Last week the Asian Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology held its third annual conference in Melaka, Malaysia.
It was a great conference -- with representatives from 45 nations and lots of outstanding research being reported (ALERT director Bill Laurance gave a keynote talk, and ALERT members Gopalasamy Reuben Clements, James Watson, and Pierre-Michel Forget also spoke).
SCB-Asia has released an important Resolution about priorities for conservation in Malaysia, which you can download here. Following are a few of the key messages:
- It's urgent for Malaysia to take immediate actions to strengthen biodiversity conservation at both federal and state levels -- especially as the nation had the world's highest rate of deforestation between 2000 and 2012
- Safeguarding the nation's natural capital will be vital for Malaysia to meet its development goals while honoring its commitment to retain 50% of its land under natural forest cover
- It's crucial to support the Central Forest Spine master plan, which is a core strategy for conserving Peninsular Malaysia's remarkably biodiverse forests and maintaining connectivity among shrinking forest blocks
- Malaysia and its states need to strongly support the country's Multilateral Environment Agreements, such as the vital Heart of Borneo initiative
- It's essential to curb illegal encroachment in Malaysia's protected areas, including poaching and illegal logging and land clearing
Our congratulations to SCB-Asia for a terrific conference and for taking a leading role in promoting environmental conservation and sustainable development in Asia.