Asia News

Unique marine national park in Korea now officially certified by IUCN

Hallyeohaesang National Park, a unique marine ecosystem in South Korea, has been certified as a Category II Protected Area under the UN List of Protected Areas. Hallyeohaesang National Park was designated in 1968 as one of the first national marine protected areas in Korea. Poul Engberg-Pedersen, Deputy Director General of IUCN, presented a certificate to the Executive Director of the Korean National Park Service (KNPS) Dr. Dongwon Shin. “This certificate is an example of the many ways in which IUCN cooperates with its Members. It cements the relationship between the government and people of Korea and IUCN, which will reach a peak at the World Conservation Congress in Jeju”, said Engberg-Pedersen.

> Learn more
Dr. Dongwon Shin (Executive Director, KNPS), Dr. Jane Smart (Global Director, IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group), Poul Engberg-Pedersen (Deputy Director General IUCN), Dr. Chong-Chun Kim (Secretary General, Korean Organizing Committee IUCN WCC), Trevor Sandwith (Director, IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme)

World Vision Lanka joins hands with IUCN in Sri Lanka to contribute to sustainable development and conservation

World Vision Lanka and IUCN Sri Lanka signed a MoU agreeing to work collaboratively by sharing information, best practice approaches and technical expertise. The MoU will benefit both institutions by providing a context and framework for developing and maintaining cooperation in the fields of their common interests on sustainable development and conservation of nature. World Vision Lanka is a Christian humanitarian relief and development organisation operating in Sri Lanka engaged in transformational, development, humanitarian and emergency relief activities.

> Learn more

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) training in Balochistan

IUCN Pakistan under its Balochistan programme has held a series of training workshops on advanced GIS techniques. Chief guest Mr. Sarwar Javed, Senior Member Board of Revenue expressed his views about the training. He stated that geography is the science of our world.  Coupled with GIS, geography is helping us to better understand the earth and apply geographic knowledge to a host of human activities. This approach allows us to create geographic knowledge by measuring the earth, organizing this data, and analyzing and modeling various processes and their relationships. The Geographic Approach also allows us to apply this knowledge to the way we design, plan, and bring positive change in our world.  IUCN began its work in Balochistan in 1992 when it technically facilitated Balochistan Government in drafting and formulating the Balochistan Conservation Strategy.

> Learn more about Balochistan Partnerships for Sustainable Development
Program Manager BPSD, Zabardast Khan Bangash during session

Why healthy ecosystems matter: the case of mangroves in the Mekong delta

If protected, nature has an amazing ability to recover after disturbance. But the ability to recover depends on the health and resilience of the ecosystem. Mangroves in the Mekong Delta illustrate this principle. In many areas, mangroves have been cleared to make shrimp ponds, often leaving a very thin strip of mangrove forest behind. Where mangroves remain, they are mostly single-species plantations, with very low biodiversity. The poor health and the presence of physical barriers make the delta’s mangroves very vulnerable to disturbance. IUCN's EU funded Building Coastal Resilience (BCR) project is working to strengthen the adaptive capacity of coastal communities across the delta in Can Gio, Ben Tre, Soc Trang, and Kien Giang as well as in Cambodia and Thailand. 

> Full story
> Building Coastal Resilience
The Head of Vam Ray Hamlet, Kien Giang Province, at the location of the eroded sea dyke.

Environmental flows in South East Asia

Population growth, industrial and farmland expansion in Asia are stretching the limits of water allocation for nature’s needs. Environmental Flows, or ensuring sufficient water for both people and nature, was the theme of a recent training workshop in Khao Lak, Thailand. Investing in natural infrastructure, such as restoring floodplains, wetlands and rivers, means complementing engineered hard infrastructure, to help reduce the impact of flood events such as experienced in the recent Thailand flooding in November 2011. The participants from Southeast Asia were supported by IUCN's Mekong Water Dialogues (MWD) project. The participants from Southeast Asia were supported by IUCN's Water and Nature Initiative, Mekong Water Dialogues and Building River Dialogue and Governance projects.

