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 impacted 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, addressing climate change, as well as engaging and benefiting local communities.
We help build conservation capacity and leadership for local organisations, and we collaborate with global partners to link global, regional and local efforts. In doing so, we raise the profile and voice of Asia in global contexts and conversations.
Southeast Asia has incredible and unique biodiversity with high levels of endemism. Many species are threatened due to habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal and unsustainable 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 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 these valuable ecosystems are under serious threat from deforestation, land-use change, habitat degradation and alteration. Southeast Asia has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, 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.
Expansion of agricultural commodities, such as palm oil, is the main cause of loss of tropical forests and peatlands, threatening wildlife species, as well as creating health issues in the region due to burning of the forest and the resultant haze.
Local communities and indigenous people who co-exist with nature and biodiversity are its strongest guardians. 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 be 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. This includes ensuring community rights, direct ecosystem payments, creation of jobs within protected areas, sale of sustainable products such as non-timber forests products, artisanal food and craft products, and conservation tourism - so these communities can sustain their rights and livelihoods and become advocates for nature.
From natural disasters to species extinction, public health crises to increased conflict and migration, human-induced climate change poses numerous threats to our economies, livelihoods and the environment.
To mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and limit global temperature rise to maximum of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, urgent action must be taken to halve greenhouse gases emission by 2030 and work towards a net zero carbon future by 2050.
30 per cent of climate solutions are linked to nature-based climate solutions (NCS) and Southeast Asia is uniquely positioned to develop nature-based solutions for climate, focusing on the protection, restoration and sustainable use of ecosystems like tropical forests, wetlands, mangroves and seagrasses.