In the Tropics, just over 70% of people had access to electricity in 2012, up from 56% in 1990. Although access has improved considerably, it remains much lower than in the rest of the world where nearly 95% of people have access (IEA, 2015). For further perspective, 76% of all people without access to electricity (more than 800 million people) live in the Tropics.
The tropics, as a region, account for 40 per cent of the world’s total surface area and are host to approximately 80 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and much of its language and cultural diversity.
As the world heads towards 9.5 billion people by midcentury and races towards an urban future, feeding the world’s population, meeting its housing needs, providing energy and access to basic services for all, while ensuring environmental sustainability and limiting climate change impacts will require significant new investment, innovation and approaches to infrastructure development and management.
Nations of the Tropics are at the forefront of these efforts. With almost half the world’s population, more than half of its young people, many of its fastest growing economies, most of the world’s biological and cultural diversity, and ecosystems services of global importance, what happens in the world’s tropical zone over the coming decades will have global implications. The trajectory of the region will in large part determine whether the world meets its ambitious aspirations for global prosperity and equality.
The General Assembly, recognizing the specific challenges faced by tropical areas, the far-reaching implications of the issues affecting the world’s tropical zone and the need, at all levels, to raise awareness and to underline the important role that countries in the tropics will play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals:
Decides to designate 29 June as the International Day of the Tropics.
Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, other international and regional organizations and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, to observe the International Day of the Tropics in an appropriate manner and in accordance with national priorities, in order to raise awareness of the tropics, the specific challenges that they face and the emerging opportunities that they present.
On June 29 2016 the United Nations celebrated the first ever International Day of the Tropics.
Source: un.org | jcu.edu.au