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South Asia

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Environment Strategy

South Asia


The Environment Sustainability Index shows that the environmental performance of countries in the South Asia Region (SAR) lags behind other countries at similar per capita income levels. The poorest areas of the Region overlap with the most environmentally stressed regions, with high levels of soil erosion, highly variable rainfall, and degraded forests. Environmental health impacts are exerting a heavy toll on economies in SAR. According to World Bank estimates, environmental degradation costs between 5 and 10 percent of GDP in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. The largest share of these costs is associated with environmental health impacts, accounting for about 20 percent of the total burden of disease in the Region, comparable to malnutrition. Moreover, the SAR region is expected to face increased vulnerability to extreme climatic events, including more-intense weather, floods, and drought. Climate change is also expected to reduce agricultural productivity, potentially increasing malnutrition, decreasing water availability in many areas, and affecting people’s livelihoods negatively. Sea-level rise is another critical threat, particularly for coastal India, the Maldives, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Learn More


The SAR Region is supporting the promotion of environmental mainstreaming in key natural resource sectors and regional approaches to biodiversity conservation. Its approach to the clean agenda in the region includes promoting structural transformations for reducing the costs of environmental degradation on human health and reducing pollution from key sources. Its approach to the resilience agenda includes increasing the resilience of ecosystems, infrastructure and highly vulnerable areas. Learn More

Last updated: 2012-05-29

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