"Environmental Challenges Across Asia"
March 2, 2007There is little doubt that climate change, deforestation, erosion, and the unequal distribution of natural resources around the globe are of pressing importance everywhere, but these problems are perhaps most acute in Asia, home to 64 percent of the world’s population. Much of this population (1 and 1.3 billion, respectively) is concentrated in India and China, two countries with rapidly growing economies, increasing levels of personal consumption, and serious ecological problems. Southeast Asia, though less populated overall, is home to some of the world’s major rainforests and to significant biodiversity. Southeast Asian forests are disappearing at a rapid rate, in part as a consequence of resource demands from the first world. Understanding these human and environmental challenges requires detailed understandings of local histories and ecologies; in this symposium we introduce some of the major environmental challenges facing Asia today, focusing on some specific historical and cultural contexts in this diverse region.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and The Center for International Studies at the University of Chicago