ASEAN calls for nature’s conservation to prevent future pandemics

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Hope concept praying free bird covid19

JAKARTA – The ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) together with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) held their first webinar underscoring the linkages of biodiversity and health and regional efforts to incorporate biodiversity conservation into the response for Covid-19 pandemic.

The webinar entitled “Biodiversity and Preventing Future Pandemics” was launched on Wednesday, May 20, through the zoom app that was also broadcasted live on Facebook. The webinar aims to engage citizens from the ASEAN Member States about the nature’s role in preventing future pandemics.

Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of ASEAN for Socio-Cultural Community Kung Phoak said in spite of restrictions being imposed in most of the ASEAN region, they are keen on using the momentum to engage ASEAN sectoral bodies and the public to exchange knowledge, ideas, and experiences and links of biodiversity and human health.

Antoinette Taus, former actress and UN Environment Programme’s National Goodwill Ambassador for the Philippines, hosted the session. The panel who participated on the webinar are 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. The online session was part of the efforts of ASEC and ACB to increase their communication activities and mainstream biodiversity across various sectors in preparation ofthe International Day for Biological Diversity (IDBD) on May 22.

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