Why are the Tropics important

Poverty is rampant in the Tropics

Source: World Bank – World Development Indicators


  • 3 billion people (42% of the world’s population) live in the Tropics
  • By 2050, two thirds of the world’s children (67%) will live in the Tropics


  • 25 % of the world’s population rely on the Tropical rainforests to generate food and income
  • The Tropics covers 40% of the world’s agricultural area

Countries in the Tropics are most affected by climate change

Source: Climate models predict increasing temperature variability in poor countries by Sebastian Bathiany et al. (2018)


  • The ocean in the Tropics drive the dynamics of climate change

  • The Tropics are expanding at 30 miles per decade


  • The 15 million square km that once existed has now been reduced to only 6 million square km

  • Every year 140 000 square km of Tropical rainforests are destroyed

1 billion people are infected annually by Neglected Tropical Diseases

Source: World Bank – World Development Indicators


  • 80% of the world’s biodiversity are in the Tropics
  • The fishing yield of marine species in Tropical countries could decrease by 40%


  • Tropical rainforest provide natural resources which makes up the ingredients for more than 60% of anti-cancer drugs
  • Climate change will induce the escalation of tropical diseases



Source: State of the Tropics Report, 2017

The ecological footprint of most tropical countries are within the Earth’s biocapacity limits while the Human Development Index is low.

A strategic balance has to be achieved.

Source: Tonis, R. (2015). SMEs role in achieving sustainable development. Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, 4(1), 41-50.