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Transcript
Cross-country paper on the theme
of Environment
World Conference on South Asia:
Democracy, Sustainable
Development and Peace
Regional Overview



Physical Features
Social and Cultural Patterns
Economy
Physical Features



South Asia houses some of
the world’s largest river
systems
Fresh water: Most
important natural
resource shared between
nations
Significant variation in
spatial and temporal
distribution of rainfall
Social and Cultural Patterns
Birthplace of popular socio-cultural groups, shelter for
immigrants.
 Diversity in terms of religion, language, ethnicity, traditions,
values, culture and the way of life.
 Out of the 7 Nations, two are predominantly Hindu, four are
predominantly Muslim, two are predominantly Buddhist
 The diversity demands a multifaceted approach to look at
development and the various challenges

Economy
Figure: share of different sector on South Asian economy and their growth rate
Source: ADB 2010
Key Environmental Issues
Land Degradation
 Water Stress
 Transboundary water
resources management

Land Degradation
Statistics of land degradation for the south Asian countries
Country
Sq
kilometers
%
Territory
% Global
degrading
area
% Total
population
Affected
people
Afghanistan
7656
1.17
0.025
2.56
671770
Bangladesh
68422
47.52
0.199
49.12
72728775
Bhutan
27011
57.47
0.073
54.99
1332662
India
592498
18.02
1.751
16.50
177437809
Nepal
54704
38.85
0.182
48.93
13332932
Pakistan
20644
2.57
0.073
3.58
5838072
Sri Lanka
21057
32.09
0.060
25.62
4788637
Source: Bai ZG 2008
Land Degradation

Primary Drivers:




Poor Agricultural Practices: intensive use of chemical
fertilizers, non-arable agriculture, increasing livestock
population
Increase in Irrigation: leads to water logging and top
soil erosion and over extraction of water renders the
land in the downstream saline
Poor policy regime: imposition of taxes/subsidies has
facilitated land degradation at certain places
Industrialization and deforestation
Water Stress
Statistics for water resources for the GBM and Indus basins
Indicators
GBM Basin
Indus Basin
3473
1329
304
257
2025
287
83
87
Wastewater volume (billion m3 per year)
92.0
54.7
Vegetation cover (percent of basin area)
20.0
39.1
GDP (PPP) US$ per capita
1807
1002
582.9
215.8
40.0
51.8
Available water resources (m3 per capita per year)
Total water use (billion m3 per year)
Available Water resources (billion m3 per year)
Access to Improved Source of Drinking Water (AISDW)
(percent of population)
Population (million people)
Access to Improved Sanitation Facility (AISF) (percent of
population)
Source: Compiled from MS Babel, S M Wahid 2009
Transboundary water resources management

Issues in the GBM Basin can be divided into three
broad categories:




sharing of river waters
cooperative development of water resources
sharing of data and information on common rivers to
facilitate flood forecasting and water quality control
Conflicting interests must be resolved by the
integrated approach towards the management of
transboundary water resources
Climate Change and South Asia


Observed Climate Change
Future Impacts
Observed Climate Change
Country
Change in temperature
Change in precipitation
Bangladesh
Increasing trend of about 1oC in May and
0.5 oC in November from 1985 to 1998
Decadal rain anomalies above long term
averages since 1960s
India
0.68 oC increase per century with increasing
trends in annual mean temperature and
warming more pronounced during post
monsoon and winter
Increase in extreme rains in north-west
during summer monsoon in recent
decades and lower number of rainy days
along east cost.
Nepal
0.09 oC increase per year in Himalayas and
0.04 oC in Terai region with more in winter
No distinct long-term trends in
precipitation records for 1948-1994
Pakistan
0.6-1.0 oC increase in mean temperature in
coastal areas since early 1900s
10-15% decrease in coastal belt and hyper
arid plains and increase in summer and
winter precipitation over the last 40
years in northern Pakistan
Sri Lanka
0.016 oC increase per year between 1961 to
90 over entire country and 2 oC increase per
year in central highlands
An increase trend in February and
decrease trend in June
Source: Cruz et al. 2007
Future Impacts
Warming would be significant in Himalayan Highlands
including the Tibetan Plateau and arid regions of Asia (IPCC
2007 )
 Increase in occurrence of extreme weather events is
projected in South Asia (Lal 2003)
 Inter-annual variability of daily precipitation would increase
in the Asian summer monsoon (Lal et al. 2000; Giorgi and Bi
2005).
 By 2050, the annual runoff in the Brahmaputra is projected
to decline by 14 percent and the Indus by 27 percent (IPCC
2001).

