High Level Dialogue: Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific  
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Hallo, nature-loving friends, and welcome to Planet Earth: Our Loving Home. Our program today features highlights from “High Level Dialogue: Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific” a two-day conference sponsored by the Asian Development Bank and  held this past summer in Manila, the Philippines.

The Bank is an international finance institution that seeks to assists its member states in the Asia-Pacific region in the areas of economic and social development. Climate change is being driven primarily by global livestock production. The 2006 United Nations report “Livestock’s Long Shadow” states that greenhouse gas emissions from this activity is the single greatest contributor to global warming and exceeds the emissions of all forms of transportation combined. Some estimates now say that the meat production cycle is responsible for 60 percent or more of all greenhouse gases released globally.

The Asia-Pacific region is one of the most vulnerable areas on Earth with regard to climate change. In recent years, Asian and Pacific countries have experienced more frequent and severe natural disasters including typhoons, floods, storm surges and extended droughts, all causing huge losses of life and enormous economic damage. And several island nations in the region such as the Maldives, Kiribati and Tuvalu are in danger of soon disappearing altogether from rapidly rising sea levels.

According to a recent study financed by the Asian Development Bank, the melting of the Himalayan glaciers combined with other effects of global warming alone will seriously threaten the water and food security of 1.6 billion people in South Asia.

The Honorable Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations Secretary-General made a special address to the attendees via videoconference, underscoring the importance of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, since the meeting’s objective is to replace the landmark Kyoto Protocol with a more effective
greenhouse-gas reduction treaty.

Prominent Asian leaders from various fields attended this summer’s conference, including Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Philippines, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, His Excellency Goh Kun, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Haruhiko Kuroda, president of the Asian Development Bank and many other key policy
makers and experts.