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2017 Meeting of Asia Regional Members Committee of IUCN Held in Zhejiang Province
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From 18-20 September 2017, the 2017 Meeting of Asia Regional Members Committee of IUCN (IUCN ARMC) was held in Kaihua, Zhejiang Province. The meeting was organized by the Biodiversity Committee, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The Biodiversity Committee, CAS was affiliated to Institute of Botany, CAS. More than 50 representatives from 17 Asian countries, including China, Japan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the IUCN Asia office, China office, Commissions and member institutions, and Kaihua County Government, attended the meeting. Professor Keping Ma of the Institute of Botany, CAS (IBCAS), who is also the Chair of the IUCN ARMC, presided over the meeting.


The main objective of the meeting was to review the joint progress of IUCN Members, commissions and secretariat on strengthening the programmatic presence of IUCN in Asia. Other objectives included finding ways to promote the implementation of IUCN’s Programme for 2017-2020, looking into the existing guiding documents such as resolutions and programmatic themes with a focus on Nature-based Solutions and identifying key actions for collective efforts with active participation of Members in Asia.


In the morning of the Sept. 18th, Aban Marker Kabraji (Director of IUICN Asia Regional Office), Masahiko Horie (IUCN Councilor), and Ruiliang Xiang (Party Secretary of CPC Kaihua County) addressed the opening ceremony, respectively. IUCN President Zhang Xinsheng made a speech on the challenges and opportunities of “Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation.” He acknowledged the efforts of the local government to preserve the environment of Kaihua, and remarked that “conservation and development can go hand in hand.” He also highlighted some of the areas in which IUCN Asia has made significant progress in mainstreaming biodiversity. Prof. Keping Ma’s speech was entitled “Nature based solutions to environmental and social challenges”. Dr. Tejpal Singh (Deputy Regional Director of IUCN Asia Regional Office) and Dr. Chunquan Zhu (Country Representative of IUCN China Office) introduced the progresses of the secretariat in Asia and the project of IUCN China. The national committees and relevant institutions of the 17 countries reported their work progresses and preparation of relevant meetings, as well as deep collaborations with IBCAS in biodiversity areas.


The representatives focused on four subjects: nature-based solutions in Asia; promoting cooperation to enhance Asia member’s global impact; IUCN 70th anniversary celebration and reform; and strengthening member’s role. After discussion, they reached the following consensus: 1) Asia should play its potential in IUCN global strategy, especially further show nature-based solution and successful cases; 2) IUCN should completely reform on budget structure, human resource policy, and fundraising; 3) Asia members should have more voices on important issues, especially by using new media; 4) Cooperation among Asian countries should be urgently strengthened for solution of cross-border issues; 5) Nature-based solutions play important and positive roles for the management of reserves, and the planning and building of cities.


During the meeting, the representatives visited Gutianshan Plot of the Chinese Forest Biodiversity Network (CForBio), which is constructed by IBCAS and located in the Qianjiangyuan National Park. They also listened to an IBCAS scientist’s presentation entitled “Biodiversity Monitoring in Qianjiangyuan National Park”. In “The Strategic Workshop on Qianjiangyuan National Park” held on Sept. 20th, the representatives from different countries gave advices and suggestions for the National Park based on their home countries’ experience and professional expertise.


IUCN Vice-chairman Malik Amin Aslam highly appreciated the results of the meeting in his closing remarks. He noted that the most attended meeting (in terms of numbers of countries and representatives from IUCN Asia regional committee) set a great example for other IUCN regions; the outstanding environment, water quality and rapid development of eco-tourism in Kaihua deeply impressed the representatives. He also pointed out that China’s development strategy to integrating the Belt and Road Initiation and ecological-civilization is worth to learn for other countries, and if united with the IUCN network, it will benefit the entire world.

Xinhua News Agency, China News Service, China Green Times and many other news agencies reported the meeting.


2017 Meeting of Asia Regional Members Committee of IUCN Held in Zhejiang Province

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