Thailand biodiversity multi-sectoral platform soft-launched at Convention on Biological Diversity COP 14

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 20 November 2018 —  Businesses have an important role to play in protecting biodiversity, and multi-sectoral partnerships will be key to achieving this goal. This was the message voiced by IUCN and Toyota at the 2018 UN Convention on Biodiversity Conference of Parties (COP14) held this week in Egypt. At a side event, IUCN’s Asia Regional Office and Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) soft-launched the Thailand Biodiversity Network Alliance, or B-DNA, the country’s first Business and Biodiversity platform.  The conservation organization and automotive industry leader also showcased the success of their partnership in expanding the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The Thailand Biodiversity Network Alliance is the first and only one of its kind in the country. It was jointly established by IUCN Asia and TMT to strengthen the private sector’s role in nature conservation, with a focus on biodiversity and contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals and Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

“The private sector is an important partner in biodiversity conservation,” said Dr Wijarn Simachaya, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand. “We appreciate the work being done by IUCN and Toyota to help safeguard Thailand’s irreplaceable biodiversity. We hope that with the launch of this new platform, more companies will be involved in the work to stop biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.”

Mr. Takao Aiba, General Manager, Toyota Motor Corporation & Mr. Alexander Shestakov, Director of the Science, Society and Sustainable Futures Division, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the Toyota - IUCN COP14 side event Photo: Ann Moey/IUCN “Nature is everybody's business,” said Dr. Tejpal Singh, Deputy Regional Director for IUCN Asia. “With the Thailand B-DNA, we hope to transform the way businesses value, manage and invest in nature. Companies in Thailand now have this platform where they can have access to IUCN’s expertise, understand the opportunities and benefits of being sustainable, collaborate with other companies on conservation initiatives, and be part of global efforts like the SDGs.”

The platform is guided by an advisory committee composed of representatives from government agencies, the academic sector and the civil society. The committee provides strategic direction for the platform, and ensures that it is on track to meeting its established goals. The platform gives affiliated companies access to capacity-building sessions and allows them to collaborate with IUCN and with each other on projects across Thailand, particularly those tackling plastic pollution and restoring fragmented forest habitats. Since the establishment of B-DNA three months ago, 12 companies have already joined as Pioneer Members.

“We are hoping that this platform will help raise awareness on the importance of biodiversity and encourage more people to take action to support our cause. I hope the scale of impact would not just be limited to the country, but also to the region and the rest of the world.  I am confident that through our partnership and the Thailand B-DNA we will be able to help biodiversity flourish for generations to come,” said Mr Ninnart Chaithirapinyo, Chairman of the Board, Toyota Motor Thailand Company Limited.

Dr. Jittinun Ruengverayudh and Ann Moey from IUCN Asia at the event. Photo: Ann Moey/IUCN Biodiversity in Thailand and Southeast Asia is some of the richest in the world. Thailand is part of what is called the Indo-Burma ‘biodiversity hotspot’ and is home to 15,000 plant species and approximately 2,300 vertebrate animals. But environmental pressure is taking a toll on this rich biodiversity; in Indo-Burma, almost 800 species are threatened with extinction.

The side event at COP14 was jointly hosted by the Toyota Motor Corporation, TMT, the Governments of Thailand and Egypt, and The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The theme of the 2018 UN Biodiversity Conference was “Investing in Biodiversity for People and Planet."

Find out more about Thailand Bio-Diversity Network Alliance at: www.thailandbdna.com

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