BALI, Indonesia — Conservationists, local government officials, protected area managers and stakeholders, youth, indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as representatives from different sectors gather to commemorate Indonesia’s National Day of Nature Conservation or Hari Konservasi Alam Nasional (HKAN).

The three-day celebration organised by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) opened on 31 August 2022 carrying the theme Restoring Nature for Prosperous Communities.

Opening the event was MoEF Secretary General, Ir. Bambang Hendroyono, who called strongly for an active and whole-of-society response to nature conservation and ecosystem restoration.

The ongoing HKAN 2022 festivities serve as a prelude to Indonesia’s hosting of the upcoming intergovernmental forum of the largest economies in the world, the G20 Summit.

“The commemoration of HKAN 2022 sets the momentum for the upcoming G20 Summit which will be held in Bali in November. Indonesia’s G20 presidency carries the theme, Recover Together, Recover Stronger. This resonates with the ASEAN’s call for solidarity in facing challenges as it celebrates its 55th founding anniversary in August with the theme Stronger Together,” said Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim, executive director of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) in her video message.

Indonesia’s G20 presidency will focus on three priority areas: strengthening of global health architecture; digital transformation for economic growth; and energy transition for a sustainable future and to address climate change.

Dr. Lim thanked the KKH for its continued cooperation and support to the region’s conservation efforts. “HKAN 2022’s theme, Restoring Nature for Prosperous Communities is best exemplified by the ongoing regional programme for biodiversity conservation and livelihood improvement under the ACB’s Small Grants Programme supported by the Federal Government of Germany, through the KfW.

Secretary General of Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Ir. Bambang Hendroyono (middle) visits the ACB-KKH booth with the city mayor of Buleleng, Putu Agus Suradnyana (right)

Indonesia’s regional leadership

Known as one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world, Indonesia boasts of diverse ecosystems that support various plant and animal species, such as the Sumatran tiger, elephants, orangutans, and rhinoceros among others. Seven out of 51 ASEAN Heritage Parks can be found in Indonesia, namely, Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park, Gunung Leuser National Park, Kepulauan Seribu National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park, Lorentz National Park, Wakatobi National Park, and Way Kambas National Park.

Through its mandate, the ACB works with the ASEAN Member States such as Indonesia in protecting and sustainably managing the region’s rich biodiversity. The ACB, in cooperation with the Government of Indonesia, is making significant progress in conserving biodiversity while uplifting the lives of communities in key protected areas through the AHP Programme.

The AHP Programme is a flagship initiative of the ASEAN that is largely supported by the European Union and the Federal Government of Germany through the ACB.

Two of the ASEAN Heritage Parks supported by the programme in Indonesia are Gunung Leuser National Park and Way Kambas National Park. Lim stressed that the progress achieved in the two parks continue to inspire the rest of the region.

HKAN 2022 features enriching discussions, festive performances, biodiversity-friendly products, and an innovative showcase of local, national, and regional efforts for people and nature.

The ACB, in collaboration with Indonesia’s MoEF-Directorate of Biodiversity Conservation of Species and Genetics (KKH) and with support from the European Union through the Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN (BCAMP) Project, jointly set up an interactive showcase of conservation initiatives in Indonesia and the ASEAN.

Part of the joint exhibition of the KKH and the ACB is an invitation to the upcoming Seventh ASEAN Heritage Parks Conference (AHP 7) which will be held in Bogor, Indonesia from 10 to 14 October 2022. With the theme Healing Nature and People: The  Role of AHPs in Ecosystem Protection and Pandemic Recovery.

Since 2004, this regional protected area conference is being held every three years to facilitate exchange of knowledge and experiences in protected area management, share challenges and lessons learned in managing their national parks and reserves, and provide an opportunity to expand their network of conservation partners. (ACB)