SEARCA Director makes pitch for biodiversity in ASEAN meet
At the partners’ forum, Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. (standing, sixth from left), SEARCA Director, joined His Excellency Ivo Sieber (standing, tenth from left), Ambassador of Switzerland to Thailand; Atty. Roberto V. Oliva (standing, seventh from left), ACB Executive Director; Dr. Berthold Seibert (standing, sixth from right), project director of the ACB-GIZ Biodiversity and Climate Change Project (BCCP); ASEAN senior officials; as well as representatives of donor agencies, NGOs, development organizations, and the private sector. (Photo courtesy of Francis Dejon/ACB)
BANGKOK, Thailand – Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), underscored the need to mainstream the importance of biodiversity conservation to build up and sustain public financing for it.
“Unless you get the message across that biodiversity is important and affects people’s lives, livelihood, and well-being, it will be an uphill battle to win the hearts and minds of the very people who should be your allies in protecting and conserving the region’s biodiversity and natural resources,” Dr. Saguiguit stressed in his message at the partners’ forum on sustainable financing for biodiversity of the ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity 2016 hosted by the Royal Thai Government.
Dr. Saguiguit shares some advice on alternative sources of program funds for regional centers at the partners’ forum on sustainable financing for biodiversity of the ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity 2016 held on 15-19 February 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo courtesy of Francis Dejon/ACB)Speaking at the invitation of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), Dr. Saguiguit was able to impart some advice and suggestions on alternative sources of much needed program funds for regional centers like SEARCA and ACB, apart from host government contributions.
Convened on 15-19 February 2016, the conference had about 500 participants from governments of ASEAN Member States (AMS), international organizations, scientific and research institutions, the academe, and nongovernment organizations (NGOs). The partners’ forum, in particular, was attended by the Swiss Ambassador to Thailand, ASEAN senior officials, as well as representatives of donor agencies, NGOs, development organizations, and the private sector.
The conference provided a venue for exchange of perspectives on ecosystem-based approaches to manage critical ecosystems and biodiversity, access and benefit sharing, and sustaining biodiversity as a business opportunity. It also discussed ways for AMS to advance the ASEAN biodiversity agenda in the context of the Aichi Targets and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015.