Atty. Roberto Oliva, executive director of the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) in Los Baños, Laguna, talked about Philippine and Southeast Asian biodiversity and the work of the ACB to around forty (40) embassy personnel and Filipino community members on 10 March 2017 at the Philippine Embassy.
Atty. Oliva was in Berlin as part of the weeklong visit to Germany of a delegation organized by the German Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ), to attend the 5th annual plenary session of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in Bonn. He was joined by Dr. Berthold Seibert, GIZ expert on the project “Protection of biodiversity in the ASEAN Member States,” and Mr. Saroj Srisai, Deputy Director of Environment at the ASEAN Secretariat. The team also visited Frankfurt am Main, Heidelberg and Eschborn, as well as Berlin, to meet with German officials involved in biodiversity issues and relevant technical/development cooperation, as well as to observe nature conservation initiatives.
In his talk at the Philippine Embassy, Atty. Oliva highlighted Southeast Asia’s contribution to global biodiversity, noting that three countries in particular—the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia—account for a share of the world’s flora and fauna that far outstrips the geographic area they occupy.
He underscored that biodiversity is not an abstract idea, but one closely tied to each one of us, providing the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the beauty and hygiene products we use, and the materials we use to build our houses. He also talked about the work of the ACB and encouraged those attending the talk to visit the ASEAN Heritage Parks, which they monitor.
Meanwhile, Dr. Seibert spoke briefly about the technical cooperation offered by the German Government and the European Union for biodiversity conservation in Southeast Asia, including through the ACB.
After the talk, members of the audience were invited to participate in the discussion through a Q&A session. The exchange between the experts and the community members continued over a simple Filipino merienda prepared by the Embassy. (end)