KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will play host to the third Asean Conference on Biodiversity (ACB 2020) in March and expects to see some 500 local and international participants from Asean and megadiverse countries.
Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the conference will feature discussions on the development of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and progress made by the Asean member states in achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
“It will provide a platform for the exchange of experiences as well as set Asean’s direction in biodiversity management towards 2050.
“Other than that, the conference will also be a catalyst for the government’s efforts towards the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the utilisation of genetic resources.
“The participants will include representatives from Asean member states and 20 megadiverse countries in South America and Africa that harbour more than 70% of the global biodiversity, ” he said.
Dr Xavier was launching the soft opening of the ACB 2020 and its official logo and website on Tuesday (Jan 21).
The conference will run from March 16 to 20 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will open the event on March 16.
On the conference, De Xavier noted that it was important to strengthen the voice of Asean and megadiverse countries at the international level to ensure that the positions of these countries would always be put into consideration in decision making.
“We must all work together. All countries are not equal and have different problems. Some are more matured and some are more developed than us, while there are countries that have not developed yet.
“So we must take into consideration the communities involved and understand the local situation before we decide or implement anything towards attaining the goals that are set, ” he added.
Dr Xavier noted that High-Level Ministerial Meetings on Biodiversity (HLM) will also take place alongside ACB 2020, involving ministers and senior officials responsible for biodiversity management in Asean and megadiverse countries.
“The ministerial-level meeting is important for us to discuss inputs to strengthen Malaysia, Asean and the megadiverse countries’ positions in the Global Biodiversity Framework which would become the framework for post-2020 biodiversity management.
“It will also set the groundwork for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in October 2020 in Kunming, China, ” he said.
The ministry will also recognise those who have been fighting for biodiversity concerns from individuals, non-governmental organisations and government offices, he said, adding that every Asean country and non-governmental organisations like the the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) will be given a booth to showcase their causes and stories.
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