Monday, February 23, 2009

Mapping Southeast Asia’s vulnerability to climate change

Business Mirror (Philippines): There is mounting evidence that climate-related disaster events are having an impact on developing countries in Southeast Asia, home to more than 570 million people. While researchers and scientists reveal that climate change is set to reverse decades of social and economic progress, the international climate change spotlight has not yet fallen on Southeast Asia as attention is focused more on the industrializing giants China, India and Brazil.

Multiple stresses make most of Southeast Asian countries highly vulnerable to environmental changes, and climate change is likely to increase this vulnerability. These impacts include drought, sea-level rise, cyclones, desertification, deforestation, forest degradation, coral bleaching, the spread of diseases and impacts on food security.

“Millions of people in the region tend to suffer most from the catastrophic impacts of global warming coupled with recurring food, oil and financial crisis,” said Herminia Francisco, director of the Singapore-based Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (Eepsea).

Typically, according to Francisco, these will be the poorest people and the most vulnerable communities who may have little information about impending hazards and are often the least able to rebuild their lives and livelihoods after having suffered a setback.

…The Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Sumatra and Indonesia are among the countries identified as climate change “hotspots”—countries particularly vulnerable to some of the worst manifestations of climate change, such as the increase in extreme drought, flooding, sea-level rise, landslide and cyclones expected in the coming decades. This, according to a new report of Eepsea funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), an international organization public corporation created in 1970 to support research in developing countries.

The report titled, “Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping for Southeast Asia” conducted by Francisco and economist Arief Anshory Yusuf from Indonesia, is expected to be highly valuable to policymakers, as well as external donors in better targeting their support on climate-change initiatives in the region....

From the publication above, a map with an index of climate change vulnerability, from the Business Mirror's website

No comments: