Climate change 350

climate change 2001 impacts adaptation and vulnerability and climate change organisations
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Dr.JesperHunt,United States,Researcher
Published Date:16-07-2017
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United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES UNFCCCUNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES plant and animal species. By 2020, up to 250 million I. INTRODUCTION people in Africa could be exposed to greater risk of water stress. Over the course of this century, millions of people living in the catchment areas of the Himalayas and Andes face increased risk of floods as glaciers retreat followed by drought and water scarcity as the once extensive glaciers on these mountain ranges disappear. Sea level rise will lead to inundation of coasts worldwide with some small island States possibly facing complete inundation and people living with the constant threat of tropical cyclones now face increased severity and possibly increased The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate frequency of these events with all associated risks to life Change (UNFCCC) secretariat has produced this book to and livelihoods. highlight the concerns and needs of developing countries in adapting to the effects of climate change. This book The UNFCCC secretariat, using current information outlines the impact of climate change in four developing available on existing and projected investment flows and country regions: Africa, Asia, Latin America and small financing relevant to the development of an effective island developing States; the vulnerability of these regions and appropriate international response to climate change, to future climate change; current adaptation plans, has estimated that by 2030 developing countries will strategies and actions; and future adaptation options require USD 28 – 67 billion in funds to enable adaptation 5 and needs. to climate change. This corresponds to 0.2 – 0.8 per cent of global investment flows, or just 0.06 – 0.21 per cent of The book draws heavily on information provided by projected global GDP, in 2030. Current global funding Parties to the UNFCCC, particularly that provided at three for adaptation is a fraction of this figure and access to regional workshops held in Africa, Asia and Latin America these funds for developing countries is often lengthy and one expert meeting held in small island developing and complex. 1 States during 2006 – 2007 , as mandated by the Buenos Aires programme of work on adaptation and response Developing countries are the most vulnerable to climate measures (decision 1/CP.10 of the Conference of the change impacts because they have fewer resources to 2 Parties to the UNFCCC) , as well as information in national adapt: socially, technologically and financially. Climate 3 communications and national adaptation programmes change is anticipated to have far reaching effects on the 4 of action submitted to the UNFCCC, reports from the sustainable development of developing countries including Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007) their ability to attain the United Nations Millennium and other sources, as referenced. Development Goals by 2015 (UN 2007). Many developing countries’ governments have given adaptation action a Over the next decades, it is predicted that billions of high, even urgent, priority. people, particularly those in developing countries, face shortages of water and food and greater risks to health and life as a result of climate change Concerted global action is needed to enable developing countries to adapt to the effects of climate change that are happening now and will worsen in the future. The urgency for adaptation is highlighted by projections from the three reports produced by the IPCC in 2007 (IPCC 2007). Under a business as usual scenario, greenhouse gas emissions could rise by 25 – 90 per cent by 2030 relative to 2000 and the Earth could warm by 3°C this century. Even with a temperature rise of 1– 2.5°C the IPCC predict serious effects including reduced crop yields 1 http://unfccc.int/3582.php in tropical areas leading to increased risk of hunger, 2 http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/cop10/10a01.pdfpage=2 3 spread of climate sensitive diseases such as malaria, and http://unfccc.int/2979.php 4 http://unfccc.int/2719.php 5 an increased risk of extinction of 20 – 30 per cent of all http://unfccc.int/4053.php 5UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES INTRODUCTION AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Developing countries need international assistance to well as seek to balance trade-offs, among the multiple support adaptation in the context of national planning objectives of sustainable development, disaster risk reduction for sustainable development, more capacity-building and and adaptation policies. Such initiatives also require new transfer of technology and funds. Systematic planning and sustained funding sources. Chapter V highlights the and capacity-building are also needed to reduce the risk adaptation needs and responses of developing countries of disasters and raise the resilience of communities to to climate change and how the work of the UNFCCC can increasing extreme events such as droughts, floods and help catalyse more work on adaptation in these countries. tropical