Special Sessions

  • Business and Biodiversity Forum

The goods and services that underpin the business sector relies heavily on biodiversity and ecosystem services.  Biodiversity loss, ultimately, entails adverse effects on businesses. While environmental degradation from unsustainable business practice persist, recent trends have shown that there is a growing number of businesses engaging in and integrating biodiversity conservation in business operations. 

Initial recommendations in the region suggested that businesses should go beyond the profit. Building partnerships is identified among the key actions in order to mainstream biodiversity in their business plans. On a larger scale, it was also suggested that businesses should consider alternative models for sustainable development and biodiversity conservation in the region.

With the CBD agenda on mainstreaming biodiversity, the business sector is among the necessary avenues for transformational change by injecting sustainability in their business models, production, and consumption. The CBD COP 14 recognised the need for an enabling environment for mainstreaming biodiversity and an increased collaborative ambition to halt and revert biodiversity loss through the contributions of the business sector. 

The continued progress of the Global Partnership for Business and Biodiversity (GPBB) has facilitated a greater representation of the business sector in biodiversity conservation, particularly on the discussions in the Post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The GPBB continues to connect businesses, governments and other key stakeholders in encouraging information sharing and the facilitation of greater understanding and action on biodiversity conservation by businesses at the national and regional levels. The objective of the platform is to increase the number of companies with a significantly reduced negative impact on biodiversity, and to mobilise and enable them to act as positive influencers upon other entities throughout the economy.

This special session will feature presentations on tools, policies, ideas, and experiences from the government, civil society organisations, and the private sector. The session aims to further articulate and extend the business and biodiversity mainstreaming efforts in the region. Moreover, the forum aims to be a hub for the region in further facilitating business growth without undermining biodiversity.

  • Youth Biodiversity Forum

In the ASEAN region, youth comprise over 33 percent of the ASEAN population. As the next generation to inherit the planet, youth have a key role to play in the formulation and implementation of biodiversity conservation strategies and action plans at all levels. Youth-led conservation efforts, such as awareness raising campaigns, clean-ups, citizen science surveys, online task forces to prevent illegal wildlife trafficking via social media, amongst others, are already contributing to the implementation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Moreover, today’s youth have come of age in a generation very different than those before it, including technological advancement, and the skills and mindsets held by young people can be valuable in the region’s fight against biodiversity loss, especially as threats to biodiversity are becoming more technologically advanced, interconnected, and requiring innovative and interdisciplinary thinking. 

ACB2020 will feature a Youth Biodiversity Forum to raise awareness to youth about ASEAN’s rich biodiversity, showcase youth-led conservation initiatives across ASEAN, and inspire young people to contribute to a sustainable, healthy and resilient ASEAN for future generations. In particular, the Forum will connect youth to global and regional biodiversity agendas like the SDGs, Aichi Targets, post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the ASEAN Strategic Plan on Environment (ASPEN); share the exciting work of the 2019 and 2020 ASEAN Youth Biodiversity Leaders; and spark discussions and collaborations towards conserving our shared natural heritage. Expected outcomes include increased knowledge amongst the youth about global and regional biodiversity conservation mechanisms, as well as the youth’s role in them; and a more connected community of ASEAN youth fighting biodiversity loss.

  • Science Policy Forum

Impacts of biodiversity conservation action in the ASEAN region are mild at best and neither have they done very well against global targets.  Despite conservation efforts, the drivers of biodiversity loss remain relentless and urgency dictates that humans must now comprehensively understand the complexity by which these drivers interact – especially those who make major political decisions and policy.

Science outputs continuously provide information needed to support decision-making, management and governance.  Critical to the realisation of this support is the transformation of science outcomes to knowledge nuggets that both answer policy makers’ questions and contribute to shaping evidence-based government policy

This forum will feature a sharing of experiences and will invite scientists, researchers and government officials and staff and encourage delegates to engage into interactions and conversations that present scientific findings useful for policy, clarify policymakers issues, and potentially arrive at a means by which to sustain such exchanges in the ASEAN region. 

AMS will benefit from such exchanges and be guided on the needed capacity and attitude by which to make this happen both at the national and regional levels of governance. As a result, this forum will demonstrate how scientific knowledge is utilised to address social and institutional issues. It will also be a venue where scientists meet policy makers and through the exchanges learn to develop messages summarised from research findings and scientific evidence helpful in presenting clear and concise options to policy makers.  

The keynote presentation will feature the IPBES Regional Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Asia and the Pacific.  The sessions will include the following topics: Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production; Invasive Alien Species; and Land Degradation and Ecosystems Restoration.

  • Sustainable Industries Forum

The forum will focus on industries that have integrated changes to ensure sustainability of resources and reduce impacts on biodiversity.  For instance, a major issue in forestry in ASEAN is the expanding use of palm oil and its contribution to deforestation. Palm oil cultivation has led to conversion mostly of primary forests, leading to biodiversity loss, degradation of ecosystem services and functions, and harm to wildlife.  In many cases, land clearing for palm oil plantations have displaced indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) and other land tenants.  

Over the years, increased awareness of the impacts of converting forests into monoculture plantations and issues raised by government, conservation organisations, consumers, and other stakeholders have led to changes in management and business operations for the plantation industry such as palm oil, rubber and pulp and paper.  The forum is an opportunity to showcase sustainable plantation production, raise awareness of conservation initiatives, and address other issues faced by the palm oil industry and the large-scale plantation industries. 

The Sustainable Industries Forum will present the status of sustainable palm oil in the region and discuss conservation and sustainability measures in other resource-dependent industries.