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Title: Strengthening capacities to assess and adapt to the effects of climate change and regional air pollu

Strengthening capacities to assess and adapt to
the effects of climate change and regional air
pollution on crops, forests and water
availability in the Greater Mekong Subregion
May Ajero and Cornie Huizenga Clean Air
Initiative for Asian Cities Frank MurrayMurdoch
University, Perth, Australia
IGES/UNU-IAS Scoping Consultation Mainstreaming
Adaptation Concerns in Agriculture and Water
Sectors Progress and Challenges 14-15 February
2007 Hayama, Japan
Sustainable Urban Mobility in Asia A CAI-Asia
  • 1. Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities
    (CAI-Asia) and its interest in Climate Change
  • 2. Air pollution and climate change impacts on
    terrestrial biodiversity, crops and water
  • 3. Overview of the project Strengthening
    Capacities to Adapt to the Effects of Climate
    Change and Regional Air Pollution on Crops,
    Forest and Water Resources in the GMS region

  • CAI-Asia is an air quality management community
    of stakeholders from within and outside Asia for
  • CAI-Asia has been successful in creating more
    focused and increased attention to the growing
    urban air quality problem in Asia and has
    contributed to improving air quality management
    in the region.
  • CAI-Asia Components
  • Knowledge Management
  • Capacity building
  • Policy and regulatory frameworks
  • Integrated air quality management policies and
  • Piloting projects to encourage innovation

CAI-Asia Components Pilot Programs
  • CAI-Asia pilot programs focus on areas where
    there is a widely acknowledged shortage of
    knowledge and/or concepts
  • CAI-Asia initiates or supports pilot programs but
    implementation is carried out through member or
    partner organizations
  • Public Health and Air Pollution in Asia (PAPA)
    Program, implemented through Health Effects
  • Air Pollution, Poverty and Health Effects in Ho
    Chi Minh City (APPH)
  • Developing Integrated Emission Strategies for
    Existing Land Transport (DIESEL)
  • Partnership for Sustainable Urban Transport in
    Asia (PSUTA) implemented in cooperation with
  • Sustainable Urban Mobility in Asia (SUMA)
  • CAI-Asia Oil Industry Dialogue with range of oil
  • Air Pollution, Energy and Climate Change in Asia
    (Proposal stage for NORAD funding)
  • Strengthening Capacities to Adapt to the Effects
    of Climate Change and Regional Air Pollution on
    Crops, Forest and Water Resources in the GMS
    region (Proposal stage)
  • Pilot programs help to generate credibility,
    mobilize partners, policy inputs and investment

CAI-Asia Components Policy Development
  • CAI-Asia has created and partnered with other
    organizations to form a series of policy forums
    in Asia to discuss urban air quality management
  • First Governmental Meeting on Urban Air Quality
    in Asia (co-hosted with UNEP, MoE Indonesia,
  • Yogyakarta Summary
  • Long term vision on AQM for Asia
  • Annual Dialogue of Regional Air Quality
    Initiatives (co-hosted with UNEP)
  • Annual development partner coordination meetings
    in CAI-Asia member countries
  • Regional Forum on Environment and Health
    (CAI-Asia as AQ focal point) UNEP WHO
  • Better Air Quality Workshops (2002, 2003, 2004
    and 2006

CAI-Asia interest in Climate Change
  • The IPCC Working Group I Fourth Assessment
    Report has recognized that dust, ozone, black C,
    and other aerosols have impact on climate as
    expressed in radiative forcing units
  • Aerosols (Sulphate, Organic C, nitrate and dust)
    produce a cooling effect while tropospheric ozone
    (a product of NOx, CO and HC reaction) produce a
    warming effect
  • The level of scientific understanding of air
    pollution impact on climate has improved from
    Third Assessment Report but still remain the
    dominant uncertainty in radiative forcing.

