Deputy Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dato Misran Karmain has stressed on the need to improve awareness of biodiversity-related values and the significance to preserve the values among ASEAN residents.

On addressing the opening ceremony of the ASEAN exhibition on biodiversity which took place in Hanoi on August 3, Dato Misran Karmain said ASEAN is well known as one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the world, and renowned for its rich biological heritage.

However, the region is at risk with hundreds of species in ASEAN being categorised as threatened from internal and external socio-economic stresses, especially from climate change, he said.

“Thus, the exhibition not only promotes public awareness and the need for people’s participation on biodiversity conservation but also strengthens cooperation among countries, within the region and beyond,” he added.

Bui Cach Tuyen, Director-General of the Vietnam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said raising public awareness is of significance to fully fill people’s responsibilities for natural resources, including biodiversity.

The exhibition, organised following the Vietnam ’s initiatives as the ASEAN Chairman on the sidelines of the 21th ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Environment from August 2-7, is also one of activities in response to the International Year of Biodiversity 2010 with the slogan “ Biodiversity is life. Biodiversity is our life”.

The exhibition focuses on natural and biodiversity preservation and threats facing biodiversity.

Among 28 national protected areas listed in the ASEAN Heritage Parks, Vietnam contributes four, including BaBe, Chu Mom Ray, Hoang Lien and Kon Ka Kinh./.