BANGKOK, Thailand – Building resilience should be a key priority in Asia and the region must look toward ensuring the health of nature in order to secure the future of its people, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said today at the conclusion of the organization’s 6th Asia Regional Conservation Forum held in Bangkok this week.
“2015 is a turning point for Asia – and we need to work urgently to secure nature and the well-being of people with the same dynamism and innovation that has fueled Asia’s growth,” said IUCN Asia Regional Director Aban Marker Kabraji. “In the past two days at the Regional Conservation Forum we have focused on how different sectors can build these solutions together. Moving forward, we need to ensure that the work to build resilience – which is rooted in protecting and conserving nature – is happening on the ground where it matters most.”
The forum, which ends today, provided a platform for leaders from all sectors of society to discuss nature-based solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges in Asia. Under the theme of “Resilience in action: creating solutions for people and nature,” the forum addressed issues such as valuing and conserving nature, effective and equitable governance of nature’s use and deploying nature-based solutions to address societal challenges. Co-hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Government of Thailand, it brought together more than 400 delegates from governments, NGOs, research and academic institutions and the private sector from 26 countries in Asia and beyond.
The forum is the key venue where all IUCN Members in Asia come together to convene on Asia’s contributions and commitments to the World Conservation Congress in 2016. This membership includes 14 State Members in Asia, among them the Government of Thailand.
The World Conservation Congress, the global meeting of more than 1,300 IUCN Members worldwide (which includes 88 State Members), is the world’s leading platform for creating change for conservation and sustainable development. It will take place from 1-10 September 2016 in Hawaii, USA and will bring together thousands of people from around the world, from all sectors, who are interested in conservation issues.
“IUCN is an extraordinarily diverse organization, but we find strength in this diversity,” said IUCN President Zhang Xinsheng. “The range and diversity of the discussions the past two days is also a direct reflection of our subject matter – nature is complex and we must draw strength from the very complexity and diversity of nature which already provides solutions to the challenges our region, and the world, faces.”
“The conclusion of the Regional Conservation Forum also comes at an auspicious time. Today we celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand who is known for her tireless work and contributions to nature conservation,” he added. “We thank the government of Thailand for co-hosting this forum, and the government, NGO and private sector representatives who have contributed to making this forum a success.”