Monday, September 21, 2009

Thai rice region under climate threat

Agence France-Presse: Part of Thailand's main rice growing region is under severe economic and environmental threat from climate change which must be addressed by world leaders at a UN summit, Greenpeace said Monday.

A study by the activist group revealed the dangers faced by the Bangpakong River Basin, which supports around 1.25 million people who rely heavily on the region's fertile soils for crops, especially rice, fruit and fishing. The study was released days before Bangkok holds another major meeting on climate change.

The 7,900 square-kilometre (3050 square mile) area in eastern Thailand is "one of the most productive river basins the world" and a prominent source of jasmine rice, Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaign manager Tara Buakamsri said.

But the basin, which empties into the Gulf of Thailand, "is threatened with severe economic and environmental impacts due to flooding, drought, saltwater intrusion and coastal erosion caused by climate change", Greenpeace said. "Local rural communities stand to suffer most from climate change impacts," said Ply Pirom, a campaigner for the group, adding that the "worst impacts are yet to come"….

Rice fields and a small hut providing shade for the workers just outside the town of Nan, Thailand, shot by Takeaway, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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