BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Asean calls for nature’s conservation to prevent future pandemics

Asean calls for nature’s conservation to prevent future pandemics

The Asean Secretariat (ASEC) and the Asean Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) held their first webinar on May 20, underscoring the linkages of biodiversity and health and regional efforts to integrate biodiversity conservation into the COVID-19 response.

EnvironmentCOVID-19
By The Phuket News

Friday 22 May 2020, 03:26PM


ACB Executive Director Dr Theresa Mundita Lim says taking care of our environment also means taking care of our health and well-being. Photo: Chen Soon Ling

ACB Executive Director Dr Theresa Mundita Lim says taking care of our environment also means taking care of our health and well-being. Photo: Chen Soon Ling

Gathering a panel of experts, the webinar titled “Biodiversity and Preventing Future Pandemics” took place through Zoom and was broadcast live on Facebook, engaging citizens and various audiences from the Asean Member States about nature’s role in preventing future pandemics, explained the Asean Secretariat in a news release.

“In spite of restrictions on movements in most of the Asean region, Asean Secretariat and the ACB are keen to use this momentum to engage Asean sectoral bodies and the general public to exchange knowledge, ideas, and experiences on interlinkages of biodiversity and human health,” Kung Phoak, Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of Asean for Socio-Cultural Community, said in his opening remarks.

DSG Kung underscored the importance of nature-based solutions to prevent future pandemics through cross-sectoral collaboration and multi-stakeholder engagement, as part of Asean’s agenda on mainstreaming biodiversity across relevant sectors, while encouraging individuals and community to become ‘bio-literate’ to adopt behaviours that address the root-cause of future pandemic and zoonosis.

The panel included ACB Executive Director Theresa Mundita Lim; Acep Somantri, Director of the Bureau of International Cooperation of Indonesia’s Ministry of Health; Founding chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Dr Tan Sri Zakri bin Abdul Hamid; Dr Unnikrishnan Payyappallimana of the International Institute for Global Health of the United Nations University; and Dr Marian Delos Angeles, resource economics and environmental valuation expert.

Antoinette Taus, UN Environment Programme’s National Goodwill Ambassador for the Philippines, moderated the two-hour session.

Dr Lim, a wildlife management expert, stressed the need for greater cooperation within Asean and with other regional bodies and governments of the world to prevent future pandemics as “COVID-19 may not be the last.”

Thanyapura Health 360

She cited recent IPBES data that there may be around 1.7 million unidentified viruses believed to still exist in mammals and water birds that can infect people.

“The decline of species can trigger the spillover of viruses that are dormant or inactive, leading to their transmission to both domestic animals and humans. This grim data should serve as a warning to all of us,” Dr Lim said.

Dr Payyappallimana shared the highlights of the scoping study on the interlinkages of health and biodiversity of the ACB, in cooperation with UNU-IIGH, Kuala Lumpur, and supported by Asean-EU Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in Asean.

Meanwhile, Dr Zakri said nature must not be forgotten while governments are saving human lives and rebooting the economy in their post-COVID 19 response. “After all, the root cause of those zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19 is the destruction of wildlife habitats, a fact endorsed by most scientific community,” Dr Zakri said.

The activity was part of the efforts of ASEC and ACB to increase their communication activities and mainstream biodiversity across various sectors and disciplines leading up to the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDBD) today (May 22).

With the theme “Our solutions are in nature,” the observance of the IDBD highlights the global call to citizens to re-examine their relationship with nature.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Arrivals to Phuket from eight provinces must observe quarantine

My Malaysian registered car sure picked the wrong time for its temporary import permit to expire-...(Read More)


Arrivals to Phuket from eight provinces must observe quarantine

A, a return flood of thai people to Phuket. Perhaps the Governor did close his 'field hospitals&...(Read More)


THAI flights put on hold until July

3 More days of fuel for THAI. THAI face saved by Covid-19 virus excuse. That they believe themselve...(Read More)


Heavy downpours drench Phuket

A 2 hr downpoor, and half of Phuket under water. One can't make it up. Many times last few mon...(Read More)


Work permit holder boost but no news for separated families

Please Kurt,read the article again ! It's not about tourists. ...(Read More)


Governor dismisses Phuket’s last seven COVID cases, suspends field hospital

Khun Phakaphong, most honored Governor, can we please go surfing now? Khop khun Krup....(Read More)


Thailand aiming for complete end to lockdown on July 1: NSC Chief

Let's dont rush into things too early. I would like to see the use of airships and hot air ballo...(Read More)


Work permit holder boost but no news for separated families

A loooong Foreign Ministry Bulletin, full with bureaucratic nonsense. Pfff. Read it 3 times, and tha...(Read More)


Phuket Property Guide: What constitutes a bargain?

... what they are doing, proper quality control is simply ridiculous etc. etc....if you put shell an...(Read More)


Phuket Property Guide: What constitutes a bargain?

6% or 7% yield are low figures and - as I understand from the article - do not include maintenance, ...(Read More)