Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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Thursday 9 July - 17:30-19:00 UPMC Jussieu - ROOM 101 - Block 14/24

3332 - Asia on the Frontlines: Projected Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation

Parallel Session

Lead Convener(s): R. Zomer (World Agroforestry Center, Kunming, Yunnan, China)

Convener(s): M. Hossain (Griffith University, Nathan, QLD, Australia)

17:30

Impacts of Climate Change on Terrestrial Ecosystems in the Asian Highlands

R. Zomer (World Agroforestry Center, Kunming, Yunnan, China)

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Impacts of Climate Change on Terrestrial Ecosystems in the Asian Highlands
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17:42

The Vulnerability of Livelihoods in Asia's Coastal and Dryland Regions to Climatic Hazards: Possible Responses

M. Hossain (Griffith University, Nathan, QLD, Australia)

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The Vulnerability of Livelihoods in Asia's Coastal and Dryland Regions to Climatic Hazards: Possible Responses
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17:54

Projected Climate Change Impacts on Terrestrial Ecosystems of the Asian Highlands

R. Zomer (World Agroforestry Center, Kunming, Yunnan, China)

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Projected Climate Change Impacts on Terrestrial Ecosystems of the Asian Highlands

R. Zomer (1)
(1) World Agroforestry Center, Center for Mountain Ecosystems Studies, Kunming, Yunnan, China

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Rapidly accelerating climate change in the mountains of Asia, notably the Himalaya, Hindu Kush, Tien Shan, and the Tibetan Plateau, is projected to have major implications for montane species, ecosystems, and mountain farming and pastoral systems. A geospatial modeling approach based on a global environmental stratification and a simple in-situ water balance model has been used to explore potential impacts of projected climate change on the hydrology and spatial distribution of bioclimatic strata,  across the Asian highlands. Projected climate change impacts on terrrestrial ecosystems, including agricultural and pastoral systems, were modeled based upon an ensemble of 19 Earth System Models (CIMP5) across four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP). Large and substantial shifts in bioclimatic conditions can be expected throughout the region by the year 2050, across all bioclimatic zones and ecoregions. Potential impacts include upward shift in mean elevation of bioclimatic zones, decreases in area of the highest elevation biomes and ecoregions, large expansion of the lower tropical and sub-tropical zones and ecoregions, and the shifitng or disappearance of specific sets of bioclimatic conditions, threats to agricultural crop species, cropping systems, and genetic resources, the effectiveness of protected areas, and the rapid onset of potentially high levels of biotic perturbance by 2050, with a high likelihood of major consequences for biodiversity, ecosystems, ecosystem services, conservation efforts and sustainable development policies across the region. The importance of improved understanding of the direction and magnitude of climatic change for strategic pand, adaptation, and disaster response, is illustrated with case studies of landscape analsyses and participatory community based approaches from Nepal, Pakistan, and southwest China.

18:05

Response to Climatic Hazard: Vulnerability Measurement of the Coastal People Matters

M. Hossain (Griffith University, Nathan, QLD, Australia)

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Response to Climatic Hazard: Vulnerability Measurement of the Coastal People Matters

M. Hossain (1)
(1) Griffith University, International Business and Asian Studies, Nathan, QLD, Australia

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In recent years, climatic hazards - extreme weather conditions and rising sea-level - have impacted seriously on economies and daily life in many coastal regions. The present study measures the vulnerability of frontline coastal regions in order to find path-ways for speedy recovery from the socio-economic devastation associated with climatic disasters, and to recommend potential protection measures for coastal people. The study focuses on two vulnerable regions of the Bay of Bengal delta. The outcome of this research will help understand the responses required after a climatic disaster. Governments, NGOs and international communities including Asian vulnerable regions need micro level studies, such as this, on which to develop effective sustainable development policies. The study uses survey data to investigate vulnerability following a recent climatic hazard (cyclone) that have affected Bay of Bengal delta in 2009. More specifically the aims are: 1. to investigate the impacts on socio-economic vulnerability due to climatic hazards in selected regions; 2. to find path-ways for speedy recovery from the socio-economic devastation; and, 3. to recommend protection measures for the coastal people frequently hit by global warming induced climatic hazards.

