Institute Asia, moderated the discussion. 

Some of the points discussed were the values of biodiversity, threats to biodiversity, effects of biodiversity loss to human survival, biodiversity and the financial/economic and other crises, and the need for leadership and public awareness of the values of biodiversity. Back to top


ACB workshop proceedings now on website

Be updated with the outcomes of various workshops conducted by ACB in Southeast Asia.  Log on to www.aseanbiodiversity.org and visit the Publications Section.

Among the latest available proceedings are:

  • Regional Workshop on Recreation, Tourism and Ecotourism (17–21 March 2008, Gunung Ledang, Johor, Malaysia) 

  • Workshop on Risk Assessment of GMOs and LMOs and Enforcement of Biosafety Regulation
    (22-24 June 2008, Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia)

  • Study Tour in Recreation and Ecotourism Sites and Some Selected Protected Areas in Malaysia
    and Singapore (22-28 March 2008, Malaysia and Singapore)

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ASEAN Heritage Parks Series

Nam Ha National Protected Area

The Nam Ha National Protected Area was established in 1993 with the introduction of the Lao PDR protected area system. Located in Luang Namtha province in northern Lao PDR, the national park spans five districts and covers 222,400 hectares. It is situated in the extreme northwest of the country in Luang Namtha Province and stretches as far as the Chinese border.

Nam Ha’s evergreen and broadleaf forests harbor 288 species of birds and at least 38 species of mammals. In a biological prioritization of the country’s 20 protected areas, Nam Ha ranked third for birds and fifth for large mammals in a national species analysis. Overall, Nam Ha ranked third in the national management priority index based on biodiversity and watershed values, ecotourism potential, and the level of pressure on the site. Nam Ha also harbors the endangered Asian elephant, four large cat species of which the tiger and clouded leopard are listed as globally threatened, sun bear and Asiatic black bear, and six ungulate species including the vulnerable gaur and southern serow.

The area is also an extremely important watershed area, as the Nam Tha watershed is the first major tributary of the Mekong River after it enters Lao PDR. The watershed supports agricultural production and electricity generation along the Luang Namtha plain.

Habitats

Nam Ha contains a mosaic of tropical and subtropical forest types including evergreen gallery forests, semi-evergreen forest, subtropical Castanopsis forest, submontane forest on the higher peaks (up to 3,094 m), and limestone forest on the karst portions. There are caves and freshwater streams, and secondary scrub and village lands.

Wildlife

Nam Ha cradles a wealth of plants, birds, mammals and insects. It contains about 2,000 plants including a wide range that are used by local people for medicine and other uses. Most valuable are the Aquilaria trees whose red infected heart is so prized for making incense. Bird species include the spectacular great hornbill, green peacock, silver pheasant, fairy pitta, red jungle fowl, and grey peacock pheasant that live on the forest floor. The forest hums to the rhythmic calls of the great barbet and blue-faced barbet or the loud calls of the Indian cuckoo. Lesser raquettailed drongo also have melodious calls, but the best songster in the forest is the white-rumped shama. Flocks of doves and pigeons scour the canopy for fruiting fig trees; serpent eagles circle in the sky over the forest giving eerie cries.

The hills are the home of troops of northern pigtail and rhesus macaques. The wilder valleys still contain families of white-cheeked crested gibbon.

Great flocks of butterflies gather around pools or the places where an animal has urinated. Swordtail swallowtails, Graphium and Papilio species, the Indian purple emperor and the amazing leaf butterfly Kallima sp. are common. Large black and yellow birdswing butterflies (Troides sp.) sail over the canopy or hover around the Aristolochia vines laying eggs.

Threats

Major threats are agricultural encroachment, illegal logging and hunting. While hunting for elephant and tiger has the biggest impacts on those species, more widespread is the hunting for gaur and deer for food. Even monkeys and gibbons are not safe from the hunters’ muskets and traps. There is also an increasing harvest of non-timber forest products, primarily cardamom, rattan, bamboo, jewel orchid, eaglewood, and ginger, which are used for food and sold. Other problems are slash and burn agriculture, forest fires and the grazing of buffalos inside Nam Ha.

Conservation Programmes

The Lao government is establishing the site as a conservation area. Collaboration efforts have already been initiated with authorities to create a transfrontier reserve with the Shang Yang section of Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve in China. Other activities included the training of a National Protected Area Unit to implement resource management, enforcement and conservation education. Research and monitoring was also planned in 1999 to determine the effectiveness of management activities in reducing threats and sustaining species.

