Manila, Philippines (AHN)- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a $1.5 million grant to fund environmental plans to save the “Coral Triangle” and the “Heart of Borneo” in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
The development bank is working with environmentalists to save the region’s seas and rainforest particularly the Coral Triangle, which has the highest marine biodiversity in the world, and the Heart of Borneo, with rainforests covering 54 million acres that are some of the last refuges for orangutans, Asian elephants, and Sumatran rhinos.
Illegal logging, mining, and farming destroy millions of acres of forests that pose extinction threats to a number of species. Destructive fishing methods such as using cyanide and dynamite, on the other hand, destroy coral areas and kill marine resources.
“The degradation threatens millions of people who rely on the natural resources for their livelihoods. Urgent attention is needed to stop the deforestation and damage to the marine environment,” said Urooj Malik, Director of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources of ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.
The ADB grant will provide funding for the World Wildlife Fund for Nature to undertake an environmental and socio-economic profile of the region, GIS (geographic information system) mapping and stakeholder consultations in the four countries that would lead to the development of a long-term program to establish regional environmental management policies and strategies to strengthen the sustainable management of natural resources.