JAKARTA, 9 April 2015 - A programme that will protect the biological diversity, promote the sustainable management of natural ecosystems, and improve the livelihoods of local population in the ASEAN region was launched on 7 April by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and Germany in Jakarta, Indonesia. Titled “Protection of Biological Diversity in the ASEAN Member States in Cooperation with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity,” the launch coincided with the programme’s planning workshop on 7-10 April.

The workshop in Jakarta will enable stakeholders and relevant parties to review the programme’s concepts and exchange views on perspectives, interests, and concerns in the module of programme, leading to a consistent program structure and framework. The workshop will also discuss approaches and strategies on how the programme can effectively support and contribute to the ASEAN integration process.

H.E. Alicia de la Rosa Bala, ASEAN Deputy Secretary General for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community delivered an opening remark at the event. She emphasised ASEAN’s commitment to enhance policy and capacity development and best management practices to ensure ASEAN’s rich biological diversity is conserved and sustainably managed toward enhancing social, economic and environmental well-being. She thanked the Federal Government of Germany for its continued confidence in, interest and support provided to ASEAN and in particular, to ASEAN environmental cooperation.

Also on hand to give his remark was Atty. Roberto V. Oliva, Executive Director of ACB. Director Oliva cited Germany for its long-term commitment to support biodiversity conservation in the ASEAN region. He said the new phase of ACB-German cooperation augurs well for ACB as it celebrates its 10th founding anniversary and ACB’s decade of cooperation with the ASEAN Member States.

From Germany’s side, Mrs. Jessica Engel of the Development Cooperation Division, Embassy of Germany in Indonesia and Dr. Berthold Seibert, Program Director of GIZ graced the opening.

A side event of the workshop will be an ASEAN Youth Forum on Biodiversity to be held at the University of Indonesia on 10 April. The forum is organised by Sahabat Alam, the winner of the 2014 ASEAN Youth Champion of Biodiversity Awards.