Asia and the Pacific is one of the most biologically and culturally diverse regions on the planet that hosts high numbers of unique animal and plant species and ecosystems. Seventeen of the planet’s 36 biodiversity hotspots are found here, along with three quarters of all coral reefs and more than half of all remaining mangrove areas on earth. It is also home to almost 60 per cent (4.5 billion) of the current global human population, 52 per cent (400 million) of the 767 million global poor, and as much as 75 per cent of the global population of 370 million indigenous people.
The people and economies of the region rely heavily on this wealth of natural capital and the vital ecosystem services it provides. More so the rural poor, who directly depend on natural capital for their livelihoods and ability to cope with climate change.