Our planet’s biodiversity is at risk. A million species are at risk of extinction due to human activities such as the wildlife trade and habitat destruction. 12 million hectares of tropical rainforest were lost in 2020, a 12 per cent increase from 2019. Half of the world’s coral reefs have also been lost, with estimates that losses will increase between 70 to 90 per cent in the next 20 years.
Human-induced climate change is exacerbating this loss through accelerated global warming, ocean acidification, increases in extreme weather events and natural disasters, and sea level rise.
Mandai Nature helps address these problems by supporting projects and non-profit organisations in Southeast Asia. We focus on reversing and slowing species loss, protecting and restoring ecosystems and habitats, as well as engaging and benefitting local communities.
We help build conservation capacity and leadership for local organisations, and collaborate with global partners to link global, regional and local efforts for greater impact. In doing so, we raise the profile and voice of Asia in global contexts and conversations.
Mandai Nature is also an advocate for conservation tourism in the region. By encouraging investments in conservation tourism within Southeast Asia, we believe it contributes to the conservation of biodiversity while sustaining the well-being of local communities. View our publication on “Promoting the Business of Conservation Tourism in Southeast Asia”.
Southeast Asia has incredible biodiversity with high levels of endemism – four of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots can be found in this region. But many species in the region are threatened due to habitat loss and fragmentation brought about by human activity or climate change, illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade, and the introduction of invasive species. According to the IUCN Red List, more than 250 land and freshwater vertebrates in Southeast Asia are listed as "Critically Endangered", which means they are one step away from Extinction in the wild.
Addressing the urgent need for increased conservation action, Mandai Nature supports partnerships and activities that directly and positively impact the survival of threatened Southeast Asian species using modern and integrated conservation tools and approaches following the One Plan Approach to Conservation.
Mandai Nature hosts the IUCN SSC Center for Species Survival: Southeast Asia, IUCN SSC Asian Species Action Partnership (ASAP), a platform partnership with a mission to halt the extinction of Critically Endangered land and freshwater vertebrates found in Southeast Asia as well as the IUCN SSC Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG) Southeast Asia Resource Centre.
While covering only 3 per cent of Earth's land area, Southeast Asia accounts for 15 per cent of the world's tropical forests, 35 per cent of all coral reefs, 25 million hectares of peatland, and many other unique and diverse ecosystems.
Yet ecosystems in the region are under serious threats. Southeast Asia has one of the world’s highest deforestation rates, with conservative estimates of around 14.5 per cent of regional cover lost in the last 15 years and an average of 1 per cent loss annually.
Protecting and restoring critical ecosystems and landscapes like tropical forests, peatlands, and mangroves helps to safeguard the biodiversity and local communities that live within. By doing so, it can potentially provide 30 per cent of the nature-based solutions needed to stabilise the adverse effects of climate change.
Local communities and indigenous people who co-exist with and depend on nature for their livelihoods are its strongest guardians. Integrating the needs of these communities is important to the successful implementation of conservation initiatives.
Research has shown that community conserved land managed by indigenous people covers 22 per cent of the world's terrestrial Key Biodiversity Areas and is likely to have the same level of biodiversity as protected areas, and low or no deforestation (Ref: Territories of Life, ICCA Consortium, 2021).
Mandai Nature is committed to supporting these communities and will work with partners to engage them in conservation efforts to ensure they benefit from wildlife and habitat protection measures and nature-based solutions for climate. This includes ensuring community rights, direct ecosystem payments, creation of jobs within protected areas, sale of sustainable products such as non-timber forest products, artisanal food and craft products – so these communities can sustain their rights and livelihoods and become advocates for nature.
We also hope to encourage investment in conservation tourism within Southeast Asia, recognising it as a viable avenue to empower communities through the protection of biodiversity in the region. View our publication on “Promoting the Business of Conservation Tourism in Southeast Asia”.