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.
Increasing women’s leadership in the water sector may appear straightforward given affirmative measures such as project gender action plans and gender targets designed to boost female involvement. However, in practice, very few women have emerged as leaders in the sector as a direct outcome of these measures.
Climate change, population growth, and urbanization are bringing some of the greatest challenges of our time. Just a few days ago we experienced one of the most powerful storms in history, Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines, killing thousands.
The Stockholm World Water Week (SWWW) is the leading annual gathering on water issues, bringing together technical specialists, political leaders, private sector actors, civil society, researchers and students.
The scale of urbanization in Asia over the past few decades has been truly astonishing and there is no sign of it stopping. In the next 20 years, another 1.1 billion people in the region will call cities their home.
Willingness to pay for water has been and will continue to be a challenge. The average consumer would prioritize their expenditures, and like it or not, water isn’t on the top of that priority list.
Unforgettable—that’s how I would describe the moment I raised the issue of menstrual hygiene management with project teams and government officials in Southeast Asia. Shocked and stunned—they looked down at their shoes closely inspecting remnants of their breakfast from earlier in the day.
Water and sanitation has a major impact on public health and women’s empowerment. Now is the time to accelerate the momentum and streamline health and gender into water supply and sanitation operations.