The Asia-Pacific region is as diverse as it is beautiful, with a wide range of landscapes that encompass everything from frozen mountains and striking limestone towers to tropical rainforests and coral reefs. Some of the most biodiverse countries in the world are found in this region, as are many charismatic species such as the tiger, orang-utan, Siamese crocodile, Asian elephant and Magnolia grandis.
A WILDLIFE-RICH TAPESTRY
We work in four countries in Asia-Pacific
1928Syed Waris Ameer Ali, champion of the tiger, strong advocate for national parks in India and future vice-president, joins our executive committee.
1967Kaziranga, a crucial sanctuary for the great Indian rhinoceros, achieves national park status after decades of lobbying by long-term member and naturalist Edward Pritchard Gee.
What's going wrong?
Rapid population growth and economic development is placing a great deal of pressure on many of the region’s natural ecosystems, with growing cities and expanding agriculture coupled with infrastructure development (such as roads and hydroelectricity dams) and other development projects (such as paper production, mining, and oil and gas exploration) leading to widespread habitat destruction. In Indonesia alone, for example, over six million hectares of primary forest were lost between 2000 and 2012.
The region’s marine environment is also suffering, with unsustainable fishing and coastal developments causing serious decline in the health of these critical ecosystems, threatening not only biodiversity but also the many people who depend on these resources for income and food.
Poaching too is also on the increase, with tigers and many other species being targeted for their body parts, which are used in traditional Asian medicine and as ornaments.
Our work in the region
Our work in Asia-Pacific spans the entire region; we are safeguarding vital forest, marine and wetland habitats in Myanmar, protecting critically endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger and Sunda pangolin from poachers in Indonesia, rescuing Vietnamese primates such as the cao vit gibbon from the brink of extinction, and championing the many bizarre and fascinating creatures uniquely adapted to life in limestone caves. We also help to conserve the region’s threatened flora, including magnolia species and the Ziyuan fir tree.