The recent formal pledging session for the Green Climate Fund (GCF)—more than $9 billion in just 5 months—is by far the most successful resource mobilization ever seen for a multilateral climate fund. The US has pledged $3 billion, followed by Japan ($1.5 billion), UK ($1.13 billion), and Germany and France (with $1 billion each). Four developing countries—Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, and Panama—have made pledges, breaking the traditional donor boundaries.
A set of reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the last of which was released on November 2, 2014, sets the scene for governments to renew their efforts on the issue through ambitious commitments for a comprehensive climate agreement in Paris in December 2015.
The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are expected to bring a stronger focus on longer-term durability of development gains as opposed to the current approach which sees decision-making targeted at the shorter term. At present, businesses main focus is annual balance sheets; for development organizations it is annual results reporting; and for democracies there's cyclical elections.
“The law hath not been dead, though it had slept.” When Shakespeare wrote those lines, he never knew that many, many years down the road, he may actually be referring to the enforcement of environmental law by the judiciary around the world.
Malaria can be beaten. Proof of this can be found in the fact that across the Asia Pacific region, millions of people who would have died from the disease are living healthy, productive lives. Still, malaria remains a serious threat to lives and livelihoods. Endemic in 22 countries across Asia, it is contracted by an estimated 32 million people annually and kills 47,000 of them.
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.
Access to household toilets is often seen as just a water and sanitation issue or a public health concern. But the recent murders of two young Indian girls have highlighted another aspect – women’s safety and security.
The establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the United Nations in 2001 was a defining moment. It rallied a global effort in the fight against poverty, hunger, and disease, while promoting universal education, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. However, new challenges have emerged while remaining ones are complex. Meanwhile, the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs is almost upon us, raising the question: where do we go from here?
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.