Southeast Asia hosts diverse biological resources and cultural milieus that are under different
degrees of stress from various factors. This report highlights the key underlying economic,
political and natural factors that contribute to biodiversity decline in the region, and provides
specific policy directions that could help address the decline.
The report documents the salient biophysical characteristics of Southeast Asia, the current
state of biodiversity and the attendant climatic and anthropogenic drivers of biodiversity
decline in the region. Specifically, the role of international trade and the expanding oil palm
plantations to meet increasing biofuel demands, as well as impact of urbanization and land
tenure management systems and changing climatic patterns on biodiversity are clarified.
Policy responses required to augment and maintain a rich biodiversity status in the region
are highlighted in the last section. There is a need for periodic assessments, monitoring and
appropriate regulation mechanisms as well as the use of innovative financial mechanisms to
enhance adaptive capacity. Investments in collaborative research and information sharing
and educational initiatives to raise awareness and foster better ties between science and
policy networks are a priority.