Asia's Biggest Challenges Today

Participants at the 2010 Williamsburg Conference learn about rice planting.

In the Philippines this month, 200,000 people have been displaced from their homes as a result of "Mega Typhoon Megi." In Pakistan, over a million people were displaced by the deadly floods, losing their homes, and almost all means of livelihoods. Hurricane Conson in China and Vietnam left scores dead in July, resulting in flash floods and mudslides.

These recent disasters have raised brows among experts across the Asia-Pacific to examine Asia's vulnerability to climate change and food security, among other challenges.

At the 2010 Williamsburg Conference held at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines , the pre-eminent gathering of leading Americans and Asians committed to strengthening US-Asia relations, the greatest challenges facing the Asia-Pacific community were discussed. 

Asia is the world's largest, most populous, and diverse continent, hosting 60 percent of all of earth's human population. To describe challenges facing such a diverse continent is becoming increasingly difficult, because to group it under one concept is simply impossible. Experts from across Asia-Pacific tackled the concept of Asian identity and challenges facing the continent. Above, in a chilling response, Asanga Gunsawan of National University of Singapore discusses the effect of climate change on Indonesia's islands. Experts were also asked three important questions:

1. What do you see as the single most serious challenge facing Asia right now?
2. What is the most serious threat facing Asia, in terms of climate change?
3. What should be done to address the region's looming food security crisis?

The answers ranged from expert to expert. From clean, drinking water and sanitation, to the effects of globalizing, each answer describes the complexities Asia holds within it. Watch this fascinating Q&A by clicking here.

What are your thoughts on some of Asia's biggest challenges today? Share your thoughts with us by leaving comments below:

Learn more about the Williamsburg Conference here.