[dmwg] South-East Asian climate map reveals disaster hotspots
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Sun Mar 29 20:27:13 BST 2009
South-East Asian climate map reveals disaster hotspots
Imelda V. Abano
10 March 2009 | EN | 中文
Climate change hotspots in South-East Asia based on five climate-related risks —
tropical cyclones, floods, landslides, droughts and sea level rise
[MANILA] An attempt to map the potential effects of climate change across
South-East Asia has found Cambodia to be unexpectedly vulnerable to disasters.
The map, which considers the region's risk of exposure to climate hazards as
well as its ability to adapt to such threats, found that Cambodia's poor ability
to deal with disasters dwarfs its relatively low exposure to the risks.
The project, 'Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping for Southeast Asia', was
carried out by the International Development Research Centre's Economy and
Environment Program for South-East Asia (EEPSEA) as part of a larger-scale study.
The researchers combined historical datasets (from 1980–2005) with climate
hazard maps for five climate-related risks. They compared these findings with
the vulnerability assessment framework of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change — based on exposure to multiple hazard risks, human and
biological sensitivity, and adaptive capacity to climate change.
The study found that some of the most vulnerable areas in South-East Asia were
the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and Bangkok, because of their exposure to sea level.
The northern part of the Philippines was also particularly vulnerable, being at
high risk from tropical cyclones.
But the most vulnerable areas of all, occupying four of the top ten hotspots out
of a total of 530, were in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. Not only does the
city lie at the intersection of all but one of five climate-related hazards —
drought, floods, landslides and sea level rise — it is also densely populated.
These risks outweigh its high adaptive capacity.
"This is the first comprehensive [climatic] picture of what the region looks
like," says Herminia Francisco, director of EEPSEA. "The map illustrates the
extent of climate change in the region and that most of the countries are
vulnerable to the worst manifestations of climate change. To avert disasters,
governments should take urgent and ambitious actions."
Richard Fuchs, IDRC regional director for South-East and East Asia, says: "The
challenge for us is to put more pressure on the policymakers to better manage
adaptation options in reducing vulnerability in the region."
Philippines senator Loren Legarda, who attended the Manila launch of the map
last week (6 March), said that policymakers should now devise ways to prepare
vulnerable people for the impact of climate change.
Link to full report[1.71MB]
More information about the dmwg