Asia’s Role in the Anthropocene

Organizers: Hein Mallee, Ria Lambino
Format: Online, Morning

Notions of the Anthropocene emphasize the gargantuan impact of human society in the transformations of the global system. While the usual framing of the issues emphasises the role of “humanity,” the measurements of different trends of accelerating changes in socioeconomic and earth system parameters have largely focused on the Western experience. This session places the spotlight on Asia, looking at the historical trajectories and development pathways of the region and its role in the Great Acceleration and beyond. Currently, the unprecedented processes of rapid economic growth, industrialization and urbanization in the region have made Asia a hotspot for GHG emissions, pollution, land degradation and biodiversity loss with the size of its population and geographies affecting emissions, pollution and habitats at the global scale. At the same time, development pathways in Asia play out in deeply rooted cultural and traditional contexts that value harmonious relationships between humans and nature. Can this cultural heritage lay the foundation for green development? Can this become a source of inspiration from Asia in transitioning to sustainability?

Themes: Sustainable Solutions from the Global South, Integrated Action for the SDGs, Knowledge-to-Action