Sustainable Development, Vulnerability and Resilience in Asia’s Fragile Environments (Joint session of Working Groups “Global Asia” and “Sustainable Development, Vulnerability and Resilience”)

Climate change is having a profound impact on global poverty reduction and its impact will worsen in the decades to come. Poor people are more vulnerable to climate-related shocks and stresses such as natural disasters, water-borne diseases, crop failures and consequent food prices spikes. Furthermore, communities living in (and dependent on) fragile ecosystems – coral reefs areas, semi-deserts, rainforest, etc. – are also exposed to the risk of dramatic climate-induced changes in the way in which they procure their livelihoods. At the global level, according to a recent study by the World Bank, climate change could result in an additional 100 million people living in extreme poverty by 2030.

On the other hand, the international community has agreed to limit global warming to 2 degrees on pre-industrialisation levels. This will entails a radical rethinking of future economic development. This in turn means that the way in which people escape poverty – or remain out of it – will dramatically change in the years to come and that anti-poverty policies must take this into account.

We invite papers that deal with one or both of these aspects of climate change and its impact on poverty reduction and the lives of poorer communities. To what extent can current anti-poverty strategies and policies be adapted to these challenges? To what extent are governments designing or adapting their development policies to climate risks and threats? How are poor people coping with climate shocks and stresses? What strategies are adopted to secure their livelihoods or to find alternative sources of living? How sustainable – both socio-economically and environmentally – are these strategies.

We are particularly interested in papers focusing on Asia, not only because it is this region that will contribute the most to global emissions in the decades to come, but also because it is here that fragile ecosystems will be under severe stress as a combination of high economic growth and demographic pressures, that will necessarily result in increased exploitation of an already over-exploited natural environment.


Claudio Cecchi, Diego Maiorano