cyclones. Funding for adaptation in developing This chapter also highlights the need to plan and implement countries must be sufficient and sustained. Least developed adaptation in the context of sustainable development countries (LDCs) and small island developing States and integrate adaptation into policy at all levels. (SIDS) in particular need special consideration due to Recommendations from the workshops and meeting on their extreme vulnerability. how to cross the gap between planning and implementing adaptation options are highlighted. In this book, background information on climate change and why adaptation is needed in developing countries is Finally, chapter VI looks forward to give an indication provided in chapter II. The chapter also explains how the of possible next steps for the UNFCCC, including within UNFCCC, which provides the basis for international a future climate regime beyond 2012, in addressing action on climate change, is helping adaptation efforts adaptation options for the threats posed by climate change. in developing countries. A large amount of work has already been carried out by many countries on assessing impacts and vulnerabilities to climate change, as well as considering possible adaptation options. Chapter III covers how assessments on climate change are made by countries, including the gaps and needs of developing countries in information collection and analysis. Although there is still much work to be done, it was emphasised at all the UNFCCC-organized workshops and expert meeting that this should not be an obstacle to progress being made on implementing adaptation. Developing countries have very different individual circumstances and the specific impacts of climate change on a country depend on the climate it experiences as well as its geographical, social, cultural, economic and political situations. As a result, countries require a diversity of adaptation measures very much depending on individual circumstances. However there are cross cutting issues which apply across countries and regions. The same sectors are affected by climate change, albeit to differing degrees. These main sectors include: agriculture, water resources, human health, terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity and coastal zones. Chapter IV looks at the current and future impacts and vulnerabilities across these sectors in developing countries. Although knowledge of how best to do adaptation is still in its infancy, the Parties of the UNFCCC are increasing their support for action on adaptation. This includes the development of national adaptation programmes by some developing countries including least developed countries, and their integration into national strategies. Climate change solutions need to identify and exploit synergy, as 6UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Human beings have been adapting to the variable climate II. CLIMATE CHANGE around them for centuries. Worldwide local climate variability can influence peoples’ decisions with AND ADAPTATION consequences for their social, economic, political and personal conditions, and effects on their lives and livelihoods. The effects of climate change imply that the local climate variability that people have previously experienced and have adapted to is changing and changing at relatively great speed. Rising fossil fuel burning and land use changes have 2.1 THE NEED FOR ADAPTATION emitted, and are continuing to emit, increasing quantities of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere. These The major impacts and threats of global warming are greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide (CO ), methane widespread (Figure II-1). Increasing ocean temperatures 2 (CH ) and nitrogen dioxide (N O), and a rise in these cause thermal expansion of the oceans and in combination 4 2 gases has caused a rise in the amount of heat from the with meltwater from land-based ice this is causing sea sun withheld in the Earth’s atmosphere, heat that would level rise. Sea levels rose during the 20th century by 0.17 normally be radiated back into space. This increase in heat metres. By 2100, sea level is expected to rise between has led to the greenhouse effect, resulting in climate 0.18 and 0.59 metres. There are uncertainties in this change. The main characteristics of climate change are estimate mostly due to uncertainty about how much increases in average global temperature (global warming); water will be lost from ice sheets (Bindoff et al. 2007), changes in cloud cover and precipitation particularly over for example Greenland is showing rising loss of mass land; melting of ice caps and glaciers and reduced snow in recent years (UNEP 2007). Increased melting of sea ice cover; and increases in ocean temperatures and ocean and freshwater influx from melting glaciers and ice acidity – due to seawater absorbing heat and carbon sheets also has the potential to influence global patterns dioxide from the atmosphere (Figure II-1). of ocean circulation. The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental As a result of global warming, the type, frequency and Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007) dispelled many intensity of extreme events, such as tropical cyclones uncertainties about climate change. Warming of the (including hurricanes and typhoons), floods, droughts and climate system is now