Chapter 1: Population, Poverty and CO2 Emissions in Asia: An Overview
Moazzem Hossain and Eliyathamby Selvanathan 1.1 POPULATION A recent estimate of population growth suggests that all the populous nations of the southeast (Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam); east (China); and south (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka) of Asia comprise more than three billion people. More precisely, the figure was 3.40 billion in 2005 (Hossain et al. 2010). The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently estimated that one-sixth of the world’s population (1.02 billion) is presently suffering from acute hunger, of which 642 million live in the Asia–Pacific region (FAO 2009). Demographically, therefore, Southeast, East and South Asia are the most critical regions of the world. By world standards, except for China (due to its single child policy), Asia is characterised by a very high rate of population growth, high density and high dependency. In order to investigate climate change and growth issues in Asia, it is important first to analyse clearly population and demographic issues. The reasons for analysing the demographic dynamics are to demonstrate and inform readers about the correlation between population growth and environment (Gaan 2000). Also, it shows how important population factors are in the debate surrounding climate change and economic growth. An attempt is made, first, to outline the general demographic conditions in Asia. Table 1.1 shows that in 2005 the population of all the countries under study comprised almost half of the world’s total. The average population growth rate for Southeast and East Asia over 1990–2005 was 1.21 per cent, whereas...
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