Why mountains of the Southeast Asia and Pacific region matter
Mountains of the Southeast Asia and Pacific (SEAP) region spread across mainland Asia and the island/archipelagic states in the Pacific Ocean. These countries host one of the world’s highest and most severely threatened biodiversity and gene pools. Many of the region’s indigenous peoples who live in the highlands have developed home-grown and time-tested knowledge and skills in protecting and conserving tropical mountain ecosystems. The SEAP mountains have been generally ignored or are subsumed in forest and other resourcebased national policies and programmes. Consequently, forest, water and mineral resources have been expropriated with little benefits going to the mountain peoples who have mostly remained marginalised and vulnerable.