06/08/2012, 00.00
ASIA
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ADB and WWF ecosystem of the Asia-Pacific nations under threat

The countries consume "more resources" than produced, the survival of forests, rivers and oceans at risk. Coral Triangle, the Mekong region, the forests of Borneo and the Eastern Himalayas at centre of scientists concerns. For the analysis Living Planet Index used.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The nations of the Asia-Pacific region consume "more resources" than their ecosystem is able to produce and support, threatening the survival of forests, rivers and oceans. This is shown by a joint study, carried out by experts from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in collaboration with the World Wide Fund (WWF) and published on the occasion of World Environment Day. In particular, research has wanted to focus on the conservations of four major large-scale ecosystems present in Asia; the Coral Triangle - including in the waters off the coast of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor East, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines - the Mekong region, the forests of Borneo and the Eastern Himalayas.

The researcher and environmentalist Bruce Dunn - one of the curators of the study entitled Ecological Footprint and Investment in Natural Capital in Asia - points out that the gap between consumption of natural resources and environment's ability to reproduce is constantly increasing. The ADB expert added that the on a regional scale "the average resident uses at least 1.6 hectares of productive area, be it land or sea," but when you consider the current availability per capita, it is estimated at less than one hectare (less than 0.9).

To measure changes in the health of the ecosystem in the Asia-Pacific, scholars have used the Living Planet Index (LPI), an indicator that assesses the evolution of vertebrates around the world and provides useful data on the species populations presence, declining and at risk. The research found that globally the Lpi index decreased by 28% between 1970 and 2008, whereas the decline in the Indo-Pacific region accounts for approximately 64%, with an alarm especially for some key species .

At the level of nations, in the context of the major Asian consumers are China and India with a progressive industrialization and population that will become "hundreds of millions" of units "in the next 20 years." Experts warn that firstly "we live beyond our actual needs", and secondly, it is imperative to "identify sustainable solutions" aimed at strengthening the cooperation between states and governments at local, regional and international level.

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