> Read the story
> Mekong Water Dialogues
> Global Environmental Flows Network
> IUCN Water Programme
Khao Lak, Thailand

Call for a joint Bangladesh-India media strategy to highlight trans-boundary resource issues

Media professionals from Bangladesh and India at a recent media dialogue organised by IUCN in Bangkok, Thailand called for a joint media strategy to promote better understanding of trans-boundary resource management between the countries. “Ecosystems for Life: A Bangladesh-India Initiative (E4L)”, brought together 20 distinguished media professionals that included editors, senior journalists, academia and practitioners from Bangladesh and India to establish a sustainable and mutually-beneficial relationship among media in the two countries.

> Full story
> Ecosystems for Life
Panel discussion

New media - new messages

Keith Wheeler, Chair of IUCN’s Commission for Education and Communications spoke at the Asia-Pacific Forest Week in Beijing on “New Media—New Messages”  highlighting the need for change in environmental communications. Have we done enough in communicating environmental issues? How do our messages reach seven billion people? How do we reach people outside the sector? How do we get people to change? Can scientists make their cases to non-scientists? Mr Wheeler draws upon a study showing that when people see the benefits of their own contribution, they are more inclined to change. The messages need to be personalized, humanized, and publicized. With positive mobilization of the public, we will see policy and behavioural change.

> Full story
> IUCN Commission on Education and Communication

REDD Implementation in Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia

For Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia there are significant opportunities in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). However, it is already clear that the extent to which a country will be able to attract international investment and REDD payments will depend on its ability to put in place a system that rewards forest managers who are changing behavior to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. It is necessary to establish a Benefit Distribution System (BDS) that is transparent and efficient, and rewards those actually providing the emission reduction and biodiversity conservation services. This project was supported by the Swedish Environmental Secretariat for Asia (SENSA) to build on work by IUCN completed under UN-REDD in Viet Nam and share these experiences and approaches with Laos and Cambodia, and to initiate similar work in these two countries.

> Read the reports
Forest in Lao PDR

New brief on findings from national forest governance assessments

Between 2005 and 2009, the IUCN project Strengthening Voices for Better Choices (SVBC) sought to improve the effectiveness of forest governance in six key tropical forest countries: Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Ghana, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Viet Nam. SVBC recognised that to improve forest governance requires an understanding of the policy, regulatory and institutional obstacles to managing forests sustainably. This new brief summarises the findings of the SVBC national assessments, and is based on a synthesis of the assessments prepared for SVBC in 2010 by Patricia Moore, Thomas Greiber and Saima Baig.

> Full story and links
New brief on national forest governance assessments

Another leap towards the Barometer of Life

The latest update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ illustrates the efforts undertaken by IUCN and its partners to expand the number and diversity of species assessed, improving the quality of information in order to obtain a better picture of the state of biodiversity. With now more than 61,900 species reviewed, another big step forward has been made toward developing the IUCN Red List into a true ‘Barometer of Life,’ as called for by leading experts in the magazine Science in 2010.

> Full story and links
Asian Rhino, Kaziranga NP, Assam

IUCN Membership tops 1200

On 16 November 2011, the 77th Meeting of the IUCN Council admitted 52 new Members to IUCN and officially recognized the Malawi National Committee of IUCN Members.  20 new Members joined from the Asia region including many from the Republic of Korea. IUCN Membership now tops 1200 organizations and institutions. The Council, President, Director General and entire family of IUCN extend a very warm welcome to the new Members and Committee, and look forward to their active involvement.

> IUCN Member's web pages
IUCN logo

IUCN welcomes Bhutan as State Member

The Royal Government of Bhutan has officially announced its decision to join IUCN by endorsing the IUCN Statutes. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests has been designated by the Royal Government of Bhutan as its liaison with the IUCN Secretariat. IUCN extends its warmest welcome to the Kingdom of Bhutan.“IUCN is extremely honoured to have the Royal Government of Bhutan join IUCN as a State Member” says Aban Marker Kabraji, Regional Director, Asia.“Bhutan is a country which has thoughtfully embarked on a pathway of development which is extremely unique and as such provides a real source of inspiration to many other societies which are seeking to find a balance between human development and the sustainability of the natural environment.”

Taktsang Dzong (Monastery) in Paro, Bhutan.  The monastery is also known as the “Tigers Nest” referring to the legend that Guru Rinpoche flew to this location back of a tigress.

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature © 2012

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.