Phnom Penh Pals
More than 300 officials and activists are gathering today in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to establish the Asian agenda for next year’s World Summit on Sustainable Development, which will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Asia is a critical testing ground for sustainability, because it is home to half the world’s population and is plagued by severe environmental and social problems. The continent suffers from the world’s worst soil degradation and water depletion, and more than 2 billion Asians, a third of the world’s population, earn less than $2 a day. The proposed Asian agenda for the World Summit includes initiatives to reduce poverty, clean up industry, decrease energy consumption, protect biodiversity, better manage water, conserve the marine environment, and help educate the public about environmental issues.