The United Nations estimates that the tropics currently accounts for 41% of the world's population and predicts that by 2050 approximately 55% of the world's population will live in the region (McNeil, 2009).

The people of the tropics face some of the most critical issues of our time, including the impact of climate change (rising sea levels, declining crop yields, extinction of vulnerable species); poor health outcomes (more than 1 billion people suffer from neglected tropical diseases, unacceptable levels of infant mortality and reduced life expectancy); extreme poverty; poor educational outcomes; environmental degradation; political and economic instability.

Source: Harding, S. (2011). The tropical agenda. Journal of Tropical Psychology, 1, 1, 2-5.

Having a central repository for tropical data is critical to the success of our world.

State of the Tropics

Twelve key institutions from across the world have joined forces to assess and report on the critical questions facing one of the world’s most important and fastest growing regions: the tropics.

The State of the Tropics Report has highlighted the critical importance of the people and issues of the tropical world and contributes to improving the lives of the tropical population and their environment. The 12 institutions involved in the project are:

  • Escuela Superior PolitiĆ©cnica del Litorial (Ecuador)
  • James Cook University (Australia)
  • Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (England)
  • Mahidol University (Thailand)
  • Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
  • National University of Singapore
  • Organisation for Tropical Studies (Costa Rica, USA)
  • University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • University of Hawaii – Manoa (USA)
  • University of Nairobi (Kenya)
  • University of Papua New Guinea
  • University of the South Pacific (Fiji)

People and Societies in the Tropics

The tropics currently accounts for 40% of the world's population and it is predicted that by 2050 approximately 55% of the world's population will line in the region.

Selected datasets

Industries and Economies in the Tropics

The one hundred and twenty-two nations of the tropics produce around 20% of the world GDP and continue to experience above world average growth in GDP. TropLinks, an Australian-based not-for-profit network of research and industry groups, has estimated that by 2025 the size of the economies of the tropical world will exceed $US40 trillion.

Source: Harding, S. (2011). The tropical agenda. Journal of Tropical Psychology, 1, 1, 2-5.

Selected datasets

Tropical Health, Medicine and Biosecurity

Seventy-five per cent of new infectious diseases are zoonoses, diseases of animals that are transmitted to humans (e.g. SARS and avian influenza). It is a process exacerbated by humans living in close physical proximity to domesticated animals and by global warming which changes the distribution of disease insect vectors (e.g., mosquitoes).

Source: Harding, S. (2011). The tropical agenda. Journal of Tropical Psychology, 1, 1, 2-5.

Selected datasets

Tropical Ecosystems, Conservation and Climate Change

A high proportion of the world’s biodiversity is located in the tropics, including up to 80% of animal and plant species and 92% of world’s coral reefs. Population growth and urbanisation have led to biodiversity loss on a massive scale in many tropical countries, a process exacerbated by climate change.

Selected datasets