By Kevin Hillstrom

A concise but thorough assessment of the environmental matters, difficulties, and controversies dealing with the world's biggest and so much populous continent―Asia.

• attention-grabbing sidebar articles, tables and figures, and photographs

• review maps of the continent and an inventory of environment-related companies at the Internet

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Extra info for Asia: a continental overview of environmental issues

Sample text

London: Earthscan. World Wildlife Fund. 1999. Living Planet Report 1999. WWF. Page 13 more than 5 million residents. Of those 34 cities, which collectively accounted for about 15 percent of the world’s urban population, more than half—18—were located in Asia. Moreover, Asia was home to 7 of the world’s 12 so-called mega-cities—those with 10 million or more inhabitants—in 1990, including the largest, Tokyo (Hardoy et al. 2001). By the close of the 1990s, meanwhile, the Asia-Pacific region claimed 160 of the world’s 369 cities with more than 750,000 residents.

Migrant workers from rural regions were particularly pivotal factors in this explosive development, helping to turn nations such as China, Japan, and South Korea into major economic powers. But the combination of economic expansion and population growth has also placed enormous pressure on the regional environment, triggering alarming downturns in water and air quality and widespread conversion of natural areas to human use. In Japan, for instance, development activity around inland and coastal waters has degraded roughly 30 percent of the lakeshores and 56 percent of marine coastlines (Japan Environment Agency 1998).

Ms. Revenga is also the lead author of Watersheds of the World: Ecological Value and Vulnerability (1998), which is the first analysis of a wide range of global data at the watershed level. C. Her work covered topics in sustainable forestry and climate change. C. Her focus at WRI has been on the development of environmental indicators and statistics for use in the World Resources Report and in global ecosystems analysis. She was the lead author of the WRI report Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems: Grassland Ecosystems (2000), which analyzes quantitative information on the condition of the world’s grasslands.

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