Contents - Next

This is the old United Nations University website. Visit the new site at


IN May 1991, close to 40 leading experts from South-East Asia and the Pacific gathered in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, for the international conference 'Toward a Sustainable Environmental Future for the Southeast Asian Region'. The conference organized by the United Nations University (UNU) in collaboration with Gadjah Mada University (the local host), the Australian National University (ANU) and the East-West Center of Hawaii-was conceived with the aim of providing the opportunity to address some of the critical environmental concerns facing the region and to enhance the understanding of environmental issues related to development in the region.

This book edited by the scientific co-ordinator of the conference, Dr Harold Brookfield, Emeritus Professor in the Research School of Pacific Studies, with the collaboration of Ms Yvonne Byron, Research Officer in the Department of Human Geography, both at the ANU-is based on the papers commissioned for the conference by the UNU.

The UNU is both an academic institution and an autonomous organ of the United Nations (UN). The UNU works on the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concerns of the UN and its agencies. One of the five focal programme areas of the UNU-Sustaining Global Life-Support Systems centres on issues of the environment and sustainable development.

The Yogyakarta conference was the first in a series of regional conferences within this UNU research and training programme. The programme focuses on the complex interaction of the human and natural environments, emphasizing the importance of local and regional ecological sustainability through appropriate environmental and resource management. Several research efforts within the programme have dealt with critical zones that are particularly vulnerable to environmental change as well as regions in the humid Tropics and mountains and highlands. The research is carried out through networks consisting of an international community of leading scholars, both in the UNU research and training centres and in other collaborating academic institutions around the world.

The second conference in this series, 'Sustainable Environmental and Resource Management Futures for Sub-Saharan Africa', will be organized in Accra, Ghana, as a collaborative effort between the UNU and its Institute of Natural Resources in Africa (UNU/INRA) and the University of Ghana in March 1993.

The UNU is grateful to the editors of this book as well as all the contributors and participants in the Yogyakarta conference for their valuable contributions. We hope that the book will advance the debate on sustainable development in South-East Asia and throughout the world.

December 1992


Contents - Next