1. New approaches to conserving Asia’s Critically Endangered species/ Launch of the Indo-Burma Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment 2. IUCN Key Biodiversity Areas initiative

11:00-12:00 New Approaches to Conserving Asia’s Critically Endangered Species/Launch of the Report of the Indo-Burma Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment

Asia is one of the most biologically diverse regions on earth, and hundreds of new species are still being discovered every year. However, it is also home to more than half of the world’s population and is characterized by exceptionally rapid economic growth, unsustainable use of natural resources, illegal trade in wildlife and often extreme pollution. The combination of these factors means that Asia is currently experiencing a “perfect storm” when it comes to biodiversity conservation. The impact is clearly revealed in the IUCN Red List, which features a disproportionately high number of species from Asia.

This event will feature the launch of the report of the recently completed Indo-Burma Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment, one of largest and most ambitious Red List assessments to be carried out in Asia to date. These large-scale, multi-country, regional assessments are showing increasing promise as a tool for helping to define conservation priorities and identify information gaps. There will also be short case study presentations from India, Lao PDR and Vietnam about innovative species conservation initiatives in the Asia region.

12:00-13:00 IUCN Key Biodiversity Areas initiative

The Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas addresses issues relating to species conservation and protected area conservation. The Joint Task Force has two current objectives. The first is to conduct a meta-study of the determinants which increase the likelihood of protected areas delivering biodiversity outcomes, with a long-term view of establishing a process to maintain the data necessary to evaluate this question iteratively. The second is to convene a scientific stakeholder process to consolidate the standards and criteria for the identification of key biodiversity areas (KBAs) as sites of global biodiversity conservation significance and requiring the establishment of site-scale safeguards. This session will give an update on this work to date and involve discussion and questions from the audience.

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