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2012 marked another year of record-setting growth in the motor vehicle fleet of Asia and the Pacific.  Photo by Lloyd Wright.

2012 in Numbers

I am normally a bit skeptical about the power of data to radically transform public policy. After all in the transport sector, the most serious issues of congestion, road accident fatalities and injuries and air pollution are readily obvious by looking out the window of any major Asian city. Would knowing the numbers more accurately make a difference to policy makers?

Lloyd Wright

Majority of families in Bhutan depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihood.

Why Bhutan must balance the material and spiritual needs of her people

Bhutan, located in the eastern Himalayas, is a small landlocked country between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India. Virtually the entire country is mountainous. Despite challenging geography and limited connection to the global markets, the country managed to ignite and sustain strong economic growth by unlocking its hydro potential.

Cyn-Young Park

A view of smog, haze in the city’s skyline in People’s Republic of China.

Pollute first, clean up later: Could we avoid this development model?

Resource depletion and environmental pollution are serious issues in developing Asia. This was well illustrated in January of this year when northern People’s Republic of China (PRC) suffered its worst air pollution on record. The level of pollution moved many to question the old development model of “pollute first, improve later”. 

Aiming Zhou

It’s time to talk about clean energy

The upcoming Asia Clean Energy Forum 2013 on June 25 to 28 at the ADB Headquarters is one of Asia’s premiere clean energy events. The event will bring together high level policy makers, the private sector, financial institutions, and civil society to discuss cutting-edge renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and approaches that are changing the face of developing Asia. 

Aiming Zhou

Turning on the lights in Myanmar

A multitude of statistics underscore the challenges that the people of Myanmar face when it comes to access to electricity - many of these illustrating a lack of conveniences other parts of the world consider commonplace, ranging from water pumps to stovetop ranges. 

Stephen P. Groff

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

From Farm to Fork—Combating Asia’s Hidden Hunger

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.

Bindu N. Lohani

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