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Ecologist cites need to save Southeast Asia’s natural treasures vs. climate change

MANILA, June 25 –- A leading ecologist working with the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) asked Filipinos and fellow Southeast Asians on Friday to save Southeast Asia’s natural treasures against climate change.

“It is our heritage. It is our biodiversity,” Dr. Filliberto A. Pollisco Jr., a Policy Research Specialist of ACB, said, adding that over 500 million lives could be at stake if Asians do not address Southeast Asia’s endangered biodiversity

Pollisco also batted for the conservation of about 2,500 species of plants and animals in the ASEAN region threatened with extinction.

He said some of those that need to be conserved are ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHPs) found in the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

Pollisco said the ASEAN Heritage Parks are educational and inspirational sites of high conservation importance, preserving a complete spectrum of representative ecosystems of the ASEAN region.

The parks embody the aspirations of the peoples of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam to conserve their natural treasures that represent the bounty and diversity of living organisms of their nations.

“The abundance of these diverse biological resources also ensures the continuous flow of goods and ecosystems services for the benefit of the present and future generations,” Pollisco said.

The ASEAN Ministers on Environment jointly signed the ASEAN Declaration on Heritage Parks on Dec. 18, 2003.

The 10 ASEAN member states agreed that “common cooperation is necessary to conserve and manage the AHPs for the development and implementation of regional conservation and management action plans, as well as regional mechanisms complementary to national efforts to implement conservation measures.” (PNA) scs/JCA

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