Image Source IPCC, 2001. Third Assessment Report
The Scientific Basis
Source IPCC Working Group I Contribution to the
Fourth Assessment Report Climate Change 2007 The
Physical Science Basis Summary for Policy Makers
Air Pollution links with Climate Emissions
Emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases
are inextricably linked, as they are both
associated with use of energy for transport,
industrialization, urbanization and economic
Air Pollution links with Climate Examples of
Supporting Evidence
Evidence that PM affects temperature and weather
Soot changes ground temperatures in Asia (in
degrees Celsius)
Soot intensifies floods and droughts in Asia (in
inches rainfall)
  • black carbon can affect regional climate by
    absorbing sunlight, heating the air and thereby
    altering large scale atmospheric circulation and
    the hydrologic cycle.
  • NASA climate study reveals that large amounts of
    black carbon (soot) particles and other
    pollutants are causing changes in precipitation
    and temperatures over China.

Source NASA, 2002 - http//
Regional pollutants - surface ozone
  • Mean global surface ozone concentrations are
    predicted by IPCC to increase by 23 by 2050 and
    by 2 per year in some regions.
  • Pre-cursors of ozone - NOx, HC, CO are emissions
    from urban activities (motorization) but higher
    concentrations of ozone are found downwind in
    rural areas.
  • Ozone is not regularly monitored by cities.

Ozone is reducing yields in Asia
  • Recent studies show an increase of 23 in ozone
    concentration from an ambient level of 56, to 69
    ppb over two growing seasons, reduces soybean
    yield by 20
  • Other studies show East Asia is about to
    experience substantial reductions in grain
  • By 2020, increasing ozone is expected to cause
    yield losses of 2-16 for wheat, rice and corn,
    and 28-35 for soybean.
  • Compliance with ozone standards would increase
    annual grain revenues by US2.6-27 billion in
  • There is much less knowledge about impacts of
    ozone on biodiversity, than on major crops.
  • Ozone has known severe impacts on some forest
    types and species of biodiversity and economic

Atmospheric brown cloud
Acid rain
IPCC conclusions on climate change (AR4)
  • Very high confidence that global average net of
    anthropogenic activities since 1750 has been one
    of warming and the global mean surface
    temperature has increased by about 0.74 OC over
    the last 100 years.
  • 11 of last 12 years rank among the 12 warmest
    years on record since 1850.
  • Global average sea level rose at an average of
    1.8mm per year for 1961-1993 but increased annual
    rate of about 3.1 mm per year between 1993-2003.
  • Changes in precipitation pattern significantly
    increased precipitation over eastern parts of
    North and South America, northern Europe and
    Central Asia drying in Sahel, Meditteranean,
    southern Africa and Southern Asia.
  • Even with GHG and aerosols kept constant at year
    2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1 OC
    per decade would still be expected.

Source Summary for Policymakers, WGI
contribution to IPCC AR4.
Some Adverse CC impacts on biodiversity
  • Examples of currently observed changes include
  • Poleward and altitudinal shifts in plant and
    animal ranges
  • Earlier flowering of trees, emergence of insects
    and egg-laying of birds
  • There are significant opportunities for both
    mitigating and for adapting to climate change
    while enhancing the conservation of biodiversity
    and landscape use
  • Source IPCC WG II (TAR)

Some adverse CC impacts on communities
  • A general reduction on crop yields in most
    tropical and sub-tropical regions
  • Decreased water availability in water-scarce
    regions of sub-tropics
  • Increased exposure to vector-borne and
    water-borne diseases
  • Poor coastal communities are most vulnerable
  • Source IPCC WG II (TAR)

In addition to all that have already been
presented earlier on agriculture and water
Proposed Project
Strengthening capacities to adapt to the effects
of climate change and regional air pollution on
crops, forests and water availability (in the
GMS region)
  • The project will be conducted as a partnership
    between Murdoch University (Australia), Clean
    Air Initiative for Asian Cities, and Stockholm
    Environment Institute (SEI) in collaboration with
    top research institutions in the GMS .
  • ADB has indicated interest in funding 300,000.
    Proponents are looking into co-financing with GEF
    for the additional funds.
  • Project is pending formal endorsement of

Why the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS)?
  • The GMS comprises six countries sharing the
    Mekong River - Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar,
    Thailand, Viet Nam, and Yunnan Province and
    Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of PRC.
  • Population now over 310 million and rising.
  • Vast wealth of human and natural resources makes
    GMS a new frontier for economic growth in Asia.
  • Dependence of GMS on agriculture and water
    resources to support local livelihood and
    economic development.

