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This volume provides an overview of the climate change adaptation objectives set, actions taken, and challenges faced by several countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The majority of the populations in this region struggle to make a living from subsistence agriculture, and livelihoods are highly dependent on natural ecosystem services which are likely to be severely affected by climate change. Cases discussed in this book highlight successes made by governments towards achieving adaptation objectives, and efforts required to overcome challenges.

While significant economic advances have been made, the pace of growth has been slow to impact the lives of a majority of the people who live below the poverty line. The chapters highlight adaptation actions for protecting people and their livelihoods in priority sectors, maintaining food and water security, supporting socio-economic stability including poverty reduction, and climate risk management. This book also maximizes readers' insights into the knowledge gaps and limitations of stated adaptation goals, and the bottlenecks that hinder implementation in different regions.



Chapter 1. Adaptation Journey

Continued advancement of scientific knowledge and understanding of climate change, visible sign of changes in physical system, adverse impacts on different sectors, and socio-economic development are advancing adaptation discussion both at international and national levels on a regular basis. This chapter on “adaptation journey” presents progress and advancement of adaptation to climate change discourse over time. This progression may present under four phases, i.e. (a) realization of climate change and adaptation (1979–2000); (b) beginning of adaptation actions and emergence of equal treatment (2001–2007); (c) enhancement of adaptation actions (2008–2015), and (d) global goal of adaptation, and monitoring and communicating adaptation progress (2015 onward). This chapter also highlights importance of mobilization of adaptation knowledge to support adaptation planning and implementation of actions.
Mozaharul Alam

Chapter 2. Measuring Status of Climate Change Adaptation: An Assessment Framework

The global adaptation goal is one of the key outcomes of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. This goal includes enhancement of adaptive capacity, strengthening of resilience, and reduction of vulnerability, while adaptation to climate change is defined as adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climate stimuli or their effects. Tracking or measuring adaptation to climate change is a new aspect of this international discussion and ideas are emerging fast. Several initiatives are already in place and several relevant papers have been published in recent times. This assessment framework for measuring the status of climate change adaptation is an effort to contribute to the global discussion and understand different elements of adaptation. This assessment framework suggests a combination of readiness and outcome-based approaches to measure the status of adaptation by analyzing the adjustments required for achieving the adaptation objective(s). It also suggests how past adjustments can be used as evidence and demonstrate effectiveness in achieving similar adaptation objective(s). This assessment framework has been applied to analysis of the status of climate change adaptation in five subregions in Asia, and two sectors and elements are fine-tuned during its application.
Mozaharul Alam, Saleemul Huq

Chapter 3. Regional Overview

Asia and the Pacific region is very diverse in many contexts—social, economic, and environment. Similarly impacts of climate change, vulnerabilities of social and economic sectors, and adaptive capacity of society and economy vary across sub-regions and countries within and among sub-regions. While scale of impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptive capacity vary by sub-region, country, sector, and community, similarities are found among adaptation measures to deal with climate change impacts and vulnerabilities. This chapter summarizes prevailing commonalities and differences among sub-regions and countries in Asia and the Pacific region. These include similarities and differences in impacts, vulnerabilities, adaptation goals and priorities, readiness to response as well as gaps based on sub-regional and sectoral assessments of status of adaptation.
Mozaharul Alam, Puja Sawhney

Chapter 4. Status of Climate Change Adaptation in Central Asian Region

Central Asia is highly vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change and extreme weather events. Countries have identified water, agriculture, energy, human health, natural ecosystems, biodiversity, and forests as highest priority sectors for adaptation. This chapter examines current efforts and status of climate adaptation and identifies critical gaps for enhancing adaptation actions in Central Asian countries. It analyses the sub-region’s capacity to cope with climate impacts, making the links to the existing legislative basis and national policies, institutional arrangements, access to finance and decision-making process. It reveals that they share similar challenges to address climate change adaptation needs and development priorities.
Nailya Mustaeva, Saniya Kartayeva

Chapter 5. Status of Climate Change Adaptation in Northeast Asian Region

Differences in the political systems and the economic conditions of each country in the northeast region indeed lead to diversity in terms of climate change vulnerabilities. These differences cast strong shadows on the types and scale of adaptation plans and measures started in the region. Keeping context specificity in mind, this chapter summarizes the perspective of climate change impacts, vulnerabilities of key sectors and society, and status of adaptation measures including development of national adaptation strategy and action plans in China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia. Further it compares commonalities and gaps amongst the countries. Apart from a separate introduction for each nation, it also gives a comprehensive discussion focusing on the eight indicators described in the framework chapter. This chapter presents a comprehensive picture of the latest adaptation measures in four countries which will deepen understanding on current adaptation efforts and gaps for enhancing adaptation actions in each country.
Wanglin Yan, William Galloway, Ju Youn Kang

Chapter 6. Status of Climate Change Adaptation in the Pacific Region

Climate change and disaster risks increase the vulnerability of Pacific Island people. Climate change impacts also cause progressive long-term degradation to the natural environment, to critical ecosystems (e.g. coral reefs). They collectively undermine the sustainable development of the Pacific region significantly. This chapter highlighted the readiness of country and region and gaps between current level of adaptation practices and efforts at national levels primarily realised by the lead agency, as assigned by respective countries, and the efforts that are projected to reach a hypothetical ‘safe’ level of adaptation in view of recent science (i.e. AR5) and assessed needs for adaptation. The analyses are primarily based on eight indicators presented in the framework chapter.
Espen Ronneberg, Peniamina Dougalii Leavai

