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About this book

Academics and practitioners from across Asia and beyond revisit the issues and impact of climate change in Asia. They examine the preconditions for good governance regarding climate change, and the role of state and non-state actors in climate change governance, and explore different political-legal frameworks.

Table of Contents


Governance Approaches to Mitigation of and Adaptation to Climate Change in Asia: An Introduction

1. Governance Approaches to Mitigation of and Adaptation to Climate Change in Asia: An Introduction

Climate change (CC) has become one of the pressing issues in several business and policy debates because it is one of the most serious and prolonged threats to the security and well-being of millions of people across all nations. Shortages of food, energy, water, medicine, healthcare and so forth make up a horrific picture of the adverse effects of CC on our planet. The increasingly powerful and more frequent occurrences of typhoons, droughts, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanic activities/eruptions have intensified such effects. It should be noted that some of these are man-made but others are natural, so solutions to address the causes are different. While, for many reasons, several nations worldwide have not been seriously pursuing any common agenda to either stop or slow down the process, or mitigate the impact of CC, adaptation to its consequences has absolutely become a real challenge for all relevant stakeholders, including states, the private sector, civil society and individuals in different countries.
Huong Ha, Tek Nath Dhakal

Issues and Impact of Climate Change in Asia


2. Climate Change, Vanishing Ecosystems and the Challenge of Achieving Human Prosperity

Poverty is intricately woven with ecosystem and biodiversity losses. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2012) has effectively emphasised that the achievement of several Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from Goal 1 of reducing extreme poverty and hunger to the improvement of maternal health (Goal 5), reduction of child mortality (Goal 4) and economic development (Goal 8) face severe challenges due to the deterioration of biodiversity and ecosystem losses. While urban inhabitants may also not be able to escape CC related impacts upon the economy, the 1.2 billion rural people living in abject poverty may suffer irretrievable damage to their lives. Most of the ecosystems which provide food, fuel, shelter, medicines, clean drinking water, grazing for livestock, a variety of crops and disaster mitigation may suffer extinction due to CC. Climate-change-related temperature variability has reduced resource availability due to a loss of capacity of ecosystems to function to their optimum, and an increase in intensity and frequency of droughts, desertification, species depletion, soil degradation and crop failures has reduced livelihood options and the vulnerability of human beings. Studies indicate that the world has already exceeded the desired limit of 2 °C, which was accepted at the Cancun Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (UNDP, 2012).
Amita Singh

3. The Interplay between Climate Change, Economy and Displacement: Experience from Asia

Only after the devastating tsunami of 2004 shook the policy-makers, scientists and academics has climate change (CC) emerged as one of the strongest forces that can cause economic loss and massive human displacement. CC could now be linked to a number of contemporary dimensions, such as securitisation, poverty, migration and refuge. However, climate security or environmental security poses a few questions. Whose security, what do we mean by security and what are those elements that pose threats? Have we ever thought that climate and climatic disruption may pose threats to human kind that seriously? The attendant consequences of climatic disorder, such as crop failure and infrastructural breakdown, may lead to severe poverty conditions which may tend to social unrest (Garnaut, 2008). Both poverty and unrest can create sufficient conditions to induce population displacement. Until recently, migration and refugee scholars might have somehow missed seeing the link between CC and displacement. The Indian Ocean disaster in 2004, the Fukushima catastrophe in 2011 and some other environmental tragedies beyond Asia, such as Haiti and Chile, suggest that there is a direct link between CC with human displacement. The classical migration theorists tended to generalise myriad factors of displacement using a push-pull approach.
A. K. M. Ahsan Ullah

4. Disaster Communication in Mitigating Climate Change in Sri Lanka: Problems and Prospects

Climate change (CC) as a natural disaster is a serious threat to humanity. As Sri Lanka is situated in the Indian Ocean, and the country as a whole is now more vulnerable to the effects of CC than ever before. A serious disruption was experienced by the people in Sri Lanka during the tsunami on 26 December 2004, which is considered to be the result of CC. It was an unforgettable incidence for the country’s citizens. The impact on people’s lives and the economy has not been accurately estimated yet. Table 4.1 shows the number of people who were affected by various types of disaster during the period of 1974–2004 in Sri Lanka.
R. Lalitha S. Fernando

5. Climate Change and global Environmental Governance: The Asian Experience

Climate change (CC) is one of the most critical anthropogenic environmental impacts that has been experienced globally in recent decades. It can profoundly alter our economic future and livelihood. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has confirmed that the earth’s climate is getting warmer, with the likely increase in temperature ranging from 1.1 °Cto6.4 °C and the likely increase in sea level ranging from 0.18 m to 0.59 m (IPCC, 1995). CC will have dire consequences for developing countries, exacerbating poverty, disease and instability.
Gamini Herath

