Over 2.3 billion people live in the cities of Asia Pacific, according to a 2019 report by the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum, with an additional 1.2 billion new residents predicted to move to cities by 2050. The region is already home to 20 of the world’s 33 megacities, with that number expected to increase to 27 by the year 2030. Such rapid urbanisation is forecasted to drastically reduce biodiversity in Asia Pacific due to deforestation, wetland drainage and the loss of other natural spaces to make way for urban expansion. Wider city boundaries also mean larger quantities of raw materials, water, food and energy, sourced from rural areas, are required resulting in further environmental degradation.
Amidst such a bleak outlook, nature-based urban planning solutions could be key to protecting biodiversity in cities while also counteracting the negative impacts of climate change. Practices such as urban conservation projects and biophilic architecture show promise in protecting biodiversity while also improving the wellbeing of city residents.
Can Asia’s future megacities becomes a beacon of biodiversity stewardship? As a lead up to Cities Possibilities 2021, Eco-Business is pleased to convene Asia’s important stakeholders in biodiversity to discuss the opportunities and roadblocks in protecting biodiversity amidst the seemingly unstoppable expansion of megacities.
Join us this October 28 as we seek to address some of the following questions: What are the biggest threats and pressures that urban development has placed on biodiversity? What are governments and urban planners currently doing to better support and encourage biodiversity in cities? What regulations and controls need to come into play to help support these aims? Can cities truly solve the biodiversity crisis?
Highlights from a policy brief will be shared as part of this event.
Director of the Regional Programme Energy Security and Climate Change in Asia-Pacific of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation (KAS)