Challenges in key sectors




Water
Agriculture and Food Security
Health
Social Issues including population
dislocation
Water

The key challenge would be to balance variable
water supplies with accelerating water demands.
Water Resources in South Asia: Climate-change issue and Priority Areas
Country
Climate-change Priorities
Scale and Magnitude
Priority Focus Areas
Afghanistan
Glacier melting in the Himalayas
Regional
Himalayan Hindu Kush
Lake outburst
Local to national
Hill and mountain areas
Floods and droughts
National to regional
Helmand and Kabul basins
Floods
National to regional
Ganges, Brahmaputra,
Meghna basins
Increase in natural disasters
National to regional
Coastal zones
Saltwater intrusion
Local
Coastal zones
Glacier melting in the Himalayas
Regional
Himalayan Hindu Kush
Lake outburst
Local to national
Hill and mountain areas
Floods
National to regional
Ganges tributary basins
Droughts
Local to national
Throughout
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Contd….
Water Resources in South Asia: Climate-change issue and Priority Areas (Contd.)
Country
Climate-change Priorities
Scale and Magnitude
Priority Focus Areas
India
Glacier melting in the Himalayas
Regional
Himalayan Hindu Kush
Floods
National to regional
Ganges, Brahmaputra,
Meghna basins
Droughts
Local to national
Throughout
Increase in natural disasters
(cyclones)
National to regional
Coastal zones
Saltwater intrusion
Local
Coastal zones
Maldives
Increase in natural disasters
(cyclones and sea-level surges);
loss and land mass
Local to national
Himalayan Hindu Kush
Nepal
Glacier melting in the Himalayas
Regional and national
Himalayan Hindu Kush
Lake outburst
Local to national
Hill and mountain areas
Floods
National to regional
Ganges tributary basins
Droughts
Local to national
Throughout
Saltwater intrusion
Local to provisional
Coastline
Wetland desiccation and
degradation
Local to national
The Ramsar Sites
Contd….
Water Resources in South Asia: Climate-change issue and Priority Areas (Contd.)
Country
Climate-change Priorities
Scale and Magnitude
Priority Focus Areas
Pakistan
Glacier melting in the Himalayas
Regional
Himalayan Hindu Kush
Increased water scarcity and
droughts
Local to national
Indus basin
Saltwater intrusion
Local
Coastal zones
Increase in natural disasters
(cyclones and sea-level surges)
Local to national
Coastal zones
Sri Lanka
Source: SARSDD 2009
Agriculture and Food Security





The changing hydrological characteristics of the extreme
events will affect agricultural production
Sea-level rise would trigger inundation and changes in the
sediment balance and salinity profile of coastal areas
The Terrai plains, which constitute 43% of the total
cultivated land, would be severely impacted by recurring
natural disasters.
The economy of Nepal where agriculture employs 80% of the
population will be badly hit
Sri Lanka’s rice output would be reduced by 5.91% with a
temperature increase of 0.5°C.
Agriculture and Food Security
Estimates of Climate change related Impacts on
Agricultural Production by 2080
Country
Farm Area
(1,000ha)
Output per
Hectare (US$)
Output
(US$ mil)
Afghanistan
7,827
313
2,448
Bangladesh
8,429
1,355
11,421
170,115
777
132,140
3,294
728
2,399
Pakistan
22,120
856
18,935
Sri Lanka
1,916
1,808
3,465
India
Nepal
Source: Cline 2007
Health




Key determinants of health: clean air and water, disease
vectors, and the availability of food would be impacted
Increase in the frequency of floods would have significant
direct and induced health impacts.
Induced health impacts pose the greatest harm: major
portions of South Asia have limited access to clean water
and sanitation
Increases in diarrheal disease, cholera, dysentery, and
typhoid are of specific concern (Morgan, O., M. Ahern, and
S. Cairncross. 2005)
Social Issues including population dislocation




Future changes in precipitation, sea level, glacial cover,
and incidence of extreme events could stall the progress
made in achieving the MDGs
The rural poor whose livelihoods are based on agriculture
will be directly impacted
Households dependent upon pastoral lands for livelihoods
would be the worst hit
Climate change may render about 125 million migrants,
comprising about 75 million from Bangladesh and the
remaining from densely populated coastal regions as well
as other vulnerable parts of India homeless by the end of
this century (S.C. Rajan, 2008).
Social Issues including population dislocation
Summary of Low Elevation Coastal Zone (LECZ) statistics for countries in
South Asia
Area of LECZ
(square km)
Population in
LECZ
Urban Population
in LECZ
Fraction of Urban
Population in LECZ
in Cities Exceeding 5
Bangladesh
54,461
65,524,048
15,428,668
33%
India
81,805
63,188,208
31,515,286
58%
Pakistan
22,197
4,157,045
2,227,118
92%
Source: http://sedac.ciesin.org, accessed on 27/12/2010
Devising a framework for regional
Co-operation on Adaptation
Co-operation framework on
environmental issues
 Shortcomings
 Lessons to be learnt

