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Women ride past burning garbage in Cambodia.

Pursuing green growth in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Picture this: rapid urbanization and massive infrastructure development and people trapped in outdated polluting transportation, escalating environmental degradation and deforestation, rising potable water shortages and food security concerns, extreme climate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.

Planthoppers feeding on a rice stalk. Photo credit: IRRI

From pets to pests: The case of the rice planthoppers

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.

A boy watches a pump providing water to irrigate a rice field in Cambodia

The Food, Water, Energy Nexus

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.

Vinod Thomas

Green cities: changing the culture of waste

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.

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