The Asia-Pacific region is no stranger to climate change. In just the last few months, it has endured droughts, record-breaking heat, and multiple super typhoons, a bout of extreme weather that experts say will only get worse as the planet warms.
This week, leaders are in Malaysia for Asia Pacific Climate Week, an event designed to explore solutions to the most pressing climatic issues facing the region.
Delegates are expected to discuss what are known as nature-based solutions, which focus on leveraging nature – and the services it provides – to build resilience to the climate crisis. Those types of solutions, which can be less expensive and more effective than built infrastructure, are expected to be crucial in the years to come.
RELEVANT SUSTAINABLE GOALS
The United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Adaptation Gap Report 2023, released earlier this month, found that in South Asia alone, the costs of climate adaptation could range between US$40 billion and US$205 billion per year over the next 10 years, or around 1 to 5.1 per cent of gross domestic product
That is prompting many countries around the region to embrace nature-based solutions. Here is a closer look at eight such projects.
Sifatul Khoiriyah of Timbulsloko village smiles in front of the trees that protect her home. Actively involved in the Building with Nature Indonesia initiative, she champions mangrove restoration, which experts call a “super solution” for climate adaptation. Mangroves act as a natural defence against eroding shores and flooding. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, an effort to revive compromised natural spaces, recently recognized Building With Nature Indonesia for its work, which could help 70,000 people living in high-risk areas.