The Asian Species Programme aims to address an urgent extinction crisis. Southeast Asia has been subject to ever-increasing ecosystem loss (particularly of forests and wetlands), as well as escalating pressure from hunting and wildlife harvest. This has resulted in a shocking number of species being at risk of extinction – for example almost 30% of mammals are listed as threatened in the region.
We are working hard with our partners and collaborators to scale-up action to change this pattern of loss and degradation.
Most taxonomic groups so far studied are more threatened in Southeast Asia than elsewhere. A fundamental reason for the region’s elevated threat level is that almost 50% of the world’s people live in Southeast Asia and the adjacent countries of China, Bangladesh and India, yet this region comprises only about 12% of the Earth’s land area. As population size, consumer-focused lifestyles, urbanisation and globalisation have expanded, space and attitudes toward nature have changed. As such, solutions need to be found to not only scale-up action, funding and capacity within the region but also to enable cultural shifts in behaviour and belief.
We are working with a small handful of excellent organisations which work closely with communities to protect Critically Endangered and Endangered species, the most at risk categories in the IUCN Red List. As we bring in greater funding for the programme, we plan to expand our reach and to support the following:
- Conservation action – focused on protecting Critically Endangered and Endangered species.
- Capacity development – focused on building in-country capacity and NGO presence for the long term.
- Increasing knowledge of the region and its species – focused on supporting essential knowledge products that can underpin effective conservation action and/or policy change.