Longing for a better future
The world is in crisis.
Twenty years ago the international community came together for the first time to try to tackle many of the challenges facing a world with a burgeoning population and its entire environment under threat.
In late June in Rio de Janeiro, the city where it all began, leaders and experts meet again to assess the situation today and propose further initiatives under the umbrella of seeking ‘sustainable’ solutions.
Japan is at the forefront of trying to forge a ‘green economy’.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, the country's major development organization, is involved in tackling many of the world's major problems including in the fields of environmental and biodiversity degradation, urban blight, natural disasters, food security, water, energy, health and education.
Twenty years after the world began to seriously address the problems of a world in crisis, the international community is meeting again to discuss progress in the intervening two decades and agree on future collaborative efforts. JICA is heavily involved in many of the most challenging areas such as food, water, energy, education, gender equality, climate change and environmental degradation.
Jericho is reputedly the world's oldest city. And on its outskirts today Japanese experts and workmen are busily laying the foundations for something which hopefully will represent a new and better future for the troubled region.
JICA's new president, Akihiko Tanaka believes that science can be better exploited to improve development assistance. His organization is already involved in many projects across the globe from the Andes to the Himalaya mountains.
Around one billion people go to bed each night hungry. As many as five million children under the age of five die each year, partly as a result of malnutrition. Why? JICA is involved in trying to solve the crisis in many of the nearly 150 countries in which the agency operates.
Water is the most basic and precious natural resource of all, yet though there is more than enough water available worldwide to meet global needs, hundreds of millions of people still lack access to the precious liquid. Tackling the problem is a major priority for Japan.
Within the next 20 years, 60% of the world's population will live in an urban setting, but many developing countries do not have the resources to cope with the largest exodus in history. JICA is helping in a variety of ways, from helping to build cleaner rapid transit systems and constructing hospitals, schools, roads, bridges, airports, power and water plants.
It is one of the most unsavory aspects of progress—the accumulation of mountains of garbage, rubbish. But many countries do not have the resources or even the attention span to effectively tackle the problem.
Some 200 million people are the victims each year of natural disasters—earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, severe drought and flooding. Japan works to try to prevent such crises, respond to victims needs in the aftermath of catastrophe and then help countries and communities rebuild their physical and social infrastructures.