SCB-Asia Conference Passes Declaration Urging Malaysia to Strengthen Biodiversity Protections
Malaysia is an extraordinarily rich country – both in terms of natural and economic capital. As such, Malaysia is in an excellent position to conserve its biodiversity, setting an example of enlightened development in tropical Asia. Business-as-usual development, however, will lead Malaysia to miss this opportunity and suffer irreparable loses of natural capital, with cascading negative impacts on the economy and social wellbeing. In August 2014, nearly 400 conservation biologists met in the town of Melaka under the umbrella of SCB-Asia and agreed a series of recommendations for the Malaysian government which include: (1) strengthening leadership in biodiversity conservation at state and federal level; (2) commit to keep 50% of the country’s land under natural forest cover; (3) the implementation of key landscape projects such as the Central Forest Spine master plan for landscape connectivity and the Heart of Borneo; (4) curb the illegal encroachment of protected areas, especially for poaching; and (5) invest in fundamental sciences; among others. By the adoption of the Melaka declaration, the participants of SCB Asia 2014 committed to assist the Malaysian government to achieve these objectives and work together towards the effective conservation of Malaysia’s unique biodiversity.
The full declaration is here.