Preconditions of Good Governance and the Role of Different Sectors


6. Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation: A Case Study of Agricultural Initiatives in Japan

Climate change (CC) impacts are threatening around the globe and they are not limited to developing countries. CC adaptation in developing countries is mostly focused on community-based adaptation to help the poorest and the most vulnerable societies by empowering communities to become resilient to CC impacts (Huq and Reid, 2007; Ayers and Huq, 2009). In contrast, developed countries are presumed to have a low vulnerability to CC (Ford and Berrang-Ford, 2011). As a result, not many studies are conducted in the developed countries to see the effectiveness of policies and actions taken for CC adaptation. However, as the adaptation is location specific and solutions and approaches are diverse (Agrawal, 2010), it is worthwhile understanding cases in developed countries.
Izumi Tsurita, S. V. R. K. Prabhakar, Daisuke Sano

7. How Adaptive Policies Are in Japan and Can Adaptive Policies Mean Effective Policies? Some Implications for Governing Climate Change Adaptation

The Asia-Pacific region is one of the most climate change (CC) vulnerable regions in the world due to the relatively high proportion of its population depending on climate-sensitive sectors, dense population living in CC vulnerable geographical locations, and poor development of risk-governance systems. The national communications submitted by the developing countries to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) showed gaps in its capacity, including research, to effectively cope with CC impacts (Kreft et al., 2011). The need for enhanced adaptation research and policy-making capacity in developing Asia was recognised in a series of stakeholder consultations conducted by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the work was carried out at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation and Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment (Pereira et al., 2011).
S. V. R. K. Prabhakar, Misa Aoki, Reina Mashimo

8. Management of Climate-Induced National Security: Paradigm Shift from Geopolitics to Carbon Politics

On an official visit by the Australian parliamentary secretary for the Pacific Islands to Bangladesh’s climate vulnerable island, Char Kukri Mukri, on 12 November 2011, the secretary commented that the island is the ground zero for climate change (CC) (the author himself was present at the address ceremony). The term ‘ground zero’ used by the honourable secretary signifies the impending danger of CC not only to this island but to the entire South Asian region.
Md Shafiqul Islam

9. Deconstructing Debate on the National Action Plan on Climate Change at the State Level: A Case Study of Meghalaya State, India

The general debate about environmental issues in India centres on the fact that the threats of climate change (CC) have affected the majority of the poor disproportionately. As per the Planning Commission, Government of India, 12th Plan document (2012), the projected changes by 2100 include high regional variability in rainfall (15–40 per cent) with extreme weather conditions and more dry days. Other projected changes include increased temperature in land areas in northern India, a relatively longer winter and post-monsoon seasons, and an increase in annual average temperature by 3–6 °C. There are also reported findings that suggest significant changes in glaciers in the Himalayan ecosystem and resulting water-balance changes in the river basins, especially in the northeastern region and the Indo-Gangetic plains as per the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (Ministry of Environment and Forest, 2010). The main effects of CC will reduce agricultural productivity and fish production in the coastal areas (Ministry of Environment and Forest, 2010). Given that most of the poor participate in the agricultural workforce, they are likely to suffer the most. According to a report by the Mckinsey Global Institute (2010), India’s urban population is projected to increase from 340 million in 2008 to 590 million in 2030 due to migration from rural areas. These migrants will suffer heavily due to CC mainly as a result of resource congestion.
Ashok Kumar Singha, Suvra Majumdar, Abhik Saha, Somnath Hazra

10. The Role of Government and the Private Sector in Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change

Scientific data and analysis present a detailed account of several cycles of climate change (CC) since the inception of life on this planet (see http://​climate.​nasa.​gov/evidence/, http://​www.​ipcc-data.​org/). There was a period when ice was dominant. Even if that altered the human race forever. Importantly then, humans could not do much about such changes. They were the spectators and not the participants, and they were not responsible for instigating or accelerating those changes.
Vinay Sharma

Governance Approaches to Managing Climate Change


11. Integrated Governance and Adaptation to Climate Change

The contribution of human activity to climate change (CC) and its devastating potential to cause catastrophic damage to our environment is beyond dispute (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2007). In addition to the urgent need to act to curb further change, adaptation to CC already occurring is required. We argue that effective action to adapt to CC requires an integrated governance approach which brings together all sections of society. Building on earlier work investigating the governance of responses to a much more sudden event, the 2004 tsunami (Samaratunge, Coghill and Herath, 2008, 2012;Samaratunge and Coghill, 2010), the chapter extends the integrated governance approach to adaptation to the slower but more widespread and devastating effects of CC.
Ken Coghill, Ramanie Samaratunge