The UNESCO Nam Ha Ecotourism Project is mounting a programme to educate, provide alternative livelihood, and raise the living standards of the local minorities around the protected area. Another project is the Nam Ha National Protected Area Wildlife and NTFP Management Project (October 2005-September 2008) of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The project stems from the understanding that forests form the economic base for rural communities by providing food, fuel, medicine, and construction materials. A significant portion of subsistence needs and income come from Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP). The World Conservation Society (WCS) is working in collaboration with the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA), which is currently operating in seven villages on the outskirts of the Nam Ha NPA as part of the Asian Development Bank’s Northern Economic Corridor project. Although ADRA’s primary focus is integrated rural development, it has sought WCS assistance in natural resource management. Together, ADRA and WCS hope to create a more sustainable way of life for villagers near the Nam Ha national protected area. The project will incorporate village-based surveys of the abundance of NTFP and wildlife in the forest, the development of village rules to manage the harvest of these resources, and the development of a monitoring system of NTFP and wildlife harvesting.

Activities and Other Interests

Ecotourism activities available in Nam Ha include trekking, river rafting, camping, kayaking, bird watching, and mountain bike tours. Visitors can also have a taste of the local culture while availing of home stays in local villages.

Several minority groups, including Tay, Kmu, Hmong, Akha, Lontaen and minority Kinh live around the park, each with its own distinct culture and colorful costumes. Most are still highly dependent on forest and NTFPs, and live relatively traditional lifestyles. These tribes have a strong tradition in herbal medicine. The Tay are Buddhists and have small temples which are also used as school for boys. The local people love to eat a variety of insects and some new dishes are available for visitors.

With its spectacular views, caves, and waterfalls, Nam Ha has been identified by the National Tourism Authority of Lao PDR as having high potential for both culture and nature tourism. A pilot project for an eco-trekking trail is planned for Nam Ha West, which is supported by a larger Luang Namtha province ecotourism project. Boating in the Namtha river and hiking in the hills are currently being developed. Back to top



CONSERVATION NEWS SOUTHEAST ASIA

FOREST BIODIVERSITY

Forest clearings leave orphaned orangutans

June 25 As Borneo's rain forests are razed for oil palm plantations, wildlife centers are taking in more and more orphaned orangutans. Orangutans at the Nyaru Menteng center run by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) are mainly “oil palm orphans” whose forest habitats were destroyed and parents killed by the swiftly spreading oil palm industry in Indonesia. BOS hopes to eventually release all of these orangutans back into their natural habitat, but increasing deforestation means that many orangutans will remain in captivity. Two thousand orangutans are currently in the rehabilitation system.  Indonesia and Malaysia are the world's largest producers of palm oil, accounting for more than 85 percent of global output. Yale Environment 360

(http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2165)

Borneo project to yield lessons on saving forests

June 18 Conservation groups are currently helping Australia and Indonesia develop the Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership (KFCP) which aims to preserve and rehabilitate 100,000 hectares of carbon-rich peat land in Central Kalimantan.  Half the area has been cleared and half is still forested but under threat unless alternative livelihoods are found for the 20,000 people living in and around the project area. Australia has pledged A$30 million to fund the project until 2012. Tropical rainforests and particularly peatland forests, soak up vast amounts of carbon-dioxide, locking away carbon in the wood and soil. Peat forests can release more than 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide per heactare when drained and burned as well as large amounts of methane, a far more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. The programme is one of the first large-scale demonstration projects under the UN forest carbon scheme called reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD), which aims to use carbon credits from saving forests to reward developing nations.  KFCP aims to tackle the very causes of deforestation, such as subsistence farming, logging or other uses of the forests, and focus on economic development opportunities to address them. Planet Ark

(http://www.planetark.com/enviro-news/item/53432)

protected areas

Timor seeks help to protect whale, dolphin hotspot

June 25 The government of Timor Leste announced it plans to establish a national park to protect a bounty of dolphins and whales. Timor Leste is one of a few places in the world with an exceptional diversity and abundance of large sea mammals due to its unusual geography and years of relative isolation.  Researchers have spotted endangered blue whales, sperm whales and sea whales, as well as spinner and spotted dolphins along the island's northern and southern coasts. This prompted vows from the Timorese leadership to declare the area a protected national park and develop it for ecotourism. Associated Press

(http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hIkKEzCp34bNlVyP0J0C9F4CtMEQD991HQAO0)

