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IUCN Asia Regional Members Committee Meeting

A meeting of the IUCN Asia Regional Members Committee (ARMC) was held in Kaihua, Zhejiang, China from 18-20 September 2017 under the chairmanship of Prof. Ma Keping. This was the second meeting hosted by Prof. Ma since his instatement as Chair of the ARMC in August 2015.

The meeting was organised by IUCN Asia and was sponsored by the Biodiversity Committee of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; the Government of Kaihua County in Zhejiang Province, China; and Qianjiangyuan National Park in Zhejiang Province, China.

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.

The meeting was attended by Members of the ARMC from 17 countries, including Chairs of the National Committees and representatives of Members from other countries where National Committees do not exist, IUCN President Zhang Xinsheng, Regional Councilors from Asia, Commission representatives and the Secretariat.

Ms Aban Marker Kabraji, Regional Director for IUCN Asia, congratulated Prof. Ma on raising funds to host the second meeting of the Asia Regional Committee. Ms Kabraji emphasised that the Asia Regional Committee is a governance body for Asia which enables members of the committee to review the work of IUCN Members, commissions and the Secretariat and which provides direction to the Secretariat.

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.

During the meeting, several presentations were made by participants, including a presentation by Prof. Ma Keping on “Nature based solutions to environmental and social challenges.” Chairs of the National Committees and representatives from countries, as well as Commission representatives, also made presentations on their work progress.

Dr. TP Singh, Deputy Regional Director for IUCN Asia, provided an update on IUCN’s progress in strengthening its programmatic presence in Asia.

The meeting was followed by an excursion to Qianjiangyuan National Park and Root Palace Buddhist Cultural Tourism Area.