Set realistic, achievable actions to reduce loss of natural habitat

All of the 187 parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) should immediately address the loss of natural habitats and species extinction by setting realistic and achievable actions.

Malaysian Environmental Non-Government Organizations (Mengos) chairman Dr Loh Chi Leong said Wednesday that delegates to the upcoming seventh Conference of Parties (COP7) and the First Meeting of the Parties (MOP1) of the CBD should take advantage of the meeting was to organize an effective action and timetables for reducing the level of loss of biodiversity by 2010.

He said that in the World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002, heads of state and government agreed to achieve the goal.

“Mengos want to join other parties and concerned citizens worldwide expansion of our concerns even though many activities and accomplishments of the member nations of the convention, the result is that after 10 years, the rate of species extinction and loss of natural habitat is actually increased rather than decreased, “he told a media conference on the future and MOP1 COP7 here.

Malaysia will host COP7 and MOP1 CBD on February 9 to 20 and February 23 to 27 respectively in the Putra World Trade Centre. Between 2000 and 2500 participants from 187 countries will attend conferences and meetings.

Mengos is an integration of 18 NGOs, was established under the Danish International Development Assistance (Danida)-supported aid program in the Malaysian environment.

Dr Loh said the situation in Malaysia reflects what is happening in many other countries in the world.

“Malaysia has developed a National Policy on biodiversity and conservation policies and action plans, the number of protected areas has increased and there are laws to help promote conservation.

“However, we continue to see the encroachment, conflicting land use, lack of law enforcement and poor management of protected areas and habitats, sectoral approaches and poor coordination among the institutions that caused the loss of species.

“Malaysia, being one of the 12 mega biodiversity countries in the world with at least 15,000 species of flowering plants, 286 mammals and 4,000 species of marine fish, the reverse side of the coin is that countries are also quickly become one the leading countries in terms of number of species of animals and plants are threatened and endangered species, “he said.

Dr. Loh, who is also executive director of the Malaysian Nature Society, said many unique ecosystems and habitats, including mangroves, freshwater wetlands, limestone hills and high plains ecosystem in Malaysia, is under threat of disappearing rapidly due to aquaculture , resort urbanization, land reclamation and soil.

Rather than approach one by one taken by the authorities, he said, caution should be made a priority issue in all areas of management issues including trade, business and social.