The Environments of the Poor in Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Pacific

Publication | May 2014

This book introduces a spatial approach to poverty, and argues that a triple win-reducing poverty, protecting the environment, and responding to climate change-is possible.

The Southeast and East Asia regions have made major progress in reducing income poverty by bringing down the level of poverty incidence from 57% in 1990 to 16% in 2008 for the US$1.25 international poverty line and from 81% to 28% for the US$2 international poverty line, over the same period. However, living standards for many poor people remain a major challenge due to worsening environmental degradation and increasing vulnerability to climate change.

This book is first in a series of a three-volume publication on the environments of the poor, and contains selected papers on Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific from a conference organized in 2010 by ADB, in cooperation with various development partners and think tank institutes in Asia. The book introduces a spatial approach to poverty, and argues that a triple win—reducing poverty, protecting the environment, and responding to climate change —is possible.


  • Contents 
  • Preface 
  • List of Contributors 
  • Overview
    • A New Triple-Win Option for the Environment of the Poor
  • East Asia (People's Republic of China and Republic of Korea)
    • Poverty, Environment, and Climate Change in the Grasslands of the People's Republic of China
    • Climate Change, Food Security, and Poverty in the People's Republic of China
    • The Physical and Social Environment of the Chinese Urban Poor
    • Benefiting the Poor, the Environment, and the Private Sector with Small Enterprises and Green Jobs in the People's Republic of China
    • Environment, Economic Growth, and Poverty in the Republic of Korea
  • Pacific Islands
    • Climate Change Adaptation and Poverty Reduction in the Small Islands of the Pacific
    • The Role of Development Organizations in Pro-poor Adaptation to Global Warming in the Pacific Islands
  • Mainland Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Thailand, Viet Nam)
    • Poverty and the Environment in Rural Cambodia
    • Conservation Agriculture in Cambodia - A Triple-Win Option
    • Voices of the Poor on Climate Change in Thailand and Viet Nam
    • Poor Thai Farmers' Adaptation to Climate Change
  • Archipelagic Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines)
    • The Political Economy of Environmental Policy in Indonesia
    • Prospering in Environmental Degradation - An Illustration from an Upland Area, South Kalimantan, Indonesia
    • Making a Living in the Face of Environmental Change - A Case in an Indigenous Community in Sarawak, Malaysia
    • The Respnose of Rural Coastal Households to Typhoon Milenyo in the Philippines
    • Life Along Manila's Flooding Rivers
    • Quantifying the Health Risks from Pathogens in the Flood Water in Metro Manila
    • Slum Poverty in the Philippines - Can the Environment Agenda Drive Public Action?