Public Health and Environment

Biodiversity hotspots contain over 1.5 billion people, 20 percent of people and 12 percent of land area in the world. Populations living in hotspots are also young and as they reach reproductive age their behavior decides the future of the earth, says Leona D'Agnes. Studies in Nepal and the Philippines show that working directly with these people has significant social and environmental results.

A quarter of the global disease burden can be attributed to environment and health dynamics, including unsafe water and unsanitary disposal and indoor air pollution. Climate change is making vector borne diseases less predictable. D'Agnes predicts more ocean borne diseases in the coming years similar to the 1997 cholera outbreak, which traveled from Bangladesh to Peru in algae. Thus, new aid strategies must take cross disciplinary PHE strategies into account on all projects.


Asia is the front runner in urbanization globally. So far, urban planning and management have been a gross failure, resulting in rapid urban growth without institutional or infrastructure capacity. Asian cities are now profoundly affecting climate, with 24 percent of global urban CO2 emissions come from Chinese urban energy use, which is 85 percent of total energy related CO2 emissions of China. Urban issues—including global and local environmental problems, as well as urban poverty—must be addressed in a holistic way and the focus needs to be on demand dampening through education.


  • Shabhakar Dhakal

    Global Carbon Project & National Institute for Environmental Studies