Zaw Zaw Wai

Session 5: Eco-tourism, Business, and Biodiversity

It has been challenging for communities all over the world because of the health and socioeconomic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Protected areas in the ASEAN, including the ASEAN Heritage Parks, are not spared from the impacts of this global health crisis. From tourism revenue losses to reduced mobility of staff and managers, protected areas reel from consequences of the ongoing global health crisis. Despite the situation, many protected areas continue to fulfill their mandates in their respective areas and adapt to the new normal.

The pandemic has highlighted the interconnectedness between various stakeholders and sectors, including private enterprise, public health, protected area visitors, gateway communities, government and non-governmental organisations. Recovery requires us to collaborate and work together if we desire thriving businesses, healthy ecosystems, resilient livelihoods and sustainable tourism economies.  This session will highlight the role of the business sector in pandemic recovery and in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. This session will touch on the insights and practical guidance on private sector engagements, including private sector voluntary commitments and investments towards supporting the AHPs and protected areas.

This session will feature good practices in management of tourism in AHPs and protected areas, including successful efforts to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. The session will also look into sustainable tourism, including tourism based on the natural environment, which is a vital growing segment of the tourism industry and has a significant potential for realising benefits in terms of the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components. It is also vital to recognise more the need for public awareness and education on the benefits of sustainable tourism and to actively involve the private sector in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity through sustainable tourism activities and developments.

Session Objectives:

This session is designed to: 

  • To increase awareness on the the role of business in pandemic recovery and in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, including the proposed ASEAN Business and Biodiversity Initiative (ABBI);
  • To share good practices in management of tourism in AHPs and protected areas, including experiences in pandemic recovery;
  • To increase appreciation on the investments of private sector on protected areas and why they are investing on protected area management; and
  • To explore opportunities for partnerships and potential private sector development interventions in AHPs and other protected areas.

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