‘Growing concerns’ over COVID-19 postpones ‘Biodiversity’ confab
SAN PEDRO CITY –– “Growing concerns” over coronavirus (COVID-19) across countries have forced organizers to postpone a “high-level ministerial meeting” supposed to tackle biodiversity conservation efforts in Southeast Asia.
The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Centre for Biodiversity or ACB, from its headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna, issued a notice of postponement on Friday, or weeks before the multinational conference slated for March 16 to 20 in Kuala Lumpur.
“This is to inform you that the Third ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity or ACB 2020, including the Biodiversity Showcase and the pocket talks, the ASEAN High-Level Ministerial Meeting on Biodiversity, the ASEAN and Megadiverse Countries High-Level Ministerial Meeting on Biodiversity and other related meetings, have been postponed to a later date due to growing concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and the increasing travel restrictions imposed by some countries,” the ACB said.
Also “postponed” to a later date were the pre-conference events, among them the Regional Workshop on the National Clearing-House Mechanism; Regional Consultation Workshop for the Development of a Science-based Decision Support System for Coastal Wetlands, the Youth Biodiversity Leaders 2020 Academy, and a Biodiversity Media Tour.
The ACB, along with Malaysia’s Ministry of Land, Water, and Natural Resources, was organizing the conference among ASEAN member nations.
In January, the World Health Organization in January has declared a “public health emergency of international concern” following the outbreak of COVID-19, which has also forced countries to lock down or impose travel restrictions./lzb
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