Chapter 7. Status of Climate Change Adaptation in South Asia Region

Climate change is predicted to have major consequences for South Asia. The South Asian region represents the most diverse ecosystems, topographies and climate regimes in the world. Incidences of droughts, floods, heat waves and cyclones have grown both in terms of intensity and frequency, impacting the lives and livelihoods of the most impoverished and vulnerable people of South Asia. The regional countries and respective governments have all exhibited high level of political will and urgency to tackle climate change by means of adaptation, while committing to contribute towards achieving global mitigation goal if they receive adequate international supports in terms of finance, technology transfer and capacity building. Though several climate change adaptation (CCA) efforts are in place at the national and subnational levels in South Asia, they have so far been fragmented and incoherent lacking a perspective that integrates technological, institutional, financial, capacity, information and policy needs. Focusing on key countries of the region, this review captures the trends, strategies and critical barriers in advancing the CCA agenda. It argues for a regional vision and underscores the importance of cross-sectoral coordination, stakeholder integration, democratic decision-making, building synergies with local government institutions and enhanced capacities to tap financial resources from bilateral and multilateral funding agencies.
Ahsan Uddin Ahmed, Arivudai Nambi Appadurai, Sharmind Neelormi

Chapter 8. Status of Climate Change Adaptation in Southeast Asia Region

Like any other region, Southeast Asian Countries are equally vulnerable to climate change and adaptation interventions vary by countries. This chapter examines the status of Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) in SEA by examining present trends and future direction. It has been done through a review of government reports including Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) to Paris Agreement and related literature. It aims to assess how the sub-region is faring about its adaptation goals and objectives using the eight indicators presented in the framework chapter. It also attempts to identify ways to enhance adaptation actions toward meeting adaptation objectives and goals. Assessment reveals that there remain huge gaps to enhance CCA in the sub-region. These include proper implementation of climate policies and laws, poor coordination among relevant ministries, insufficient and underutilised mechanisms to generate alternative sources of climate financing, economic priorities, limited access to information especially at the level of local communities, and a lack of systems for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of CCA programmes and projects at the national level. Although it is ideal for countries to aim for enhanced adaptation options to reach their respective adaptation goals, countries would face potential constraints that include cost-effectiveness of adaptation initiatives, the level of uncertainty of risks involved, and the weight of other development priorities, among others.
Ranell Martin M. Dedicatoria, Catherine B. Diomampo

Chapter 9. Status of Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture Sector in Asia

Climate change adaptation in agriculture involves a systematic process of understanding, planning, implementation, and evaluation including structural and non-structural measures across various decision-making spheres. Generally, climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector in Asia is now primarily undertaken under the tenets of achieving food security and safety. The mode of implementation of climate change adaptation in agriculture varies across countries in Asia mainly because of the heterogeneous historical development of the region’s (1) sectoral policies on the environment and natural resources; and (2) utilisation of the land and water resources that are closely knitted to cultural identity. The common vision for agriculture in Asia under a climate change scenario is resilience of the food production system in terms of (1) enhancement of crop yields to sustain the population demand; (2) economic stability; and (3) reduction in vulnerability of farming communities. Clearly, the differences among countries can be attributed to the varied understanding of climate change and its spatial and temporal implications as well as the country’s level of economic growth. A trend among country reports suggests that climate change adaptation in agriculture is a combination of policy, research, and developmental discussions on food security and environmental governance. Overall, countries in Asia require access to sustainable financial mechanisms in order to support policy, research, and developmental projects on CCA in agriculture.
Rico C. Ancog, Mariliza V. Ticsay, Clarissa D. Ruzol

Chapter 10. Adaptation in Mountain Agriculture: Food Security in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan (HKH) Region

Mountain agriculture is more vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change as it heavily relies on rainfall. Although the impact of the climate change on agriculture and food security has become a serious concern, so far limited efforts have been made to understand how climate change impacts food security of the mountain communities of the HKH region, how poor households adapt to changing conditions, and what options are available to facilitate better adaptation. The nature and causes of agriculture and food security in mountains is quite different from the plains and require a specific set of policy measures. This chapter aims to provide a better understanding of the vulnerability of mountain agriculture and food security to climate change risks. It analyses the appropriateness of existing policies and programmes for mountains, policy and local level adaptation trends, areas of adjustments, and possible adaptation options such as climate smart agriculture, rainwater harvesting technologies, solar energy for irrigation, and better crop choices based on agro-ecological potential of specific areas conducive to improved food and livelihood security in the mountains. One of key questions that arises in the chapter is “How can the poor and marginalized mountain farmers be included in the adaptation process?”
Abid Hussain, Bidhubhusan Mahapatra, Golam Rasul

Chapter 11. Enhanced Actions on Adaptation

Asia and the Pacific region, home of large world population, has made progress in both social and economic development while quality of environmental resources went down. In addition to degradation of environmental resources, impacts of climate change are becoming more and more visible. Countries in the region are taking steps and started adjusting policies and building institutional capacity but the pathway for attaining the adaptation vision, goals, and objectives still requires overcoming several bumps and humps along the way. The constraints facing by the region to enhance its adaptation efforts consisting of a complex web of interconnected factors which influence each other. While a clear timebound adaptation vision is necessary to develop by most of the countries in the region, making mainstreaming or integration of climate change adaptation is business for all actors is equally important. Investing on institutional capacity building for adaptation planning, implementation, and monitoring results is necessary too. A country would also need to take advantages of interlinkages and multiple benefits of measures of climate change adaptation, development, and disaster risk reductions in achieving its sustainable development goals. This chapter highlighted several areas that countries in the region need to focus on to advance its adaptation actions.
Mozaharul Alam


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