The 18th Session of the Conference of the Parties is nearing its end in Doha. Among the topics receiving attention is how to integrate migration considerations into adaptation strategies and programs. The International Organization for Migration hosted a side event on December 03 exploring the significance of migration in the context of adaptation to climate change.
“Inclusive growth” and “green growth” are two buzzwords that we often hear in the development sphere nowadays. This is not surprising since these two form key part of many development strategies. While Asia has done extremely well in expanding its economies in the last two to three decades, rapid growth has brought with it rising inequality—within and across countries. It has also badly damaged the environment along the way.
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?
Asia symbolizes the striking progress that has been achieved in reducing poverty but also the daunting gaps in environmental destruction and climate change. It’s rightly said that the war on climate change will be won or lost in Asia. The Asian Development Bank is uniquely positioned not only to support a more environmentally sustainable development agenda but also to lead in important aspects of this endeavor.
If a frog is placed in a boiling caldron, it will immediately jump out to safety. If the same frog is placed in water, which is slowly heated to boiling, the frog will tranquilly remain and eventually die from overheating.
This biological anecdote is frequently utilized as a metaphor for our political state of affairs over global climate change. As the planet slowly heats and succumbs to gradual change we unwittingly accustomize without sensing the dangers that await us. The lessons from this phenomenon also encompass the state of our cities and the transport sector.
Manila has the distinction of being one of seven cities globally judged to be at extreme risk from the combined impacts of climate change and climate-related disasters – and only Dhaka in Bangladesh is estimated to be at higher overall risk.
I am not an environment or climate change expert, but I am an environmentalist out of conviction. When I was 14 years old I wrote a letter to the German Minister of Environment asking for faster policy action to reduce green house gas emissions.
My visits to Myanmar including the last one in December amazed me at the pace with which world’s view of Myanmar had changed. Equally impressive was the impatience with which Myanmar seemed to be ready to reengage with the regional and global economy and get on with the business of economic development.
Climate change these days is the new development buzzword, and rising sea levels and drought incidences highlight the increasing urgency for action. Yet for some reason, there is disconnect between the high level commitment to action and the carrying out of projects that effect change.
While the economies of Asia and the Pacific seem to have weathered the storms roiling Europe and America, the region might be approaching a significant crisis of its own.