Celebration of The International Day of the Tropics
The Future belongs to the Tropics
The Tropics has a population of 3 billion people, 55% of whom are under 5 years old, and covers 40% of the world’s agricultural areas. It also suffers rampant poverty and worsening impacts of climate change. The oceans in the Tropics drive the dynamics of climate change and with global warming the tropical region is expanding into higher latitudes at 50 kilometres per decade. The latter will induce the escalation of tropical diseases into unforeseen regions. Eighty percent of the world’s biodiversity are in the Tropics and yet every year 140 000 square km of tropical rainforests are destroyed. While there are scientific and technological remedies to some of the problems, the Tropics needs solutions that are designed for its challenges while harnessing its values.
Malaysia resides in the Tropics and in the past has led R&D in several fields through many institutes of international repute. She has a great role to play in the future in driving the agenda for the Tropics. This webinar serves to remind Malaysians of our past and current successes as well as provoke thought on the potential for leadership roles for Malaysia to play. The latter should be seen in the international context of the importance of the Tropics.