Envisioned in 1978 as a group of national parks and nature reserves with outstanding wilderness and biodiversity values, the ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP) Programme was established to highlight the importance of a select group of protected areas in regional and global efforts in biodiversity conservation.
This network of AHPs is the “cream of the crop” protected areas holding high conservation importance protecting an extensive range of ecosystems in the Region.
Considered as the best protected areas in the ASEAN, the
AHPs provide a window to the world, showcasing a wealth of
biodiversity that is uniquely ASEAN.
The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) currently serves as the Secretariat of the AHP Programme and the AHP Committee, with representatives from the 10 AMS serving as members. In the management of AHPs, the ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity provides guidance and promotes regional coordination in the implementation of conventions and activities related to biodiversity conservation.
As Secretariat of the AHP Programme, the ACB evaluates new AHP applications; conducts capacity development activities for AHP managers and staff; organises AHP conferences; holds promotional activities for the AHP Programme; and facilitates coordination among AHP managers to strengthen the parks as a regional network of protected areas. The ACB also conducts programmatic training courses for enhancing management and conservation skills of protected area workers.
11 protected areas were initially listed as AHPs through the ASEAN Declaration on Heritage Parks and Reserves on 29 November 1984.
As of September 2022, there are 33 terrestrial, nine marine, and nine wetland AHPs.