GMS Economic Cooperation
  • Increase in gross regional product from 250
    billion in 1992 to over 400 billion now.
  • Per capita GDP projected to double by 2015.
  • Significant decrease in poverty but rural-urban
    disparities remain.
  • Since 1992, GMS countries have embarked on a
    program of economic cooperation to promote
    development through closer economic linkages.

ADB - GMS Core Environment Program (CEP)
  • Cooperation on environmental issues is an
    important part of the GMS Economic Cooperation
  • A ten year Program 2006 - 2015 with 3 phases
    which also focuses on growth sectors e.g.,
    transport, energy, tourism.
  • The CEP will empower GMS countries to effectively
    manage their environment and economic development
    - through enhanced connectivity, improved
    competitiveness, and a better sense of community
    in the subregion - to achieve an overall and
    sustainable improvement in people's lives.
  • Program Components
  • Environmental assessment of economic corridors
    and sector strategies
  • Assess potential environmental impacts of
    development strategies and investments
  • Identify opportunities to develop payment
    mechanisms for environmental services
  • Biodiversity conservation corridors
  • Initiate at least five biodiversity corridor
    pilot sites within GMS economic corridors
  • Link biodiversity conservation to poverty
  • Environmental performance assessments (EPA)
  • Monitor the state of the environment and build
    EPA capacity
  • Capacity building for environmental management
  • Environmental information and knowledge
  • Capacity building for sustainable development
    planning and monitoring
  • Stakeholder platforms and consultations
  • Sustainable financing
  • Prepare a GMS environment investment plan for

  • Working Group on Environment (WGE)
  • Advisory group of CEP facilitating the
    implementation of priority GMS environmental
  • Ensures that environmental issues are properly
    addressed in projects in other sectors, with
    special emphasis on the large infrastructure
    projects being developed in the transportation
    and energy sectors.
  • It is also expected to address the issues
    regarding harmonization of national environmental
    legislation and regulations within the subregion.
  • Two senior officials represent each GMS country.
  • Environment Operations Center (based in Bangkok)
  • Established in early 2006 to act as dedicated
    secretariat to the WGE, coordinating WGE
    activities and meetings, and responsible for
    facilitating the timely and effective
    implementation of the GMS Core Environment
    Program (CEP).

What do we know so far? Impacts of Regional
Air Pollution in GMS
  • Assessments may be available through fragmented
    studies (e.g. acid deposition) but there is need
    for more efficient data compilation and data
  • Available tools to measure impacts are available
    and have been applied in other regions e.g. South
    Asia and Africa (e.g. RAPIDC project of SEI)
  • Spatial distribution of ozone monitors in the
    area- need more stations in other countries and
    more stations in rural areas downwind of urban
  • Refinement of pre-cursor emission data in major
    urban areas in GMS to improve modeling results.
  • Communication gap between scientific community
    and policy/decision makers.

What do we know so far? Impact of Climate Change
in the GMS (1)
  • ADAPT project of Mekong River commission for
    Mekong River Basin (MRB) (covers Cambodia, Lao
    PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam)
  • climate change projections for 2010-2039 and
    2070-2099 under two SRES scenarios (A2 and B2
    projections by the Hadley Centre for Climate
    Prediction and Research, referred to as HADCM3)
    and are selected for comparison with the baseline
    scenario of 1961-1990, a 30-year "normal" period
    as defined by the World Meteorological
    Organization (WMO).
  • GCM data show that significant change in
    temperature in the MRB, about 4 in 2010-2039 and
    from 12 to 16 in 2070-2099 in different
  • During 2010-2039, precipitation is not much
    different to the baseline 1961-1990. However,
    during 2070-2099, precipitation can increase from
    9 to 10.
  • - Changes in temperature are more homogenous
    throughout the whole MRB, while changes in
    precipitation are very different from one
    location to another.

