About UNEP UNEP Offices News Centre Publications Events Awards Milestones UNEP Store
UNEP Website GEO Home Page

Socio-economic background: Asia and the Pacific

The Asia and the Pacific region occupies 23 per cent of the Earth's land area and is home to more than 58 per cent of its people. The region includes several of the world's largest emerging economies, such as China and those of Southeast Asia. Over the past 30 years, the region has gradually moved from a subsistence lifestyle towards a consumer society, with rapid rates of urbanization and westernization as well as population increase. This transition has not been without adverse social and economic, as well as environmental, impacts.