12. Climate Change Governance: The Singapore Case

Climate change (CC) impacts have negatively affected the economic and social welfare of millions of people. CC management and sustainable development have been pressing issues in several debates and in many research projects on contemporary political and economic conditions in the last few decades (Haque, 2005; Strandenaes, 2007).
Huong Ha

13. Governance Framework to Mitigate Climate Change: Challenges in Urbanising India

Global warming and climate change (CC) are a global threat to the mankind, which requires determined and collective human efforts. The international community has time and again emphasised that though the causes and impacts of CC are global in scale, the importance of local action for mitigation and adaptation is key (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 2009; United Nations (UN) Habitat, 2011). The amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of a society depends not only upon its fossil fuel use, technology and energy intensity, as widely understood, but is deeply rooted in how national and subnational governments moderate or influence personal, societal and civic decision-making. It has been observed that local bodies often lack an understanding of the international CC framework. With more than half of the world urbanised, it is how well the cities govern their jurisdictions in future that will determine the world’s carbon emissions. With high population growth rates, urbanisation and economic development, India, like many other Asian and African countries, faces the challenge of interpreting the international frameworks to mitigate carbon emissions in its urban areas. Though it is well accepted that cities contribute to CC, there is limited empirical based knowledge about the contributions and appropriate models to mitigate GHG emissions (World Bank, 2010; UN Habitat, 2011).
Mahendra Sethi, Subhakanta Mohapatra

14. Unripe Fruits or Non-Raining Clouds? Climate Change Governance and the Funding Dilemma in Nepal

Climate change (CC) is one of the major environmental problems challenging society and the ecological system (Huq and Reid, 2004). The negative consequences of industrialisation and environmental degradation have increased the amount of greenhouse gases contributing to global warming and other associated problems. Global warming has led to the unanticipated variability and changes in the weather and climatic cycles, leading to accelerated changes and impacts. These climatic variations are threatening food security, ecosystem integrity and social harmony (Ayers, Alam and Huq, 2010), and the impact is hitting hardest the populations in low-income and developing countries.
Bimal Raj Regmi, Dinanath Bhandari

15. Environmental Legislation and Action in Polity, Economy and Culture for Climate Change Adaptation: A Case Study of Misamis Oriental Province, the Philippines

Climate change (CC) caused concern when the rains no longer came with clockwork regularity, when the heat became oppressive and the effects of El Niňo and La Niňa became vicious. In accordance with international treaties, notably the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, the Philippine national government enacted landmark legislation, such as the Philippine Clean Air Act in 1999, the Solid Waste Management Act in 2000, the Biofuels Act in 2007 and the Renewable Energy Law in 2008. It formulated the Philippine Climate Change Response Framework (CCRF), which highlighted the need for the effective governance of CC response, proaction of stakeholders, lifestyle change and action within international communities (Presidential Task Force on Climate Change, 2007). It created a Climate Change Commission to coordinate, monitor and evaluate CC-related programmes and action plans of the government (Loft and Kenny, 2012). Subsequently, it launched the CC academy for education in disaster-risk reduction and management.
Isaias S. Sealza, Huong Ha

16. Responses to Climate Change — Who Is Responsible? A Conclusion

The impacts of climate change (CC) are real and palpable, posing threats on several fronts, including human development and the sustainability of civilisations. It has been agreed by all authors that CC impacts are profound, long-lasting, cross-border and difficult to contain at a location or within a country. The major impacts of CC identified in this book include (i) loss of life, human security and human displacement, (ii) ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss, (iii) economic loss and reduction of economic growth rate and (iv) national and regional security. These have been witnessed as there have been sea-level rises, glacial retreats, adverse weather patterns, flooding, shrinking freshwater resources, desertification and loss of bio-diversity at an alarming rate. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) (2011) study has shown that the Hindkush-Himalaya region is a hotspot of global warming, recording a temperature rise of 0.6-1.3 °C within a period of 30 years. CC and its adverse effects are pushing humans to a point where we are living in a precarious condition (Regmi and Dinanath, 2011). Thus, as Huq and Reid (2006) also identified, CC is now considered to be one of the major environmental problems challenging society and the natural world. There has been no major difference in terms of the impacts of CC in Asian countries and others. Yet Asian countries are prone to disaster due to their geographical, social and cultural uniqueness, which makes the battle against CC and environmental degradation even more challenging.
Tek Nath Dhakal, Huong Ha


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