Malaysia, in collaboration with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), is hosting this year’s biggest biodiversity event in the region, the Third ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity or ACB 2020, on 16 to 20 March 2020.
With the theme, ‘Towards 2050: Living in Harmony with Nature’, the event is expected to bring together over 500 representatives from ASEAN Member States (AMS), the world’s megadiverse countries and stakeholders from various sectors.
Led by Minister of Water, Land, and Natural Resources YB Dato’ Dr. Xavier Jayakumar, Malaysia officially announced ACB 2020 in a ceremony held 21 January 2020 in Kuala Lumpur.
“ACB 2020,” said Dr. Jayakumar, “is intended to provide a forum for exchanging perspectives on initiatives that address biodiversity issues in the region and chart transformative actions that will affect the needed change to conserve biodiversity and attain sustainable development in ASEAN.”
ACB 2020’s official logo and website were unveiled during the ceremony attended by ACB Executive Director Theresa Mundita Lim, and the ambassadors and representatives of the AMS and megadiverse countries.
The conference will feature sessions that tackle the status of biodiversity in the ASEAN region, progress made by ASEAN member States in achieving the 2020 global targets, and the transformative actions to be taken to achieve the overarching goal of nations to live in harmony with nature by 2050.
Jayakumar announced that Malaysia will host the ASEAN High-Level Ministerial Meeting on Biological Diversity on 19 March 2020 and the ASEAN Plus Megadiverse Countries High-Level Ministerial Meeting on 20 March 2020.
“These meetings are aimed at bringing together the ministers and senior officials from the ASEAN Member States and the megadiverse countries and will provide a strategic platform to strengthen cooperation and exchange of ideas and experiences towards achieving the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity,” said Dr. Jayakumar.
For her part, Lim said ACB 2020 is taking place at an exciting time. “2020 is a super year for the environment. As the countries’ Strategic Plans for Biodiversity ends this year, we are taking stock of our progress and we are discussing our next steps, the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.”
The primary objectives of the high-level meetings at ACB 2020 include having a stronger voice and unified position for upcoming biodiversity treaty events, such as the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China, where the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is expected to be finalized.
One expected highlight at the ACB 2020 is the launch of ASEAN Green Initiative, a project of the ASEAN Secretariat to plant millions of trees across the region to strengthen efforts on biodiversity conservation and address issues of ecosystem degradation and climate change.
The five-day event, to be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, is organised by Malaysia’s Ministry of Water, Land, and Natural Resources (KATS), and the ACB, with support from the United Nations Development Programme, the European Union through the Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN (BCAMP), the Federal Government of Germany through KfW and GIZ, the Government of Norway through ASEAN-Norway Cooperation, the CBD Secretariat and SwedBio.