During the second regional partners meeting of Terre des Hommes Germany held in Southeast Asia on April 26th-28th,1999 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, it was decided that a working group on Biodiversity be established.
Since that time Terre es Hommes has supported many projects and activities regarding Biodiversity in in Southeast Asia.
At the first regional meeting of the Terre des Hommes Regional Partners’ Working Group on Biodiversity held on September 18th-21st, 2000 in Bangkok, it was proposed that this meeting time would be used to encourage reflection, evaluation, and sharing of lessons learned over the past year so as the develop a regional strategy and move forward together in a more effective and cohesive way.
The second meeting of Terre des Hommes Regional Partners’ Working Group on Biodiversity was held in Chiang Rai, Thailand from 4-7 November 2001. A clear plan was drawn up during that meeting. The Declaration for Biodiversity was worked out in this meeting. After several Regional Working Group meetings and workshops, the working group has revised and developed its vision, mission and objectives.
The Southeast Asia Working Group on Biodiversity has the following Vision, Mission and objectives:
Indigenous people and local communities in South East Asia actively take part in the protection of biodiversity to maintain the region’s rich ecosystem, cultures, and local livelihoods.
§ Support community biodiversity conservation initiatives
§ Promote cultural diversity which supports biodiversity recovery
§ Raise public awareness through information, education and communication
§ Develop a strong network at local, national and international levels
§ To stop destructive biodiversity development
§ To involve children and youth in conserving biodiversity
§ To monitor and campaign for laws and government policies concerning the protection of plant variety and local people’s intellectual rights.
§ To promote and support local communities to protect community rights on biological resource conservation and to develop local people’s intellectual properties for sustainable plant variety resource management.
§ To build and support networks of people’s organizations in Southeast Asia to protect biological resource and local people’s intellectual property rights.
Our Rivers Our Life Campaign on Biodiversity in Southeast Asia
During the 6th Southeast Asia Regional Working group on Biodiversity Meeting a regional campaign plan was developed to suit the needs of the region as well as the capacity of each participating country. The SEA-RWG on biodiversity has identified a need for a campaign for the protection and conservation of river ecosystems in South East Asia. After the meeting the working group has come up with a regional campaign entitled ‘Our Rivers, Our Life’ for the protection and conservation for the rivers in South East Asia with the active participation of children and youth. At the 7th RWG on Biodiversity Meeting in Bangkok in January 2007, the proposal and campaign activity plan was finalized, but due the insufficient funding support under country level activities the campaign was not able to carry out as it was planned. At the 8th RWG on Biodiversity Meeting in Jogyakarta, Indonesia in November 2007, the plan has been re-evaluated and redirected the campaign activities.
The campaign focuses on 11 rivers in the seven member countries of the working group. The campaign aims to target local and national policy makers, community leaders and teachers, and children and youth living around the 11 rivers. The regional campaign entitled ‘Our Rivers, Our Life’ has the following aim, purpose and objectives:
To contribute to the protection and conservation of river ecosystems in South East Asia.
To launch the ‘ Our Rivers, Our Life’ campaign at a regional level with the active participation of children and youth.
§ To raise awareness and train children and youth on river and biodiversity issues
§ To form theatre and artist groups to raise awareness and mobilize communities and individuals about river and biodiversity issues
§ To increase media coverage on biodiversity and river issues
§ To established and strengthen river watch groups on 11 rivers
§ To influence policy and local laws to protect biodiversity and rivers
§ To effectively maintain coordination and communities among RWG members and project partners
§ To promote and distribute campaign materials throughout the region
The campaign coordination meeting with terre des hommes Germany for Southeast Asia coordinator in the Terre des Hommes SEA office in Bangkok in April 2008, it has identified that the regional coordination work needed to be extended in order to be able to oversee the regional campaign activities including biannual monitoring visits to partner organizations.