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Region II (Asia)

About the Region

The terms “Asia Region”, “Asia”, “RA II” and/or “the Region” are used to describe that area englobing the countries and territories encompassed in the WMO Regional Association (RA) II (Asia). There are 35 Members of RA II.


Geographical Limits


Southern Limit

From Akaba following a line along the territorial and island waters of Saudi Arabia to the centre of the Strait of Aden, thence eastwards along a straight line to latitude 13°N, 60°E, thence along longitude 60°E to the point 5°S, 60°E, thence along latitude 5°S to the point 5°S, 90°E, thence along longitude 90°E to the point 6.5°N, 90°E, thence along latitude 6.5°N to the Malaysia-Thailand boundary, thence along the Malaysia-Thailand boundary to the coast on the Gulf of Thailand, thence to the point 10°N, 110°E, thence north-eastwards along a straight line to the point 23.5°N, 125°E, thence along latitude 23.5° to the 180th meridian, thence northwards along the 180th meridian to the point 30°N, 180°.

Eastern limit

Northwards along the International Date Line from the point 30°N and the 180th meridian.

Western limit
From Akaba northwards following the eastern boundaries of Jordan and Syria to the Turkish boundary, thence eastwards along the boundary between and Iraq to the Iranian boundary, thence northwards to the USSR boundary, thence eastwards to the Caspian Sea, thence along longitude 50°E northwards to the island of Kolguev, thence to the point 80°N, 40°E and thence northwards.


NMSs in the Asia Region

The Asia Region covers a vast expanse of the Indian Ocean and part of the Pacific Ocean and contains a large and diverse range of ecosystems, including deserts, forests, rivers, lakes and seas. The desert extends from east to west, encompassing Central and western Asia.

The Asia Region is the fastest growing economic region in the world. The strongest economies in the Region are those of Japan and the Republic of Korea. In the last few years, a number of countries — most notably some Member nations of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), China and India — have been making impressive economic growth. The oil- and gas-producing countries, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Islamic Republic of Iran have wealthy economies. The total population of the Region was estimated at 3 395 million by the end of 2000. Asia has two of the world's most populated countries, China and India. The Region includes some of the least developed countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Compared to other WMO Regions, the Asia Region includes the highest mountains, the rainiest areas and the driest deserts, with their associated variation in culture and biodiversity. Over the long period of human occupation in the Region, exploitation of natural resources, urbanization, industrialization and economic development have led to land degradation and environmental pollution. Climate change and climate variations also represent future stress.

The major challenges to the development of nations include mitigation of natural and environmental disasters, climate change, climate variability, water management, overfishing of coastal and sea resources, freshwater resources management and development, land use and land degradation, energy availability, tourism management, poverty alleviation and conservation of biodiversity. Weather and climate observations are required to address these issues, which are of relevance for the present social and economic development as well as for that of future generations.




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