ENDANGEREd SPECIES

New online tool for conservation

June 20 The Zoological Society of London has developed a National Red List website that currently holds over 50,000 species from 40 countries and regions.  It highlights that some of the world’s most biodiverse countries, such as Indonesia and Madagascar, lack National Red Lists and are in dire need of conservation investment.  This is the first time that National Red Lists have been centralized, and is a powerful complementary information source to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The website will also allow people to track the success of their nation in meeting the targets set by the Convention on Biological diversity to reduce biodiversity loss by 2010. Red Orbit

(http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1708772/conserving_threatened_species_is_only_a_click_away/)

Mekong dolphins on the brink of extinction

June 18 The Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) population inhabits a 190km stretch of the Mekong River between Cambodia and Lao PDR. Since 2003, the population has suffered 88 deaths of which over 60 percent were calves under two weeks old. The latest population is estimated between 64 and 76 members.  Necropsy analysis identified a bacterial disease as the cause of the calf deaths. This disease would not be fatal unless the dolphin’s immune systems were suppressed by environmental contaminants.  In these cases, researchers found toxic levels of pesticides such as DDT, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and high levels of mercury were found in some of the dead dolphins. A transboundary preventative health programme is urgently needed to manage the disease affected animals in order to reduce the number of deaths each year.  The Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphin has been on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species since 2004. WWF

(http://www.panda.org/wwf_news/news/?uNewsID=167001)

First study on rare egg-laying mammals

June 10 A study by the Wildlife Conservation Society, recently published in the Journal of Mammalogy, chronicles the behaviors of the long-beaked echidna (also called the spiny anteater), the first mammal to lay eggs.  The long-beaked echidna is widespread in the montane forests of New Guinea and finds refuge in hollow logs, root or rack cavities, and burrows. The long-beaked echidna population has greatly declined largely due to hunting, since it is considered to be a highly prized game animal.  Limited information on the long-beaked echidna's biology, feeding behavior and ecology has prevented conservationists from formulating plans for its protection. Echidnas are members of the monotremes, an order of mammals that lay leathery eggs. They are more reptile-like than other mammals. Echidnas lay a single egg, which the female holds in a sticky pouch. The hatchling resides in the pouch for between 40-50 days and receives milk from two mammary patches. Once the hatchling develops spines, the mother digs a nursery, which she returns to every five days to nurse the hatchling. The baby is weaned in seven months. ENN

(http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/40050)

BUSINESS BIODIVERSITY

Biofuel does well in flight test

June 17 Continental Airlines said a blend of biologically derived fuel and jet fuel performed slightly better than jet fuel alone during a test flight. Continental estimates greenhouse gas emissions were cut at least 60 percent by using the blend. Airlines have been exploring alternative fuel sources for years in an effort to counter volatile fuel prices. Jet fuel rivals labor as the top cost at most major airlines. The biofuel blend consisted of oil derived from algae and jatropha plants. The algae oil was provided by Sapphire Energy and the jatropha oil was provided by Terasol Energy. Reuters

(http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE55G4Z420090617?feedType=RSS&feedName
=environmentNews
)

Forest conservation in Indonesia could be as profitable as palm oil plantations

June 5 A study in the journal Conservation Letters found that selling credits for the billions of tons of carbon that are locked in Indonesia's tropical rain forests could be quite profitable.  It also found that conserving the 3.3 million hectares that are slated to become plantations on Kalimantan on the island of Borneo would boost the region's biodiversity. The 800 proposed plantations that were studied contain 40 of the region's 46 threatened mammals including orangutans and pygmy elephants. The study concluded that conserving forests would be more profitable than clearing them for palm oil if the credits could be sold for $10 to $33 per ton. Currently, the rate per ton is around $20. ENN

(http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/40022)

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About ACB

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) is an intergovernmental regional centre of excellence that facilitates cooperation and coordination among the members of ASEAN, and with relevant governments and organizations on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.  Protecting Southeast Asia’s rich but highly threatened web of life is its main goal.

Vision

Biodiversity is protected, conserved, managed and sustainably used, and its benefits are fairly and equitably shared for the social, economic and environmental well-being of ASEAN Member States.

Mission

ACB champions biodiversity conservation in the region and enhances its global standing as a center of excellence for biodiversity conservation.

Components

1.  Programme development and policy coordination

2. Human and institutional capacity development

3. Biodiversity information management

4. Public and leadership awareness of biodiversity values

5. Sustainable financing mechanism.

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Contact Us

Public Affairs Unit

ACB Headquarterss
3/F ERDB Building
Forestry Campus
College, Laguna 4031
Philippines

Tels: +6349-5362865
           +6349-5361739

Website:
www.aseanbiodiversity.org

General Inquiry:
contact.us@aseanbiodiversity.org

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