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ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity marks ASEAN’s 50th year with inauguration of new headquarters

News from ACB

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) will inaugurate its new building on 29 July 2017 at the University of the Philippines Los Banos in Laguna, Philippines. The activity forms part of ASEAN’s Golden Anniversary celebration.

“We dedicate the new ACB building to the present and future generations. It is a hallmark of our commitment to sustain efforts towards biodiversity conservation. We at ACB hope that this building will become a venue for all sectors, groups, and individuals to come together and solidify initiatives to inspire everyone to take action for the web of life,” said ACB Executive Director Atty. Roberto V. Oliva.

The new building, which was designed and built using principles of sustainable construction, is a testament to the long-standing commitment of the 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) to the conservation of biological resources in the region. ACB sees the new building as a staging platform to further amplify its message of conserving biodiversity.

Oliva expressed appreciation to the Government of the Philippines for supporting the construction of the building through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The Philippines is the host country of ACB by virtue of a Host Country Agreement signed in 2009.

Dignitaries from the 10 ASEAN member states, ASEAN Secretariat, dialogue partners, private sector partners, local government partners, and other friends of biodiversity will join ACB in celebrating its new headquarters.

Apart from the formal launch of the building, one of the highlights of the event is the signing ceremony between ACB and the European Union (EU) for the Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN (BCAMP), a five-year mission (2017-2022) that aims to improve the management of protected areas in the ASEAN, develop and mobilize knowledge and scientific basis for biodiversity conservation, and mainstream biodiversity into the education system and to strengthen the regional capacities.

The Centre will also launch the Second Edition of the ASEAN Biodiversity Outlook (ABO2), which provides a midpoint assessment of the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in the ASEAN region.

The inauguration marks another milestone for ACB, which traces its roots to 1999 with the creation of the European Commission (EC)-funded ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (ARCBC). The ARCBC fostered strong collaboration among the ASEAN Member States and between ASEAN and EC partner institutions, gradually gaining recognition in the regional and global biodiversity arena. Stakeholders agreed on the need for a permanent institution, as against a mere time-bound instrument. This promptly translated to the creation of ACB – a center that facilitates cooperation and coordination among the 10 ASEAN Member States and regional international organizations on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and the fair sharing of benefits arising from the use of such natural treasures.