Saturday, September 4, 2010

Adaptation versus mitigation in Indonesia

Yansen in the Jakarta Post: Indonesia seems to be at the crossroads of the climate change issue. On the one hand, we have to stand together with the international community to push the mitigation agenda on decreasing carbon emission levels. This nation, on the other hand, is already facing real problems with regard to climate alteration, especially in the agricultural sector, and it needs prompt adaptation action … Which one has to be prioritized?

Extreme weather for the last couple of months has adversely affected agriculture. The prolonged rainy season devastated many agricultural commodities, such as vegetables and rice, in many regions. The price of those commodities, such as chili, has increased (The Post, July 18). The weather anomaly that has been happening is hypothesized to be linked with the very real and growing threat of climate change.

However, adaptation strategies to deal with the problem are still unclear….

Climate pattern alteration has negative effects on farmers. Their list of questions when they begin the planting season is multiplying. They not only wonder about the selling price when they harvest their crops, but also start worrying about rain patterns or if the dry season will come early. Sadly, these issues are being confronted without proper preparation. In the end, agriculture becomes a high-risk business.

… Adaptation strategies to climate change impacts, such as in the agricultural sector, are not being developed. Yet agriculture has indeed significant impact on our nation’s life.…[T]here is a lack of comprehensive knowledge and understanding on the responses of food crops to climate alteration. Lack of awareness and understanding, in addition to a lack of funds and time investment to deal with climate change impacts, result in no appropriate policies being delivered....

Coconut palms in what is now Indonesia, from the Tropenmuseum collection, date unknown

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