Megatrends that are influencing the future of the Asia-Pacific region such as urbanisation, economic and trade integration, rising incomes and changing consumption patterns must be better managed in order to make them lead to, rather than undermine, achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to a new United Nations report.
The report — Transformations for Sustainable Development: Promoting Environmental Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific — was launched in Bangkok on 3 April 2016 by Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), along with representatives from UNU, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. UNU Research Fellow Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira advised on the report’s conceptual framework, and was lead author of the chapter examining the state of the environment and the required transformations, challenges and potential approaches to governance and policymaking.
The report aims to support Asia-Pacific governments as they begin efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda over the next 15 years. The report represents the combined efforts of the four partner institutions to bring multidisciplinary thinking into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the region.
Prof. Anthony Capon, Director of the UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) based in Kuala Lumpur, outlined the pressing need to build knowledge and capacity across the region to improve decision-making for sustainable development in all sectors.
The urgent transformations identified in the report between economy, society, and environment will not only rely on funding or technology but on the capacity of governments to foster social, economic and technological innovations.
Last year’s adoption of the ‘Paris Agreement’ on climate change and of the Sustainable Development Goals could help transform future development patterns in Asia. But for this transformation to materialize, Asia’s policymakers will need to fundamentally alter investment flows, provisions of social justice, economic structures and patterns of resource use. This timely report offers a cutting-edge assessment of how Asia’s policymakers can harness changes to these four areas to make the region better for all.
For more information visit the UNU-IIGH website.