The Vietnamese Mekong Delta is one of Earth’s most agriculturally productive regions and is of global importance for its exports of rice, shrimp, and fruit. The 18m inhabitants of this low-lying river delta are also some of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change. Over the last ten years around 1.7m people have migrated out of its vast expanse of fields, rivers and canals while only 700,000 have arrived.
Central Asian countries have long been competing over the water resources of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya river basins. Despite political commitment to cooperation, the policies of the five Central Asian republics – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – have largely been driven by uncoordinated and partly contradicting national strategies. This focus on short-term national interests entails significant financial costs and major risks for the future development of the whole region.
The destruction caused by Cyclone Ockhi in South Asia portends what a ‘climate-changed’ world has in store for humankind, especially taking into consideration the adverse human security implications of such disasters that have to be addressed urgently. Dhanasree Jayaram argues that planetary security in this context can be best ensured at the regional level.
Russia is “playing politics with energy supplies,” said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a major policy speech at the Wilson Center in November. In Europe, the debate is raging over how best to achieve energy security in the face of the twin challenges of Russian dominance and the need to decarbonize the economy. The ongoing securitization of Russian natural gas could not only complicate the road to a low carbon future in Europe, it could also undermine a European integration project that has mostly been a success.
In this report, various challenges faced by Asia-Pacific's most vulnerable areas to disasters attributed to climate change are specified, and a qualitative analysis is made on the instability of public security, politics and social climate observed in the region. The purpose of these two exercises is to gain insight into the situation through the overlapping of natural science and social science perspectives.
As climate change kicks in, mountain residents are severely impacted by environmental changes, such as fluctuations in crop cycles. Women, who already struggle under the burden of unequal power relations, are much more vulnerable to climate impacts than men. Local researchers have now investigated how climate change acts as stressor in the lives of women and girls in Assam, and how it increases existing gender inequalities.
The future of climate diplomacy depends on the creation of extensive knowledge-action networks that promote collaborative, transdisciplinary, innovation and solutions-oriented research and help implement long-term strategies geared towards sustainability. Dhanasree Jayaram argues that the achievement of India’s ambitions climate goals is contingent on this strategy as well, and that it must set a clear agenda for COP23.
The “Environment, Conflict and Cooperation” (ECC) exhibition visualizes the dramatic and growing impact of global environmental change. It demonstrates how climate change can threaten the security of the Asian continent, and showcases how climate, environment and sustainable development cooperation can contribute to stability and peace.
Women are disproportionately vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Although India’s national climate change action plans recognize this and include a gender dimension, female participation in policy making and climate diplomacy is negligible. Dhanasree Jayaram argues that the South Asian region as a whole urgently needs to deal with gender issues in climate diplomacy.
The Brahmaputra River originates in the Tibetan area of China and flows through China, Bhutan, India and Bangladesh, before reaching the sea at the Bay of Bengal. The use of its water resources has become the source of contention between different users in some parts of the river, involving multiple jurisdictions and countries. This report analyses key factors that affect transboundary water cooperation, as well as potential areas of future cooperation.
After cyclone Aila hit the coast of Bangladesh in 2009, migration has become the only option for many families whose livelihoods where impaired by the resulting floodings. In this special report, personal stories from Khulna give an insight into how vulnerable populations are affected by climate impacts.
The region at the base of the Himalayas faces difficult tradeoffs when allocating water for energy production versus agricultural, industrial, and domestic uses. As weather patterns are becoming irregular, the construction of new power plants faces increasing resistance from local communities, resulting in social disruptions and instability. Keith Schneider argues that governments must look beyond hydropower and coal.
The Asia-Pacific region is extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts. Frequent flooding and extreme weather events, and ecosystem collapse, could undo hard-won achievements in economic and human development. However, as a new report by the Asian Development Bank argues, Asia also has the opportunity be a leader in green technologies.