International Day of the Tropics
The future belongs to the Tropics
The International Day of the Tropics celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the tropics while highlighting unique challenges and opportunities nations of the Tropics face. It provides an opportunity to take stock of progress across the tropics, to share tropical stories and expertise and to acknowledge the diversity and potential of the region.
The Tropics are a region of the Earth, roughly defined as the area between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn. Although topography and other factors contribute to climatic variation, tropical locations are typically warm and experience little seasonal change in day-to-day temperature. An important feature of the Tropics is the prevalence of rain in the moist inner regions near the equator, and that the seasonality of rainfall increases with the distance from the equator. The tropical region faces several challenges such as climate change, deforestation, logging, urbanisation and demographic changes.
The Human System
Tropical nations have made significant progress but face a variety of challenges that demand focused attention across a range of development indicators and data in order to achieve sustainable development.
- By 2050, the region will host most of the world’s people and two-thirds of its children.
- Consistent with the higher levels of poverty, more people experience undernourishment in the Tropics than in the rest of the world.
- The proportion of the urban population living in slum conditions is higher in the Tropics than in the rest of the World.
The inaugural State of the Tropics Report was launched on 29 June 2014, as the culmination of a collaboration between twelve leading tropical research institutions. The report offers a unique perspective on this increasingly important region. Marking the anniversary of the report’s launch the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/70/267 in 2016, which declared that 29 June of each year is to be observed as the International Day of the Tropics.
The international Day of the Tropics was designated to raise awareness to 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.
Did you know?
- The Tropics host nearly 95% of the world’s mangrove forests by area and 99% of mangrove species.
- The Tropics have just over half of the world’s renewable water resources (54%), yet almost half their population is considered vulnerable to water stress.
- Biodiversity is greater in the Tropics – however, loss of biodiversity is also greater in the Tropics than in the rest of the world.
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- General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/267
- State of the Tropics report: 2014 | 2017 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021
- Sustainable Development Goals
- Convention on Biological Diversity
- UNEP: Forests
- FAO Tropical Agriculture Platform
- International Plant Protection Convention
- State of the Tropics
UNESCO Heritage Tropics sites
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