Co-operation framework on environmental
issues

Three intergovernmental organizations:




South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP)
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
(ICIMOD)
Periodic meetings of the SAARC Environment Ministers
have been held to enhance regional cooperation
Shortcomings

Environmental issues have occupied an important position
in SAARC summits but no commensurate outcomes

Mutual differences between the member states was
acknowledged during the 16th summit

Projects have been identified, but implementation is slow
- visible outputs are yet to be seen from the Coastal Zone
management Centre in Maldives (2005) and the Forestry
centre in Bhutan (2008)
Lessons to be learnt

A clear strategy highlighting the possible areas of cooperation among the SAARC countries is required.

Measurable indicators to evaluate the goals should be
initiated

The existing regional centres should ensure the
completion of agreed initiatives

Initiatives should be made broad-based - professionals,
the business community and the civil society must be
included
Adaptation strategies for key
sectors



Water
Agriculture and Food Security
Health and Social Development
Water

Widening the knowledge base in terms of technology and
best practices

TERI has been endorsed as the Knowledge Hub for Water and
Climate Change Adaptation in South Asia
Integrated water resource management (IWRM)
 Conjunctive use and management of surface and
groundwater
 The use of indigenous knowledge for water management
 Risk Management capacity should be enhanced
 Improving Governance and facilitating Finance

Agriculture and Food Security

Integration of land use policies with policies on forest and
water management

Practicing Organic Agriculture

Conserving Biodiversity

National food security programmes should focus on
creating food grains buffer stock

Strengthening food grain distribution

Institutionalising regional food security programmes

Formulation and implementation of appropriate policies

Improving Agricultural productivity
Health and Social Development
Action Matrix for Climate Change in South Asia
Activity
Purpose
Awareness of the health
implication of climate
change
To improve policy and decision makers understanding of the
implications of climate change and the need for strategic planning
Disease surveillance
To improve government’s ability to detect and monitor injuries,
environmental exposures, infectious diseases, and chronic diseases
that are sensitive to climate change
Response capacity
To improve the population-base public health awareness,
interventions and health system capacity for climate-change
sensitive issues and diseases
Assess current and future
impact of climate change
To assess current health burden due to climate change and to
project it into the future in order to inform policy directions
Engage in a Country and
regional approach
To develop a plan with short-medium and long term country
strategies and to integrate with regional strategies
Source: SARSDD 2009
References
ADB 2010
Asia Development Outlook 2010
Asian Development Bank
Bai ZG 2008
Global assessment of land degradation and improvement. 1. Identification by remote sensing. Report
2008/01
Cruz RV, Harasawa H, Lal M, Wu S, Anokhin Y, Punsalmaa B, Honda Y, Jafari M, Li C, Huu N (2007)
Asia. Climate change, 2007, impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. In: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP
et al (eds) Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 469–506
Giorgi F, Bi X (2005)
Regional changes in surface climate interannual variability for the 21st century from ensembles of global
model simulations.
Geophys Res Lett 32:L13701. doi:10.1029/2005GL023002
IPCC. 2001.
Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2001. Summary for Policymakers.
Wembley, United Kingdom, September 24–29.
IPCC 2007
Climate Change 2007: the physical science basis.
In: Solomon S, Quin D, Manning M, Chen X, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor HL, Miller M (eds) Contribution of
Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1–996
Contd…
Lal M, Meehl GA, Arblaster JM (2000)
Simulation of Indian summer monsoon rainfall and its intraseasonal variability.
Reg Environ Change 1:163–179
Lal M (2003)
Global climate change: India’s monsoon and its variability.
J Environ Stud Policy 6:1–34
Morgan, O., M. Ahern, and S. Cairncross. 2005.
Revisiting the Tsunami: Health Consequences of Flooding.
PLoS Medicine 2, no. 6: 491–93.
MS Babel, SM Wahid 2009
Freshwater Under Threat South Asia: Vulnerability Assessment of Freshwater Resources to
Environmental Change
UNEP, AIT
SARSDD 2009
South Asia: Shared Views on Development and Climate Change
South Asia Region Sustainable Development Department – The World Bank
S.C. Rajan, 2008
Climate Migrants in South Asia: Estimates and Solutions – A report by Greenpeace
Greenpeace India Society