The Asia Protected Areas Partnership will be co-chaired by the Government of Japan, as the first country co-chair, and IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature. (Agencies)
IUCN said the decision was taken following a meeting in Bangkok last week.
Countries represented at the meeting include Japan, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
"The group discussed priority areas of interest and the focus of the partnership moving forward," IUCN said in a release.
The partnership, supported by the Ministry of the Environment Japan and the Nagao Natural Environment Foundation, will be officially launched at the IUCN World Parks Congress taking place in Sydney, Australia in November this year.
The new partnership will benefit India'a huge network of 668 protected areas, extending over 1,61,221.57 sq kms (4.90 per cent of total geographic area), comprising 102 National Parks, 515 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 47 Conservation Reserves and 4 Community Reserves.
According to the conservationists, protected areas are vital to meeting development challenges in Asia - one of the world's most dynamic regions.
In addition to helping reduce the risk of natural disasters, they provide clean water and enhance food security, provide clean air and medicines, store carbon to help mitigate climate change and provide homes, jobs and livelihoods to millions of people in Asia and worldwide.
Protected areas are increasingly impacted by high rates of economic development in Asia and their ongoing conservation has trans-boundary implications.
The Asia Protected Areas Partnership will be co-chaired by the Government of Japan, as the first country co-chair, and IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature.