Myanmar opened a new chapter in its history in November 2010 when it adopted its open-economy policy. Since then, an impressive array of reforms have been implemented. However, Myanmar’s sustainable and inclusive growth depends on it maintaining this momentum during its transition —particularly inflows of foreign direct investment.
Feeding the world is becoming an increasingly complex task. Providing all our daily bread—or rice—requires grappling with intense competition for natural resources, producing more from less land and dealing with changing dietary habits. But meeting food needs is not just about quantity. Quality is also important. Along with daily minimum calorie requirements, people also need vital micronutrients from their meals. High levels of micronutrient deficiencies, a phenomenon we call “hidden hunger” remains pervasive, particularly in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Is changing 9,000 years of eating habits the solution to vitamin A deficiency in poor communities in Asia?
With some 60% of the global youth population living in Asia and the Pacific, young people have consistently and increasingly shown they are capable of addressing urgent development problems through their innovative ideas.
Asia’s drive to urbanize is taking an increasing toll on the environment with growing mountains of solid waste as city dwellers consume and discard resources at an ever increasing rate. If “green” cities are to be the answer to these environmental stresses then they will need to develop much more effective programs to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover waste.
Striking rates of economic growth notwithstanding, 550 million people remain hungry in Asia and the Pacific, 65% of the population has no safe piped water, and more than 600 million people live without electricity. Overcoming these problems requires a combined approach in which food, water and energy are treated as a nexus, rather than as separate, standalone issues, which has too often been the case in the past.
Starting 22 February, Asian Development Bank (ADB) is holding its second No Impact Week challenge for individuals to cut their carbon footprint, following the success of the pilot event in January 2013.
The recent stability of food prices in Asia and the Pacific presents policymakers a window for addressing several crucial issues that, if ignored, risk reigniting the food price crisis of 2007–2012 and undermining the region’s rise out of poverty.
In my childhood years, we considered planthoppers as pets. My brothers would catch, feed and train them for hopping races with other kids. Little did I know that these seemingly harmless insects can become crop destroying pests.
Picture this: rapid urbanization and massive infrastructure development and people trapped in outdated polluting transportation, escalating environmental degradation and deforestation, rising potable water shortages and food security concerns, extreme climate change occurrences and growing disaster risks.