Asia News

Aban Marker Kabraji, IUCN Regional Director in Asia talks about conservation challenges and opportunities in Asia

Asia is a land full of natural and cultural wonders. But the region, its people and its nature, face critical challenges, including poverty, water shortages and the disastrous threats posed by climate change. IUCN, together with its Members, Commissions and partners, is working to address these challenges by leading innovative initiatives in the region.


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Aban Marker Kabraji, IUCN Regional Director in Asia

Bangladesh and India joint research on ecosystems

Bangladesh and India joined hands to start research as a part of a regional initiative of IUCN, “Ecosystems for Life: A Bangladesh-India Initiative.” Around thirty acclaimed researchers and civil society members from Bangladesh and India gathered in a two-day workshop titled, “Consultations on Approach and Methodology for Joint Research,” organized by IUCN Bangladesh, India and Asia Regional office. The workshop, held in Kathmandu, Nepal on 3-4 August, developed a joint approach and methodology for research on food security, water productivity and poverty, climate change, environmental security, inland navigation, and biodiversity conservation, the five themes of the initiative.


> Ecosystems for Life
Ganga Brahmaputra Meghna Basin

Strengthening environmental flows in South Asia

Environmental Flows means ensuring sufficient water is available for all sectors, including the environment. How to achieve this was the focus of a two-day training workshop organised by IUCN in Kathmandu, Nepal from 5-6 August 2011. Over 40 participants from Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, China, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh and Thailand were welcomed at the training workshop by Ganesh Pangare, Head of the IUCN Asia Water Programme. "It is time to re-engage with existing and new knowledge around environmental flows and to strengthen networking amongst key stakeholders in the Asia region” he said. Environmental flows improve water management by ensuring a sustainable water supply meets the needs of people, agriculture, energy, industry and the environment within the limits of availability. By providing a system for equitable allocation of water, based on available supply, implementing environmental flows can support development and poverty alleviation.


> Environmental Flows Network
> IUCN Water Programme
Bagmati River at Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal

Assessing the economic, social and environment costs and benefits of investment in Lao PDR

IUCN Lao PDR and partners recently presented the results of the project “Baseline Assessment of Economic, Social and Environmental Costs and Benefits of Investment in Savannakhet and Saravan Provinces, Lao PDR”. The assessment not only provides baseline information for the development of provincial investment strategies but also assists in further building the capacity of the authorities to analyze and monitor investments. The project was funded by UNDP and UNEP’s Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) and carried out by IUCN in partnership with the National Economic Research Institute (NERI).

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> UNDP and UNEP’s Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) Briefs
The Saravan PEI team leads a women's discusion group about the impacts of a rubber plantation, July 2010.

Deforestation: on the juniper trail

Not many of us know that Pakistan has one of the world’s largest juniper forests. Juniper trees are unique as they grow about an inch a year. Comparing the rate of growth with the size of the trees found in the Ziarat area, some trees are estimated to be more than 2,500 years old. This precious forest is threatened by increasing population - as the local communities require wood for cooking, heating and construction.  IUCN and partners are developing innovative alternatives for local needs and thereby preserving this ancient natural heritage. “Forests are like lungs for the earth. If these lungs are healthy, the entire humankind would be healthy,” says, Inam Ullah Khan, Project Manager, IUCN, Ziarat.


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Juniper Tree, Balochistan

Greening Asia's Growth: Nature+

IUCN will hold the 5th Asia Regional Conservation Forum (RCF) from 27 to 30 September 2011 in Incheon, Republic of Korea. IUCN holds Regional Conservation Fora every four years around the world in advance of IUCN’s World Conservation Congress (WCC), the next to be held in Jeju, Republic of Korea 6-15 September 2012. The Asia Regional Conservation Forum will be co-hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea and the IUCN National Committee of Members in Korea. The RCF is being organized with the Korean Organizing Committee for 2012 WCC.

> Official website

Thailand hosts national seminar on the economics of marine and coastal ecosystems

A National Seminar on the Economics of Marine and Coastal Ecosystems was co-organized by the Thai Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Government of Thailand, in collaboration with the Economy and Environment Programme for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), the United National Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangkok. The seminar was designed to build knowledge, share experiences and challenges in valuing Thailand's marine and coastal resources, and to establish a national network of researchers and other experts in this field.


> IUCN Thailand Programme
Direct value in marine and coastal ecosystem Seminar, Rama Garden Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Communities in Himalayas coping with change in watershed, climate and livelihoods

Communities stressed the importance of local knowledge at a workshop conducted by IUCN on increasing resilience of peoples in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) against climate change. Documentation and strengthening of traditional knowledge and local institutions are essential to cope with uncertainties of climate and water insecurity in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR). This was the clear message that came from residents of seven villages in the Balkhila watershed as they highlighted their problems such as landslides and soils erosion, water shortage, low agricultural yield, and drying of springs at a workshop organized by the IUCN Water and Nature Initiative (WANI) on 27 July 2011 in Gopeshwer, Uttarakhand, India.


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> Water and Nature Initiative
Residents from the Balkhila watershed, Uttarakhand, planting trees

Protected Areas of East Asia

IUCN-WCPA and the IUCN Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Programme present ‘Protected Areas of East Asia; Evaluating and strengthening implementation of the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas and the East Asian Regional Actions Plan’. The report is forward looking, highlighting the areas in which the East Asian region has the potential to be pioneers in PA planning, establishment, management and governance. The report goes on to define the key issues that require attention for the successful implementation of the PoWPA and East Asia RAP and provides management recommendations for the region.


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Protected Areas of East Asia

Knowledge Management in the IUCN Asia Programme

A knowledge management study was undertaken in the IUCN Asia Region to review the knowledge management needs and practices to help deliver the Asia Region Programme. A full report and action plan have been developed based on the surveys undertaken in October – November 2010.

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IUCN KM Report

Streamlining wetland conservation in Cambodia

In a first for Cambodia, the Mekong Water Dialogues (MWD) is in the initial stages of developing a national plan to strategically manage wetlands. Currently there is no policy in place to consolidate wetland management in Cambodia. MWD has undertaken an extensive review of wetland strategic plans from eight countries around the world. The analysis the highlighted the components best suited the conditions in Cambodia to form the basis of the model for wetland management to be proposed to the national government. Ultimately, MWD Cambodia is striving to achieve support and endorsement from Cabinet for the establishment of a national framework for wetlands management to secure adequate protection of wetlands for long-term conservation and sustainable livelihood practices.


> Mekong Water Dialogues
Stung Treng wetlands, a Ramsar site: a wetland of international importance

Somsak Soonthornnawaphat receives Biodiversity Conservation Honor Award

Mr.Somsak Soonthornnawaphat, IUCN Thailand programme's senior officer received an Honour Award for Contributing to Biodiversity Conservation in Thailand from Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources on 22 August 2011. The national award recognizes his conservation work to protect the Thai water onion and on implementing the reef to ridge coastal management approach. 

> IUCN Thailand Programme
Mr.Somsak Soonthornnawaphat accepts the Those Contribution to Biodiversity Conservation in Thailand Honor Award from (left) Ms.Nisakorn Kositrat, a secretary-general of the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) .

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature © 2011

IUCN helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.