The "Ecological Footprint and Investment in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific" report focuses on four major regions in Asia and the Pacific where cooperative action to safeguard ecosystem services and natural resources makes a difference: the Heart of Borneo, the Coral Triangle, the Greater Mekong Subregion and the Living Himalayas.
The web of ecosystems in these subregions provides income and livelihoods for millions of people and is worth billions of dollars annually in exports and national income. But changing consumption patterns and ever-growing demand for resources are putting these ecosystems under extreme pressure.
Heart of Borneo
In the Heart of Borneo, an average of 850,000 hectares of forest is lost every year due to palm oil plantations, mining and timber production. If this trend continues, forest cover will drop to less than a third by 2020.
In the Coral Triangle, over 40% of the coral reefs and mangroves of the region have disappeared over the last 40 years, resulting in declining fish stocks.
In the Greater Mekong Subregion , economic development will jeopardise the connectivity between the biodiversity hotspots in the region. Additionally, unsustainable hydropower projects will result in a drop in fish production of 150,000 to 480,000 tonnes per year in 2015 compared to the year 2000.
Climate change is accelerating glacial melt and changing the runoff of river flows which support the livelihoods of a billion people.
Faced with these massive challenges, the report outlines key solutions that are working to reverse the decline in biodiversity and ensure that the planet's ecosystems are able to provide everyone in the region with food, water, energy and a healthy, living planet.
We must move toward deeper structural and systemic change in the way goods are manufactured and services provided. The green economy itself can become an engine of growth and the driver for a new generation of green jobs—bringing a higher quality of life.
Haruhiko Kuroda, President of the Asian Development Bank