Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, September 21, 2004

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Environmental Policy in Asia
Leach schedules Wednesday hearing on
Asia’s environmental pollution

BACKGROUND: With 1.8 billion inhabitants, Asia is the world’s most densely populated continent. The area’s population is expected to increase by 50 percent by the year 2050. While Asia is the most biodiverse region on earth, the vast population creates inevitable problems for the environment. Asia’s rivers and cities are among the most polluted in the world. The region has lost up to 90 percent of its original wildlife habitat to agriculture, infrastructure, deforestation and land degradation. Such degradation puts at risk resource-dependent economies and local livelihoods and increases poverty and conflicts. The separation of economic growth from environmental concerns has led to inadequate participation of civil society in environmental management, weak enforcement, and limited funding for environmental management. Currently, U.S. foreign assistance programs are working for public policy and environmental regulation, urban and industrial environmental management and the clean production and efficient use of energy in the region. 

WHAT: Subcommittee Hearing: Asia’s Environmental Challenge.

Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, U.S. Rep. James Leach (R-IA), Chairman

WHEN: 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 22, 2004

WHERE: Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES: Ruth Greenspan Bell, Resident Scholar, Resources for the Future; Elizabeth Economy, Ph.D., Director of Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; Mingma Sherpa, Director of Asia Programs, World Wildlife Fund; and Christopher Flavin, President, Worldwatch Institute. 


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