We've been thinking a lot lately about investing in "natural capital" in Asia and the Pacific - one of four key thrusts of ADB’s newly approved Environment Operational Directions for 2013-2020.
Ecosystems and biodiversity are on the decline in Asia and the Pacific. We put out a report last year together with WWF which depicts a stark picture. In the last 40 years, there has been a 67% decline in the health of ecosystems in the region. This is twice the global average!
While the Song Bung 4 Hydropower project disrupted the lifestyle of the Co Tu ethnic group in central Viet Nam, it also became an opportunity for its members, especially women and children, to gain better education, health care, and improve their income opportunities. Their active participation in the resettlement process was key to the successful completion of a project that helped them design and build their future.
It’s time to turn off the snooze button on the alarm clock and wake up!
Incremental achievements in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are possible before they “expire” in 2015 if linkages among strategies to achieve various goals are made. MDG 5 demands an improvement in maternal health. MDG 4 calls for an improvement in child health. MDG 7c demands for improved water and sanitation. The links between WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and maternal and child health are evident. Accelerated efforts to improve WASH will not only move us toward achieving MDG 7c, but they will also contribute to the achievement of health MDGs 4 and 5.
According to the 2012 Joint Monitoring Programme Report, more than 780 million people, or 11% of the global population, remain without access to an improved source of drinking water. About 2.5 billion people in 2010 lacked improved sanitation. An estimated 1.1 billion people, or 15% of the global population, still practice open defecation. The adoption of better sanitation and hygienic practices require easy access to water sources. In fact, five out of six users of improved sanitation also use improved water sources.
Water Users Associations were first established in 1999, when Chhattisgarh was part of Madhya Pradesh State. They were revived under the Chhattisgarh Irrigation Development Program that kicked off in 2006. The program, financed in part by a $46.1 million loan from ADB, aims to improve small irrigation networks and how they are managed at state and community levels.
The associations had originally failed to get off the ground—or had become inactive—because the members were unskilled in water-system management or due to lack of finances because association water fees went to the state government, rather than feeding back into associations themselves.
Since then, this financial imbalance has been corrected, and the associations have been made more representatives of their communities. They now include more women, like Dhruw, and more members of otherwise largely ignored castes and tribes.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Vietnam on Thursday signed two loan agreements totaling 111.88 million U.S. dollars to help Vietnam enhance low carbon agriculture development, and strengthen the government's capacity to better startup, prepare and implement ADB-financed projects.
ADB estimates that 80% of Asia's economic growth will be generated in its urban areas, supported by migrants in search of jobs and economic opportunities. Sustainable urban transport solutions are crucial to mitigate the growing congestion and pollution in the region's sprawling urban centers.
Urban growth and motorization in Asia and the Pacific are placing an enormous strain on transport and mobility. Motor vehicle fleets are already doubling every 5 to 7 years. In 1980s, only 9% of the world's 360 million motorized vehicles were found in the region. By 2030, it is estimated that nearly half of the world's projected 1.5 billion vehicles will be in Asia.
ADB is partnering with WWF and the governments of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia to conserve the lush forests of Borneo, providing sustainable livelihood for local populations and a safe haven for thousands of animals and plant species.
This is not about how to start the Lunar New Year right with proper weight management. Well, not exactly, as this is about thin trade and why thin is not good especially during excessive upswings and downswings of prices for Asia’s main food staple—rice.
The average export–output ratio, a measure of tradability or the extent of exchange of output between and among countries, is the thinnest for rice relative to two other important food staples, maize and wheat. From 1961 to 2009, the average export-to-output ratio of rice was only 5% while wheat was, 19%, and maize, 14%.
I recently attended the “Coastal Cities At Risk 2013” conference organized by the Manila Observatory and the Coastal Cities at Risk Initiative supported by the Canadian Government. As many remarked, the venue was quite apt because 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.
India has solar irradiation ranging from 4 to 7 kilowatt hours per square meter per day. Every year, the country has about 300 clear sunny days and about 2,300 to 3,200 sunshine hours.
For 5 years starting in 2004, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) studied the challenges and opportunities of building the world’s largest solar park in the state of Gujarat in India. A report by the Clinton Climate Initiative confirmed the state as a solar hot spot, a region with high “direct normal irradiance levels.”