In 2015, governments agreed to a new set of universally applicable development goals — the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — that expands the scope of internationally agreed development priorities to incorporate the rich tapestry of interconnected social, economic and environmental concerns. To respond to this imperative, development trajectories must be both inclusive and green.
Conventional growth strategies have reduced poverty. People now have more access to basic services and more opportunities for mobility and participation. But there are still persistent unmet needs, widening inequalities, and new development challenges such as climate change, intensifying natural disaster and resource depletion. There is a search for growth strategies that better fit a changing economic, social and environmental reality.
Household water security is a basic requirement of life. More than being simple basic needs, water and sanitation services are recognized as crucial elements that otherwise would put other development investments and public health at risk. Asia and the Pacific as a whole is an early achiever for halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, but not however, sanitation. Most of the Asia-Pacific countries will not come close to achieve the MDG target on access to improved sanitation.
While regional countries are driving the global "green growth" agenda, policymakers are facing a new economic reality and heightened uncertainty. The challenge of eco-efficient economic growth and inclusive resource use is critical and growing in several countries. Fundamental, rather than incremental changes are needed - Governments must therefore take the lead in re-orienting both the "visible" and the "invisible" economic infrastructure. At the same time the implications of heightened uncertainty and risk for policymaking requires more attention.
A major review of sustainable development issues and environmental conditions and trends in Asia and the Pacific.
Published very five years by UNESCAP since 1985, with the generous support of the Government of Japan, and in collaboration with partners such as the ADB and UNEP
Key findings form the basis for the deliberations at the Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development Supported by nationally-designated SOE focal points.
The Water Resources Journal is an annual review journal of the ESCAP secretariat. Published continuously since September 1949, the Journal aims to provide useful information on water resources for national agencies and development programmes in Asian and Pacific countries. It contains news of current developments of regional interest, accounts of national experience applicable elsewhere in the Asian and Pacific region and technical articles reprinted from various sources around the world.
The publication reviews the dynamics of the region's environmental conditions and the status of national and regional responses to the changing environmental situation. It analyses the aggregate effect of policy response on environment and sustainable development across the region as well as illustrates successful local, national, regional and international initiatives and best practices. In the light of existing trends, the report explores the prospects and identifies the challenges and opportunities for sustainable development for the region in the 21st century.