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Design for Conservation

Design for Conservation


HKU Lecture by Alice Hughes: Biodiversity threats and patterns in the Asian tropics

HKU Landscape hosts a talk this Thursday by Dr. Alice Hughes from the landscape ecology group at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden.

Biodiversity threats and patterns in the Asian tropics
Dr. Alice C. Hughes

Thursday, 9 May 2019
12:45 - 14:00
Venue: KB 419, Knowles Building
The University of Hong Kong

Alice is doing phenomenal work on quantifying the impacts of infrastructure development on habitat and biodiversity loss across Southeast Asia. She takes what we would consider a "landscape approach" by questioning the adequacy of existing infrastructure datasets to capture their true extent and impact. In strategy and effort, this goes well beyond the approaches of most recent global studies of its kind. Landscape Architecture in practice may play limited roles in most large-scale infrastructure development; however, these kinds of critical scientific approaches transcend scales and are increasingly important for building awareness when our disciplines undertake master plans in biodiversity-rich developing countries.

Talk abstract

Despite their high levels of biodiversity and endemism, the Asian tropics are frequently forgotten in global discourse on tropical biodiversity loss. Here, in addition to mapping regional biodiversity patterns, I explore the main threats to the region’s biodiversity, evaluating their relative impact and outlining the prognosis for different areas and key ecosystems. Much of Asia has reached a point of almost no return for much of its native biodiversity, with rates of undocumented road building in many parts of the region (e.g., 90% of roads in central Kalimantan are unmapped) symptomatic of the rapid deforestation and exploitation of natural resources and native species in these regions. I also discuss priorities for action and implementation, approaches to setting these priorities, and the major barriers to implementing the necessary policy and management protocols to secure a future for the region’s biodiversity. Finally, I discuss scalable conservation approaches and the role of intergovernmental agreements in enforcing various regulations (e.g., SDGs, Aichi targets) to try to change the trajectory of this region and its threatened biota.

Lecture by Alice Hughes: Biodiversity threats and patterns in the Asian tropics, 2019.
Lecture by Alice Hughes: Biodiversity threats and patterns in the Asian tropics, 2019.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Studio Laos Video 2018

"Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong" builds on five years of design-based experiential learning across mainland Southeast Asia by the Division of Landscape Architecture. This year, focusing on the regional impacts of China's Belt and Road Initiative in northern Laos, students spend one term engaging issues of development vis-à-vis landscape architecture to define problems and produce innovative planning proposals. During this process, students develop and deliver a 180-page research report to civil society and international NGOs, conduct fieldwork, individually design future scenarios through large-format maps, diagrams and models, and have their work juried by a cross-disciplinary panel of experts.

Click here to view course synopsis and student work

HKU Studio Laos: Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong, 2019.
HKU Studio Laos: Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong, 2019.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)