Making news

ASEAN launches region-wide greening initiative

The ASEAN Green Initiative (AGI) has been launched with an aim to ramp up restoration efforts and plant at least 10 million native trees in the next 10 years.

It was carried out on the occasion of the 54th anniversary of ASEAN (August 8) by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) together with the ASEAN Secretariat.

Demonstrating the strong cooperation and commitment among the 10 ASEAN member countries to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration in the region, the AGI aims to set standards for the recognition of  tree-planting activities and programmes across the region that not only regrow forests in the region but also contribute to people's well-being, livelihood improvement, and resilience-building.

ACB Executive Director Theresa Mundita Lim said that across ASEAN, there are ongoing commendable efforts in nature restoration. The AGI is hoped to give recognition to the outstanding initiatives that comprehensively address the concerns of the people and the environment.

Lim cited various tree planting movements in the ASEAN, such as a drive of Singapore to plant a million trees over a period of 10 years and Malaysia’s 100 million tree-planting campaign.

ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Kung Phoak emphasised that the main objectives of the AGI are to continue building and sustaining momentum for more robust collective actions in awareness-raising and enabling ownership.

The AGI is supported by the European Union and the German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) through the Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN (BCAMP) Project, and the Institutional Strengthening of Biodiversity Sector in the ASEAN II Project, respectively.

The launch and implementation of the AGI are aligned with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global movement to accelerate restoration goals and commitments, which commenced this year. The campaign is a rallying call on the urgent need to prevent, halt, and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide to ‘end poverty, combat climate change, and eliminate mass extinction.’

The region plays a vital role in this global call for ecosystem restoration and biodiversity conservation.

At least 60 percent of the world’s tropical peatlands, 42 percent of mangroves, and 15 percent of tropical forests are in the ASEAN. While the region is known for its rich biodiversity, it is also vulnerable to climate-related risks and human-driven activities that drive biodiversity loss./.