On October 14, 2015, Secretary Kerry submitted the 2014 International Religious Freedom Report to the United States Congress. Now in its 17th year, this congressionally-mandated Report comprises almost 200 distinct reports on countries and territories worldwide and continues to reflect the United States’ commitment to, and advancement of, the right of every person to freedom of religion or belief. The Report is available at www.State.gov and www.HumanRights.gov.
By Alisa Tang
JAKARTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008, international aid poured into Southeast Asia, but in both disasters the 10-nation regional body ASEAN was conspicuously absent, says disaster expert Arnel Capili.
"Those were very big events that really affected the national governments of member states. The question was, where is ASEAN?" Capili said of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Disaster Management Reference Handbook Series Overview
During the 25th ASEAN Summit on 12-13 November 2014 in Nay Pyi Taw, the ASEAN Leaders adopted the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration on the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision together with the Central Elements of the Post- 2015 Vision for 2016-2025. As community building is an evolving process, ASEAN will continue to work towards a region that is internally and externally strong, resilient to regional and global challenges and truly representative of the peoples of the region.
Temperatures in the Asia-Pacific region can go very high with central India reaching 50oC or more. The Tibetan plateau rarely exceeds 20oC because of its high elevation.
These temperatures are based on average highs over a period of approximately 50 years. Maximum temperatures in the region may therefore be from different months of the year and a temperature in any given location may exceed these maximums.
Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification
The highly referenced climate classification map of Wladimir Köppen was published for the first time in 1900 and updated in its latest version by Rudolf Geiger in 1961.
Climate classification is applied to a broad range of topics in climate and climate change research as well as in physical geography, hydrology, agriculture, biology and educational aspects.
The Human Footprint
Human influence on the earth’s land surface is a global driver of ecological processes on the planet, en par with climatic trends, geological forces and astronomical variations. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University joined together to systematically map and measure the human influence on the earth’s land surface today.
This map shows the average amount of precipitation falling in a year, based on approximately 50 years of data. The figures shown do not therefore represent the amount of precipitation that may occur in any given year.
Using an innovative approach with GIS and remote sensing, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory LandScanTM is the community standard for global population distribution. At approximately 1 km resolution LandScan is the finest resolution global population distribution data available and represents an ambient population (average over 24 hours).
Elevation and Bathymetry
The region is home to the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepal and Chomolungma in China) at 8,848m, as well as the deepest surveyed point in the oceans,
Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench at 10,911m.
The Asia-Pacific region contains a diverse array of cultures, environments, and societies. One of the fastest growing economic regions in the world, it is also the most disaster-prone. While natural disasters affect the region frequently, as this region continues along its path of development, regional partnerships will be essential in developing the capacities of countries to reduce risk and vulnerability and to respond to disasters.
Executive Summary and Policy Recommendations
Physical Exposure to Drought
Drought is a phenomenon that affects more people globally than any other natural hazard. Unlike aridity, which refers to a semi-permanent condition of low precipitation (desert regions), drought results from the accumulated effect of deficient precipitation over a prolonged period of time.
The units used in this product refer to the expected average annual population (2010 as the year of reference) exposed (inhabitants). The dataset includes an estimate of the annual physical exposure to drought. It is based on three sources:
Tropical Storm Risk Zones
This map was derived from the Munich Reinsurance Company's World Map of Natural Hazards and shows tropical storm intensity based on the five wind speeds of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Sixteen years of wildfires in Asia-Pacific
Wild land fires and other biomass fires annually burn a total land area of between 3.5 and 4.5 million km2, equivalent to the surface area of India and Pakistan together, or more than half of Australia. This makes it one of the most spatially prevalent hazards after drought.
Risk assessment for an area exposed to multiple hazards requires solutions to compare the risks. This map was generated by adding the value of mortality to the cumulated risk of cyclones, earthquakes, floods and landslides. Categories of risk based on expected annual losses.
This product was designed by UNEP/GRID Europe for the Global Assessment Report on Risk Reduction (GAR). It was modeled using global data.
Credit: GIS processing UNEP/GRID-Europe. http://preview.grid.unep.ch