55 years after the 1955 Bandung Asian-African Conference and 20 years after the end of the Cold War, in the context of Globalisation, the world is still characterised by wars, domination by the powerful, exploitation of the weak. In addition, Globalisation has posed two challenges for the sustainability of our planet : the degradation of Environment and the growth of Cities. People cannot escape from these two global challenges, but face them in their own localities. The actors for a sustainable future are therefore supposed to answer the “Global Challenges” with “Local Responses”.
The responses from Africa and Asia deserve special attention. On the one hand, despite the continous process of globalisation following the expansion of capitalism, colonialism and imperialism started from Europe, Africa and Asia have not been uprooted by Western Civilisation and are therefore thought to be the source and pool of bio- and cultural diversity needed for the sustainability of our planet.
On the other hand, Africa and Asia are particulary affected by the degredation of Environment and the growth of Cities. The planet is in the midst of a 6th great extinction of life forms faster than the previous ones and the climate change largery provoked by the “developed North” will be especially harmful to the “developing South”. As for Citification, the urban population worlwide grew over 10-fold during the 20th century alone, and UN has projected in 2012 that “Africa and Asia together will acount for 86 per cent of all growth in the world’s urban population over the next four decades.”