Biodiversity in Asia is reviewed here from both scientific and socio-economic perspectives. Biodiversity in Asia has been very high, for historical and climatic reasons; however, this situation has been changing rapidly, due to population growth and economic development. The forest biodiversity in this region has both global and local value, yet it is seriously threatened. As natural capital, biodiversity functions in a variety of ways: production and regulation functions have global value, while habitat and information functions have social and cultural value, as well as local importance. Sustainable forest management is dependent on the regulatory functions of the ecosystem and biodiversity. Sometimes the functions of forests or biodiversity make conflict. Moreover, biodiversity has an information function related to sustainability via local knowledge and culture. Levin's (1999) proposals are helpful as a conceptual framework for developing sustainable management for Asian forests.
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