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Sustainable Asia 2005 and beyond: in the pursuit of innovative policies

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This white paper consolidates the primary outcomes of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) policy research for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific region since its establishment in 1998.The paper argues that through buoyant economic development and continuous population growth Asia is exerting exponential pressure on natural resources and the environment and that it is feared these trends may be accelerating. Based on the reports of six sectors, including forestry, freshwater, climate change, urban environment, business and environmental education, the report assesses the current environmental situation in Asia, reviews policy measures that are currently in place and presents a number of broad policy recommendations that promote sustainable development for the region. The paper concludes that:massive and immediate actions are required at all levels throughout Asia and that the need for change is urgentcontinued high economic growth rates are imperative for Asia to tackle the vicious cycle of poverty and environmental degradationthere is no panacea for effective environmental management but rather sophisticated controls and trade-offs are requiredRecommendations include:integrating environmental issues into sectoral policiesa policy mix including government regulations and market mechanismsassuming a proactive role in climate change mitigationbuilding and supporting institutional arrangements for policy implementationthe promotion of socially responsible investmentmaking use of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under Kyoto to reduce greenhouse gas emissionsthe creation of policies and mechanisms for promoting knowledge dissemination and technology transfer in the area of renewable energy.