It is not only a lack of knowledge on the risks from climatic hazards in developing Asia, in other OECD nations policy makers suffer from this knowledge gap. Being a closest neighbour of Asia, it is needed to know how much, for example, Australia spends on climate response aid other than the immediate disaster aid to the victims? Does Australia take climate refugees? Immediate relief while is important, it is also needed to know how were the affected regions cope from a natural calamity? There is, therefore, a serious need for showing results from small-scale micro studies that can develop a theoretical, methodological and empirical foundation to inform climate change adaptation/recovery options for households, governments and communities in front line regions.

The present research has been focused on assessing local level socioeconomic vulnerability of communities living in vulnerable locations of Asia. Vulnerability to climate disasters is a complex concept which has major socioeconomic and political implications. Public policies, including adaptation strategies, disaster risk reduction (DRR), and migration policies have the potential to play a determining role in addressing vulnerability.This paper is based on two villages surveyed from two sides of the Sundarbans on the Bay of Bengal delta and estimates the vulnerability of the coastal people from a category 5 Cyclone called 'Aila' hit in 2009. The villages are located in Bangladesh and Indian (West Bengal) territories.  A census of the entire households of the two villages has been carried out in 2011 and 2012. Vulnerability due to natural hazard has been investigated based on econometric models. The vulnerability estimates at local level is essential with a view to develop relevant adaptation policies for the Sundarbans region.

 

18:16

Climatic Change and Indian Agriculture – A Case Study of West Bengal

R. Chakrabarty (University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal, India), S. Chakrabarty (University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal, India), C. S. Lahiri (University of Calcutta, Kolkata, West Bengal, India)

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Climatic Change and Indian Agriculture – A Case Study of West Bengal

R. Chakrabarty (1) ; S. Chakrabarty (1) ; CS. Lahiri (1)
(1) University of Calcutta, Business Management, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

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The recent IPCC report (IPCC 2007) and a few other global studies indicate a probability of 10 to 40% loss in crop production in India with increase in temperature by 2080 – 2100. A few Indian studies on this theme generally confirm an agricultural decline with climate change. Recent studies done at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute indicate the possibility of a loss of 4 to 5 million tons in wheat production in future with every 10C rise in temperature.

In this paper we have focused on the impacts of climatic change on agriculture faced by West Bengal. West Bengal is a state of India, which extends from Himalayas in the north and Bay of Bengal in the south.  In 1981-82, West Bengal was amongst the lowest in the country with its per capita net agricultural product being 18 per cent lower than the national average. By 1994-95, it was above the national average by about 10 per cent.

Like all natural system, agriculture is linked to climate and there is some observed and projected climatic change in West Bengal also. During1969-2005, a net warming trend has been established in the annual average temperature.

This paper studies whether the relationship between the long term Agricultural Production of India and West Bengal is trend stationary or not. This has been done by using Unit Root technique. It also studies the relationship between temperature and agricultural production. The paper then derives the relation between the GDP and Indian Agriculture Production on one hand and the SDP and West Bengal Agriculture Production on the other hand. This has been compared by using the Co-integration equations.

An in-depth survey has been conducted in six districts of West Bengal and the production of staple crops, rice and potato have been considered. We have carried out mean tests to compare amongst the districts and also with a north Indian state. On the basis of the data long term projection has been made. Finally, the paper hints at considerable policy implications towards adaptation to climate change in the state.

18:27

Mountains and the Anthropocene

J. Xu (Kunming Institute of Botany, Kunming, China), J. Xu (Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan, France)

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Mountains and the Anthropocene

J. Xu (1)
(1) Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan, France

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Mountains change due to volcanic activity or rising tectonic plates; human activity, too, has changed mountains since the beginning of days. The extent and pace of anthropogenic changes to the mountain’s climate, cryosphere and biosphere are now so great that ecosystems and societies become unbounded, while the changes themselves become harder to predict and harder to live with.

 

In the mountains, geography promotes cultural diversity in languages, belief systems, architecture, settlement patterns, and livelihood practices. Mountains are the cradles of many civilizations. People have adapted in ways that demonstrate their intimate relationship with the environment and knowledge about not only plants, wildlife, vegetation, and ecosystems, but also the risks and natural hazards such as earthquake, landslides, droughts and flash floods.

 

The seeds of “good Anthropocene” – positive visions of futures that are socially and ecologically desirable, just, and sustainable – can be observed in many cultural communities in mountainous regions. We use both participatory approaches and local visualization to solicit, explore and develop a suite of alternative pathways for conservation and sustainable development in southwest China’s mountain regions.

