Communities living in hilly and mountainous areas of Asia are among the poorest and most marginalized people. They receive few of the benefits from national and local investments in economic development. Yet, many of these communities manage landscapes that provide environmental services to outside beneficiaries.
The services they provide include clean and abundant water supplies from watersheds, biodiversity protection, stocks of carbon that may alleviate global warming, and landscape beauty for recreation and tourism.
The RUPES project is testing mechanisms that can enable upland communities to share in the local and global benefits that these services provide, thereby enhancing their livelihoods and reducing poverty.
The potential impacts of climate change on the livelihoods and cultures of indigenous and traditional communities remain poorly known. The goals of the IUCN report on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change are:
• To improve understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities and cultures and their associated ecosystems;
• To identify further research required to reduce the risks of climate change; and
• To develop appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures, particularly in areas with high risk of socio-cultural impacts.
The studies presented here look at a small sample of the benefits that coastal ecosystems provide to the Dominican Republic. These ecosystems (a) protect white sand beaches in vital tourism areas; (b) provide habitat for commercial fisheries; (c) provide the engine for potential tourism growth in a small marine protected area; and (d) generate local tourism dollars in the southwestern part of the country. The studies highlight the contribution of coastal ecosystems to the economy and the need for greater investment in protecting coastal and marine ecosystems, including better management of marine fisheries, protection of existing reserves, and enforcement of coastal development guidelines.
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is one of the 10 cities in the world that are most likely to be severely affected by climate change. By 2050, millions of its citizens will be at increased risk from regular and extreme climatic events such as floods, droughts, and tropical storms. To help reduce the impacts of these risks, this study provides HCMC’s government and private sector with projections of HCMC's 2050 exposure in key sectors and areas, and proposes structural and nonstructural measures to build climate resilience in the city’s most vulnerable sectors and areas.
Year 2009 can be considered very significant as climate change concerns in transport became the primary driver of the Sustainable Transport agenda. At the end of the year as deal at Copenhagen became just a "step forward" to hopefuls and a "dismal act" to many environmentalists, if we step back and analyze important developments in transport in Asia; we see many climate change initiatives pushing transport.
Despite many dire predictions to the contrary, the world continues to grow food at a rate that exceeds the rate of population growth. While rising per capita food production is no guarantee that hunger can be staved off, it would appear that hunger and malnutrition are actually on the decline.
It is a fact, however, that the absolute number of malnourished children continues to increase, especially in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The enormity of malnutrition in South Asia – which is the home of nearly three quarters of the world’s undernourished children – would seem to be in conflict with the fact that food production in this region has expanded remarkably during the last two decades. Of all the regions of the Developing World, South Asia is outstripped only by East Asia in terms of the growth in per capita food production. In spite of this, South Asia’s record in reducing malnutrition is one of the world’s worst.
Sun Mountain International, in compliance with the agreement signed with the Inter-American Development Bank, presents the following study, “Disaster risk reduction strategy elements in Ecuador.” This study is intended to be used as an information and reference document for the Sixth Meeting of Regional Dialogue on Natural Disasters, to be participated in by Latin American and Caribbean countries.