WWF ADB Asia Pacific Study 2012

Supplementary to the recently launched WWF’s Living Planet Report 2012, WWF and ADB have collaborated to produce a Ecological footprint and Investment in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific Report.

The report contains summary findings from scientific studies done in 4 focus areas: Mekong River, Himalayas, Coral Triangle, and Borneo rain forests.

Main Issues covered are livelihoods, water conservation, biodiversity loss, species extinction, deforestation.

Some glaring facts:

– The Heart of Borneo has lost an average of 850,000 hectares every year for the past 25 years;
– Over 40% of the coral reefs and mangroves in the Coral Triangle have disappeared over the last 40 years;
– In India’s Ganges River, the loss of glacier meltwater from the Himalayas could reduce July-September flows by two thirds, causing water shortages for 500 million people and 37 per cent of India’s irrigated land.

(Source: http://www.adb.org/features/working-together-toward-healthier-planet)

Relevance for Singapore:

1.Singapore has one of the largest ecological footprints vs neighboring countries in Asia Pac.
2. A major component of this footprint is carbon which fuels economic growth in the country

This Asia Pac report is helpful in providing a regional perspective of our environmental and social impacts across its neighboring countries.

Key messages we recommend to companies in Singapore, on the importance of Sustainable consumption:

1. In working with suppliers, compliance to voluntary and mandatory standards and schemes would help ensure their business is working ethically (ex. FSC, MSC, and industry-specific standards on labor, environment)

2. In working with customers, the value of consuming only what you need is a simple message but powerful one to reduce wastage – Scope is from food consumption to clothing, consumer items.

3. Businesses have different levels of interaction with issues involving forests, palm oil, marine resources, energy. What is important for them to consider is that Singapore as a country needs to be less carbon intensive in its operations. This is a quick win given the government’s focus on energy efficiency to date.

Download the WWF ADB Ecological footprint and Investment in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific Report.