Sustainable Transformations, Can Asia Lead the Way?

Organizer: Ria Lambino
Format: Online, Morning

Asia plays a critical role in the global community’s quest for transformations to sustainability. The region hosts more than 60% of the global population with total GDP of Asian countries equal to about 1/3 of the global GDP. The region as a whole is characterized by dramatic demographic change, great disparities of wealth both within and between countries and social ecological vulnerability to the potential impacts of climate change. The unprecedented processes of rapid economic growth, industrialization and urbanization in the region have made Asia a hotspot for GHG and air and water pollution, with the size of its population and geographies affecting emissions and pollution at the global scale. At the same time, Asia contains a complex mosaic of social and ecological diversity developed through a long history of human interaction with nature. Various concepts rooted in cultural and traditional values have influenced national development approaches in the region (e.g. National Happiness Index of Bhutan, Satoyama and Satoumi concept of Japan, Sufficiency Economy Philosophy of Thailand). This session looks at how various sectors in Asia have taken on the challenge of sustainability and will highlight presentations on innovative research, policies, initiatives and interventions emanating from the region. The session will also invite reflections on the many examples of long term social and ecological sustainability arising from the various traditional systems of agriculture and livelihood that have supported large numbers of people in Asia through time. Prospects for sustainability transformations and pathways will also be explored.

Themes: Sustainable Solutions from the Global South, Integrated Action for the SDGs, Knowledge-to-Action