Natural disasters, such as storms, floods and drought, could derail the region's economic growth and poverty reduction efforts unless measures are put in place to reduce disaster risk, strengthen community resiliency, and improve preparedness.
Research shows that the Asia Pacific region is more vulnerable to natural hazards than other parts of the world. The growing frequency of disasters, such as devastating floods or earthquakes, could derail the region's economic growth and poverty reduction efforts unless measures are put in place to reduce disaster risk and improve preparedness.
According to the United Nations University (UNU), 7 of the world's 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change and disasters caused by natural hazards are in Asia and the Pacific.
Meanwhile, extreme weather events continue to afflict the lives of millions in the region. In this interview, Bart Édes, ADB's Director Poverty Reduction, Gender and Social Development, discusses the human cost of Cyclone Mahasen, in particular the impact of extreme environmental events on displacement. He also highlights actions that countries can take to address threats of nature.
Adapting to extreme events
Over the years, the populations of the Asia Pacific have demonstrated great resilience in the face of adversity. Measures taken span from adopting environmental planning practices, to managing the territory and relocating to less risk-prone areas.
ADB published a report detailing a picture of the potential impacts of climate change on migration in Asia and the Pacific.
The report also suggests that climate-induced migration should be seen not only as a threat to human well-being but also as a potential tool to promote human adaptation to climate change.
Among several adaptation measures proposed, weather insurance for the region's poor farmers is one of the most innovative and interesting. Recently, ADB and the Government of Japan joined forces to fund the trial of innovative new crop insurance products that will give small-holder farmers in Bangladesh income protection from increasingly severe storms and other natural disasters.
Read ADB's advice on how we can ensure that the actions that we know are required to strengthen resilience to extreme natural events are actually taken. The advice is primarily aimed at investors in the public sphere, namely governments and their development partners.
Dealing with the causes of climate change
Against a backdrop, the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) that are responsible for global climate change, energy consumption and use of fossil fuels in Asian developing member countries is growing rapidly.
ADB recently published a report looking at the impact of a climate policy in the form of a carbon tax to be introduced in South Asian countries to stabilize GHG production at an acceptable level. See also a series of fast facts on this issue.