Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing economic region in the world. It is also a place of contrasts, home to some of the smallest and poorest countries and some of the largest and richest. Millions have been lifted out of poverty, but the region remains home to almost half of the world’s poor.
Growth has come at a price. Rapid urbanization, affluent lifestyles and increased demand for resources and services are exerting increasing pressure on land and natural resources in the region and challenging the sustainability of the region’s development. Yet, countries lead in innovative policy and direction, like Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness, Thailand’s sufficiency economy and quality growth model of China.
UN Environment works with countries in Asia Pacific to pursue growth that catalyses the efficient use of the region’s natural assets, reduces degradation of the environment and brings social and economic benefits to the people of the region. We focus on innovative and impactful solutions to environmental challenges in the region, with an integrated approach that brings together all three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. In addition, we help countries meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
We work with national and local authorities, civil society, UN entities, financial institutions, regional bodies and networks, research institutions and the private sector.