unequivocal. It is now clear that heavy precipitation events, are expected to rise even with global warming is mostly due to man-made emissions of relatively small average temperature increases. Changes greenhouse gases (mostly CO ). Over the last century, in some types of extreme events have already been 2 atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide increased observed, for example, increases in the frequency and from a pre-industrial value of 278 parts per million to intensity of heat waves and heavy precipitation events 379 parts per million in 2005, and the average global (Meehl et al. 2007). temperature rose by 0.74° C. According to scientists, this is the largest and fastest warming trend that they Climate change will have wide-ranging effects on the have been able to discern in the history of the Earth. environment, and on socio-economic and related sectors, An increasing rate of warming has particularly taken place including water resources, agriculture and food security, over the last 25 years, and 11 of the 12 warmest years human health, terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity and on record have occurred in the past 12 years. The IPCC coastal zones. Changes in rainfall pattern are likely to Report gives detailed projections for the 21st century lead to severe water shortages and/or flooding. Melting of and these show that global warming will continue and glaciers can cause flooding and soil erosion. Rising accelerate. The best estimates indicate that the Earth temperatures will cause shifts in crop growing seasons which could warm by 3° C by 2100. Even if countries reduce affects food security and changes in the distribution of their greenhouse gas emissions, the Earth will continue to disease vectors putting more people at risk from diseases warm. Predictions by 2100 range from a minimum of such as malaria and dengue fever. Temperature increases 1.8° C to as much as 4° C rise in global average temperatures. will potentially severely increase rates of extinction for many habitats and species (up to 30 per cent with a 2° C rise in temperature). Particularly affected will be coral reefs, boreal 8UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADAPTATION AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Figure II-1. Climate change: processes, characteristics and threats Main climate characteristics water Changes in temperature precipitation salinity Ocean circulation Clouds upheavel Ice cap melting Climate change processes Gulf Stream modification Average Abrupt Carbon cycle Europe temperature rise climate disturbances cooling Increase in “global warming” Change impermeable surface (enhanced) Greenhouse Urbanization effect Land use changes Sea level rise CO 2 Deforestation Greenhouse gas emissions Cyclones N O CH 2 4 Floods Heat waves Loss of Droughts traditional Diseases lifestyles spread Transport Agriculture Disasters Fossil fuel Biodiversity burning losses Casualities Heating Industry Economic losses Famines Human activities Major threats Source: UNEP/GRID–Arendal, 'Climate change: processes, characteristics and threats', designed by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID–Arendal Maps and Graphics Library, 2005, http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/climate_change_processes_characteristics_and_threats (Last accessed 10 October 2007) 9UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADAPTATION AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES forests, Mediterranean and mountain habitats. Increasing The Convention refers to adaptation in several of its sea levels mean greater risk of storm surge, inundation articles (Box II-1), and the Conference of the Parties to and wave damage to coastlines, particularly in small the UNFCCC has made several decisions in regards to island States and countries with low lying deltas. A rise adaptation to climate change. The Convention’s Subsidiary in extreme events will have effects on health and lives Body for Implementation addresses agenda items on as well as associated environmental and economic impacts. vulnerability and adaptation in the context of climate change negotiations. Particular attention has so far Adaptation is a process through which societies make been given to issues relating to Article 4.8 and 4.9. Through themselves better able to cope with an uncertain future. the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, decisions have Adapting to climate change entails taking the right been made related to support and funding by Parties to measures to reduce the negative effects of climate change assist developing countries with impact, vulnerability (or exploit the positive ones) by making the appropriate and adaptation assessment; capacity-building, training, adjustments and changes. There are many options and education and public awareness; implementing opportunities to adapt. These range from technological concrete adaptation activities; promoting technology options such as increased sea defenses or flood-proof houses transfer; and exchanging experience through regional on stilts, to behaviour change at the individual level, workshops. Attention has also been given to the scientific such as reducing water use in times of drought and using and technical aspects of adaptation and technology insecticide-sprayed mosquito nets. Other strategies transfer, by the Convention’s Subsidiary