The State of the Tropics report will consider the question: Is life in the tropics getting better?
The report will analyse a range of environmental, social and economic indicators to answer this question. The analysis will shine a bright light on a variety of key issues and provide a foundation for policy makers, geopolitical analysts and other stakeholders to examine in greater detail the tropics and the major issues affecting it.
Given these multiple dimensions, answers to the fundamental question are likely to be positive for some aspects and negative for others. Furthermore, people hold different values and what is viewed as progress by some will be seen as regress by others. That is, the concept of progress is influenced by an individual’s perspective. The Report will also identify major challenges for the Zone, recognising that it is important the focus is not too negative, and includes a discussion of opportunities.
State of the Tropics will be a dispassionate, statistical analysis of a range of statistical indicators that will reveal trends and areas where progress is being made or lost. Data will be gathered from existing collections from authoritative sources and there will be no new data collection. An indicators data base will be developed and made available publicly, with annual data updates.
For completeness, the Report will examine issues that bind the different parts of the Zone together. Geography is clearly one element in common, and another is climate. Consequently, climate and climate change and its economic, social and environmental impacts will be examined.
A five yearly State of the Tropics report will be published, and will be supplemented by an annual State of the Tropics paper focusing on a key issue in the tropical world.
For universities and research institutions focused on the tropics, this is our place, and we share a responsibility to work with and for the people of the tropics, to bring to bear the power of our understanding, science and innovation on the issues of the tropics to create a brighter future for the tropics and its peoples. This is the main rationale for producing the State of the Tropics Report.
The project overview details tropical nations for the purpose of the Report and indicators to be assessed.