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Innovative ideas to save the planet (and East Asia Pacific region) from climate change

James I Davison's picture
David Manalo's organization wants to distribute unique floating generators to provide electricity to people in a remote part of the Philippines.

The theme of this year’s global Development Marketplace – a competitive grant program created by the World Bank – seems particularly relevant to an issue that is all too familiar to developing countries in the East Asia and Pacific region: adaptation to climate change. More than 1,700 submissions were received for the 2009 competition, vying for 25 grants of up to $200,000 each and proposing innovative ways to protect the poor, who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This week, 100 finalists are visiting the Bank’s headquarters in Washington, DC, to share their ideas during the cleverly named event: “100 Ideas to Save the Planet.”

I spent some time yesterday walking around the marketplace and meeting a few of the 20 or so finalists representing East Asian and Pacific countries. (The grant winners will be announced Friday. Visit the DM blog for more coverage of this year’s event.) The people I talked to were passionate and eager to share their projects, which are focused on helping people deal with extreme weather that may be caused or worsened by climate change.

Some of the projects rely on an innovative device or machine. Like David Manalo, who told me his organization's project (pdf) wants to distribute car batteries and unique floating generators to provide electricity to people in a remote part of the Philippines. “This is a remote area, so they don’t have lights,” he said, pointing to a picture of the hydropower generator on his display. “It charges a battery to provide lights to the people.” The generator uses a river current to spin a turbine and charge a battery for people in communities. Yet, when heavy rain causes flooding, the generator can be easily removed to prevent it from being damaged.

Souly QuachAngKham, of Laos, explains a project that would teach locals how to respond to floods by evacuating to safe areas, storing and preserving food and filtering clean drinking water.

Another technological innovation would address a problem facing some people on the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu. As the dry season has gotten longer in recent years, lack of drinking water is becoming a big issue, according to David Stein, who was representing an organization called VANREPA. His project (pdf), he told me, would utilize solar energy to turn seawater into clean drinking water for a community of about 48 households. “Fifteen percent of Vanuatu is dependant on rain water collection for drinking water,” Stein said. “This is something to [supplement] rainwater collection.”

Many of the projects would rely on training and education as a central part of their objective. One project in Laos hopes to help local communities learn how to mitigate the worst effects of annual flooding, said Souly QuachAngKham of the organization SEDA-Laos. This project (pdf), among other things, would teach locals how to respond to floods by evacuating to safe areas, storing and preserving food and filtering clean drinking water. “It’s about empowering a community to understand not just about climate change, but about survival and sustainability in their own community,” Souly explained.


Each of us should be able to creatively think of innovations which can address the problems such as climate change. It does not have to be a grand plan or project. Simple solutions can create an impact as big as complex projects. What is important is that it is able to make this world a better place.

Submitted by Diptanu on

we can fight climate change, pollution,poverty etc by introducing rooftop plantation all over the world.Roof top plantation should be in govt buildings ,buses,taxi and other vehicles having roof.This will help us to create a fresh, pollution free environment especially in cites all over the world.Laws can be implemented to make rooftop plantation mandatory for each and every building in cities.Birds,butterflies and various insects have become perish in cities.Rooftop plantation will bring back the beautiful birds,bees,butterflies etc which are no longer seen in polluted cities of the world.
we can reverse the process of global warming by reforestation of deserts.This will help us to eradicate poverty ,pollution,global warming and climate change.This is very much essential for survival living beings in this planet.
The afforestation of deserts had already been started in some parts of the world like Gobi desert in China ,desert in Israel etc.In India It can be started in Rajasthan. Desert greening is the process of man-made reclamation of deserts for ecological reasons (biodiversity), farming and forestry, but also for reclamation of natural water systems and other Life support systems.Plantation in deserts will result in equal distribution of rainfall all over the world and when the dry deserts will be turned into forest ,it will serve itself as the habitat of a large number of species.
Reversing the process of global warming by reforestation of deserts will require a huge fund. The world bank , United Nations and the billionaires of the world can come together to reverse the climate change .

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