Representatives from civil society organizations convened at the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Civil Society Plasa during the 51st ADB Annual Meeting to talk about community-centered conservation as a multi-stakeholder approach to sustainable development.
The panelists discussed a diverse set of projects and initiatives ongoing in their different organizations which include forestry and coal management, grants programs, selection and prioritization of fish conservation, coastal management, irrigation, and eco-tourism, among many others.
Impacts of urbanization
One of the points raised include the potential negative impacts of urbanization to the environment. Yi Liu, the National Coordinator for the UNDP Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, explains that in line with urbanization and the upscaling of individuals’ livelihoods, alternative livelihoods that sustainably use their local biodiversity must be taken into consideration.
James Lynch, Deputy Director General of ADB’s Pacific Department, adds that there is now a transformation shift in terms of urban development. “Smart and green cities are the way of the future, this is driven by economic considerations, people are now looking into sustainable and clean cities. It is very much about awareness, but also it is in terms of controlling urban development, this is where proper planning comes into play,” Lynch emphasizes.
Conservation efforts on children
During the open forum, a member from the audience raised the question if children were involved in the different communities’ conservation efforts. Thi Ngoc Lan Nguyen, the acting director for the Center for Water Resources Conservation and Development, says that for their communities, kids are encouraged to join in through communication events and competitions organized by both the community and the her organization.
On the other hand, Dang To Kien, the Deputy Director of Community Entrepreneur Development Institute (CENDI), says that there is no need for their organization to intervene heavily with their children and primary schools. Kien explains that they hold talks and open forums with the kids about the environment, and host tree planting activities with them. She says the kids in the communities all love nature, and they enjoy the tree planting activities and even attach their names on them and feel proud about their growths.
Biodiversity and livelihood
Each of the speakers during this event came from different groups, all using different means to support the common goal of promoting a more sustainable development. The common goal of starting with forests and bodies of water promotes not only a better living condition, but also a better livelihood with the possible coming in of healthier fishes and more ways to use nature properly for the community’s benefit.
Each organization aims to promote a better biodiversity for both humans and the nature around them, which in turn can also help promote better opportunities at living for the people.