18:38

Farmer's perceptions of and adaptations to changing climate in the Melamchi River Valley of Nepal

S. Nani Maya (Kunming Institute of Botany, Kunming, China), D. Schmidt-Vogt (Kunming Institute of Botany, Kunming, China)

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Farmer's perceptions of and adaptations to changing climate in the Melamchi River Valley of Nepal

S. Nani Maya (1) ; D. Schmidt-Vogt (1)
(1) Kunming Institute of Botany, Kunming, China

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Climate change is a global challenge that has a particularly strong effect on developing countries such as Nepal, where adaptive capacity is low and where agriculture, which is highly dependent on climatic factors, is the main source of total income and food consumption at household level. Among the biggest challenges to farming communities in future will be adaptation to climate change.  As climate impacts are often locally specific, it is essential that large-scale initiatives to support farmers consider local priorities and integrate lessons from local adaptation efforts. But there is very limited knowledge and information available on how specific climate hazards impact livelihoods, and how farmer communities in the mountains of Nepal are responding to climate change. In addition most of the climate change projections using empirical models are unable to capture the local level specification of climate change. Therefore, knowledge of farmers’ perceptions of climate change and of their adaptation measure is important to enhance policies addressing the threat of climate change to farmers.

This case study examined farmers’ perceptions of and adaptations to changing climate in the Melamchi River Valley of Nepal. We surveyed 365 farmer households and held six focus group discussions using a Community-based Risk Screening Tool – Adaptation and Livelihoods (CRiSTAL) to understand local perceptions of and current adaptation practices to climate changes. Climate trends in the study area were analyzed for the period 1979–2009. Results show that while mean annual temperatures had risen by 0.18Ëš and 0.9ËšC per decade during the 1980s and 1990s, respectively, the rise in temperature had accelerated to 1.56ËšC per decade after 2000. The frequency of drought had also increased measurably after 2003. With this change in climatic factors farmers observed increases in crop pests, hailstorms, landslides, floods, as well as thunderstorms and erratic precipitation as climate-related hazards affecting agriculture. Changing farming practices, selling livestock and livestock products, engaging in daily wage labor and seasonal migration were common practices in response to climate and other changes. Diversification of agriculture, improvement of current agroforestry practices, and investment in water-based income-generating opportunities were identified as means of adapting to climate changes. 

18:49

Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change in Bangladesh: Challenges and Opportunities for Integrated Legal and Policy Responses

S. Alam ( Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia), S. Alam (Macquarie University, NSW, Sydney, Australia)

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Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change in Bangladesh: Challenges and Opportunities for Integrated Legal and Policy Responses

S. Alam (1)
(1) Macquarie University, Law, NSW, Sydney, Australia

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The coastal area of Bangladesh comprises the second largest delta of the world.  This coastal area comprises distinctive development opportunities which can be instrumental in reducing poverty and contributing significantly to the development of Bangladesh. Over the past few decades, however, the region has come under threat from climate change, and the effects are now starting to be felt. Moreover, unplanned and disorganized coastal adaptation programmes and the absence of climate change considerations in the coastal planning are deteriorating the whole scenario. In response to the challenges posed by the effects of climate change, Bangladesh has adopted several plans and policies including the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009, the National Adaptation Programme of Action 2005 and the Country Framework to Mainstream Climate Risk Management and Adaptation 2006. However, no laws and policies have been developed to-date targeting specifically the development of coastal areas in the context of climate change. Moreover, the people living in coastal areas of Bangladesh are not adequately consulted and integrated both in policy making and implementation of disaster risk management plans and adaptation strategies. Bangladesh can enhance its coastal management by strategically integrating climate change adaptation, disaster risk management and development into its laws and policies.

In this context, this paper provides an assessment of impacts of climate change in the coastal zones of Bangladesh. It also examines the existing adaptation strategies and policies of the government. With a critical analysis of the provisions for adaptation strategies in international climate change regime, it outlines the necessity for new adaptation strategies and policies in the context of the daunting challenges posed by climate change to the prospects of development in Bangladesh. This paper emphasises the importance of an integrated approach combining both disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in policy making in order to ensure climate resilient and climate compatible development in the coastal areas of Bangladesh. It further advocates for developing community-based adaption arguing that the empowerment of coastal communities who are mostly at risk is essential so that they themselves can identify and prioritise their risks, plan for mitigation and treat their risk factors. Ultimately communities should have direct access to and control over the public resources allocated for them and establish their rights to reduce their risks, be it social, cultural or political, and policy development process.