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As East Asian countries experience economic growth, they have however not had enough measures to control the rising social and environmental problem. On the social aspect, countries are facing the problem of an ageing population. When a country experiences economic growth, the standard of living will increase and thus increase the life expectancy. If the country is also facing the problem of a falling birth-rate, it will thus result in a greying nation. This will impact the development of the country since age is a factor which changes the distribution of valued resources in a society such as money (O’Rand, 1990, in Sheykhi, 2018).
For the developed countries, the elderly are expected to be enjoying personal and leisure activities This is not the same for developing countries, where the elderly are still worried about their basic livelihood. With limited social welfare and health insurance, the individual financial resources play a critical part in improving one’s quality of life (IFA, 2001, in Sheykhi, 2018). Under such a scenario, the elderly in developing Asia financially remain dependent on others. To illustrate it more thoroughly, they psychologically and physically depend more on others rather than the state, or the relevant agencies. Very few Asian countries have infrastructure sufficient to help their disabled and elderly people (Sheykhi, 2018). Modernization in many parts of Asia has greatly influenced the lives of the elderly due to increasing change in the family structure and ties, more mobility among the families, more employment by women etc. All these have caused the families to be more segmented, and consequently not to have time enough to invest in the elderly people.
In the environmental aspect, countries will face the scenario of a deteriorating supply of environmental capital to support the growing demands of the urbanized population. With the recent economic expansion, which has been largely pursued at the cost of the environment, will discourage the distribution of ecosystem services such as clean and ample water and unpolluted air in the future. This will gradually delay future development and prevent Asia’s emergence as the engine of the global economy (Howes & Wyrwoll, 2012).
Environmental damage will also cause an immediate result of welfare cost felt by the low-income groups from rural areas. The already existing problem of poverty will be hindering the ability of poor households to find alternatives to a contaminated water supply. This will further worsen their quality of life as health problem related to pollution and food security will, in turn, lower their capacity to earn income or receive education showing how environmental problems are reinforcing poverty and becoming a pressing development issue in contemporary Asia (Howes & Wyrwoll, 2012).
Climate change will worsen the ill effects of Asia’s current environmental problems. Rising maximum temperatures and changing rainfall patterns are affecting agriculture and food security today, and the effect of these changes will escalate to 2030 (Lobell, et al. 2008, in Howes & Wyrwoll, 2012). Deforestation and black carbon emissions in Asia are important drivers of global warming, both in terms of contribution and also because their mitigation could be a low-cost option with short-term benefits. Energy demand in Asia is expected to explode with ongoing economic expansion and, accordingly, so will coal use and greenhouse gas emissions (Howes & Wyrwoll, 2012).
Therefore, East Asia countries need to switch to a development strategy which supports green growth in order to reduce the impact of potentially major stumbling blocks arising from climate change, such as food and water insecurity or environmental refugees and conflict. Not only does avoidance of major climate damages provide a firmer base for growth beyond 2030, but there are significant economic opportunities such as renewable energy generation, and also increasing energy security that can be introduced (Howes & Wyrwoll, 2012).
The unbelievable rate of growth of East Asian Countries during the East Asian Miracle was shown to have happened due to many factors as well as their very well-balanced social and economic policies. Unfortunately, most of the time this only applies to the HPAEs, which have been giving off the assumption that all East Asian countries are developing at the same rate. Furthermore, the current challenges faced by all East Asian Countries may instead worsen the development rate. Hence, cooperation between the states will be vital for the progress of East Asia development.