A series of Regional Roundtable Discussions to address Asian regional biodiversity and sustainable development issues was launched with the first workshop in this September. The focus of the workshop was on “Biodiversity Corridors: current status and directions”.
The Regional Roundtable will help the Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Program (ARBCP) achieve its objectives to improve regional communication, implement more effective regional programming, as well as to address relevant biodiversity and sustainable development issues.
For the first time, an opportunity was provided for the program’s stakeholders to discuss the key concerns, requirements, and opportunities of biodiversity corridor planning and implementation. Perspectives from different stakeholders representing national and regional levels were shared at the roundtable, as to how regional planning can conserve biodiversity and alleviate poverty.
Effective coordination, improved dialogue, and the establishment of mechanisms such as National Steering Committees were emphasized as tools to facilitate common understanding.
Furthermore, corridor site projects were encouraged to shift from a project–oriented to a corridor-oriented focus in order to engage a broader range of stakeholders and to minimize ecological disturbances.
The workshop also gave an opportunity to introduce the ARBCP to approximately sixty stakeholders. They were government representatives and international non-government organization members from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam, and regional partners from Winrock-International, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
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