Malnutrition in Indonesia, as in many countries, is a complex issue, with perplexing coexistence of undernourishment and obesity in populations. Three ongoing studies are revealing how to improve the situation.
The idea that rural water schemes are only sustainable if small, simple and locally managed is a bias that must be overcome to get more clean water to the people who need it.
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.
Technology is a critical aspect of improving the availability and accessibility of clean water around the world.
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.
Women’s involvement in water utilities is about creating more employment, equalizing opportunities for men and women, and hiring the best person for the job regardless of gender.
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.
To increase handwashing and address Asia and the Pacific’s hygiene and health challenges, new skills, creative thinking, and the use of behavioral change research are all needed.
Groundwater conservation is a key part of managing water resources. A renewed focus is needed on the protection of this valuable resource.
To restore healthy aquifer systems, we need to carefully monitor and manage extraction, and recharge with surface water when available.