What do we know so far? Impact of Climate Change
in the GMS (2)
  • Changes in climate is predicted to have
    significant effects on agriculture in many parts
    of the MRB, particularly on low-income
    populations that depend on isolated agricultural
  • The impacts include more frequent flood and
    drought events.
  • The main current environmental issues related to
    climate changes in the MRB closely link to water
    usage, particularly regarding availability of
    water for agriculture, but also from flooding,
    and storage and release of water from hydropower
  • The main water issues in the MRB are water
    shortages in Thailand, salinity intrusion in
    delta and flood in the whole basin.

Other Potential Impacts of CC in GMS (?)
  • In cities, water supply may be threatened by
    changes in rainfall and hydrology.
  • Another critical issue is the likely increase in
    the intensity and frequency of extreme climatic
    events, and their impacts on communities and
    economic development.
  • Substantial investments in hydro-power could also
    be undermined by changes in rainfall.

Proposed Project components
  • The project will have following major components
  • Regional air pollution and climate change
  • Estimation of emissions, modeling and monitoring
    ground level O3 and acid deposition.
  • Modeling of regional climate change scenarios.
  • Estimating physical, social and economic impacts
    of regional air pollution and climate-induced
    change on crops, forests, water resources and
    water availability.
  • Development and assessment of options for
    mitigation and adaptation to impacts on crops,
    forests and water availability.
  • Policy assessments and communication of
    policy-relevant options to decision-makers.

National and Regional assessments
  • A regional assessment of impacts of climate
    change and regional air pollution on biodiversity
    and agriculture is needed. It requires modeling
    of impacts on biodiversity, agriculture and water
  • Coordinated assessments of impacts, monitoring,
    modeling and policy implications need to be
    conducted by institutions in the region, using
    agreed, harmonized protocols.
  • Key national institutions will be assisted to
    conduct modeling and national and regional
    assessments of impacts of climate change and
    regional air pollution.

Capacity-building activities
  • There is a scarcity of resources and capacity to
    work on AQM. The same scarcity is true for
    climate change.
  • Adaptation to climate change and regional air
    pollution depends upon building a capacity among
    decision-makers and communities to understand the
    likely impacts and options for adaptation of
    climate change in their country.
  • Trainings will be conducted in partnership with
    top institutions within the GMS.
  • This enables adaptation of vulnerable communities
    and the formulation of national development
    policies that incorporate adaptation.
  • GMS Institutions
  • Asian Institute of Technology
  • Mekong River Commission
  • Hanoi Agricultural University
  • Chinese Academy of Science, Research for Eco-
    Environmental Sciences
  • Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Inst of
    World Economics and Politics (IWEP)
  • Indochina Global Change Network

Policy Dialogues
  • Results of assessments, if communicated through
    regional and national dialogues with policy
    makers, is expected to facilitate and speed up
    policy making on adaptation measures and to
    strengthen commitment to enforce current and
    future regulations.
  • Reports and results will be communicated to the
    WGE of the GMS Core Environment Program (regional
    high level audience).

Importance of Adaptation in GMS
  • Adverse consequences of climate change (and
    regional air pollution) can be reduced by
    adaptation measures, but cannot be completely
  • Even with best-practice management some species
    will be lost, some ecosystems irreversibly
    modified, and some environmental goods and
    services adversely affected.
  • For rural economies in the GMS, the additional
    stress imposed by climate change and regional air
    pollution could threaten goals of poverty
  • There is need to assess and act upon threats and
    opportunities that result from both existing and
    future climate change.

Conclusions (or rather Hypotheses?)
  • There is generally a growing knowledge on the
    linkage between air pollution, changes in climate
    and corresponding impacts to agriculture but has
    not been utilized to elicit policy making.
  • Air pollution community and GHG community need to
    improve communication towards policy-makers and
    decision-makers. Doing this together might be
  • Mainstreaming adaptation concerns in the GMS
    countries may be facilitated if coordination at
    the regional level under the GMS CEP framework is
    optimised (Top-down in addition to Bottom-up
    community approach).

Any inputs, comments and suggestions on project
design, collaboration and implementation will be
greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  • CAI-Asia
  • Cornie Huizenga,
  • May Ajero,
  • Murdoch University
  • Frank Murray,
  • GMS Core Environment Program
  • http//
  • E-mail or