Population soars toward 9 billion in 2050. Changes may slow that growth.
On Thursday he named George Mitchell as a special envoy, and he has already signaled that the US will reengage the region.
Only hours into his presidency, Barack Obama has ordered a freeze on all the new and pending federal regulations that the Bush administration pushed through in its final days.
Some think expectations may be too high for the new president.
In his call to "begin again the remaking of America" in his inaugural address Tuesday, President Barack Obama placed a high priority on energy, climate, and the stark inequalities in consumption between rich and poor nations.