Body for Scientific include early warning systems for extreme events, better and Technological Advice. This includes the Nairobi water management, improved risk management, various work programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation 7 insurance options and biodiversity conservation. to climate change (Nairobi work programme). The Programme was adopted by the Conference of the Parties Because of the speed at which change is happening to the UNFCCC in 2005 and renamed in 2006 and its due to global temperature rise, it is urgent that the objective is twofold: to assist countries, in particular vulnerability of developing countries to climate change developing countries, including the least developed is reduced and their capacity to adapt is increased and countries and small island developing States, to improve national adaptation plans are implemented. Future their understanding and assessment of impacts, vulnerability depends not only on climate change but vulnerability and adaptation; and to assist countries to also on the type of development path that is pursued. make informed decisions on practical adaptation Thus adaptation should be implemented in the context actions and measures to respond to climate change on of national and global sustainable development efforts. a sound, scientific, technical and socio-economic basis, The international community is identifying resources, taking into account current and future climate change tools and approaches to support this effort. and variability. By its decision 1/CP.10, paragraph 8, the Conference of the 2.2 ADAPTATION AND THE UNFCCC Parties requested the UNFCCC secretariat to organize three regional workshops for Africa, Asia and Latin America At the centre of efforts to address climate change on the and one expert meeting for small island developing States 8 international stage is the United Nations Framework (SIDS). These workshops and meetings were mandated Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). “The UNFCCC in order to enable Parties and other experts from these four provides the basis for concerted international action regions to reflect on their regional priorities; to facilitate to mitigate climate change and to adapt to its impacts. information exchange and integrated assessments within Its provisions are far-sighted, innovative and firmly and between regions; and to help identify specific embedded in the concept of sustainable development” adaptation needs and concerns. (UNFCCC 2006a). The UNFCCC entered into force on 21st March 1994 and there are now 191 Parties (member Part of the mandate from the Conference of the Parties countries) to the Convention, an almost global was for the UNFCCC secretariat to prepare reports, including 6 membership. These members are committed to: launch a synthesis report, on the outcome of these workshops national strategies for adapting to expected impacts, in order for the Subsidiary Body for Implementation to including the provision of financial and technological consider what further actions may be required on the support to developing countries, and to cooperate in international stage to promote adaptation in developing preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change. countries. 10UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADAPTATION AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Box II-1. Convention articles referring to adaptation All Parties are to “formulate, implement, publish and regularly update “The developed country Parties … shall also assist the developing national and, where appropriate, regional programmes containing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse measures to … facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change”. effects of climate change in meeting costs of adaptation to those Article 4.1(b) adverse effects”. Article 4.4 All Parties shall “Cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the “The Parties shall give full consideration to what actions are impacts of climate change; develop and elaborate appropriate and necessary under the Convention, including actions related to integrated plans for coastal zone management, water resources funding, insurance and the transfer of technology, to meet and agriculture, and for the protection and rehabilitation of areas, the specific needs and concerns of developing country Parties particularly in Africa, affected by drought and desertification, as arising from the adverse effects of climate change and/or the well as floods”. Article 4.1(e) impact of the implentation of response measures”. Article 4.8 All Parties shall “Take climate change considerations into account, “The Parties shall take full account of the specific needs and to the extent feasible, in their relevant social, economic and special situations of the least developed countries in their actions environmental policies and actions, and employ appropriate methods, with regard to funding and transfer of technology”. Article 4.9 for example impact assessments, formulated and determined nationally, with a view to minimizing adverse effects on the economy, on public health and on the quality of the environment, of projects or measures undertaken by them to mitigate or adapt to climate change”. Article 4.1(f) The UNFCCC secretariat produced background papers for each of the workshops: Africa (UNFCCC 2006c), Asia (UNFCCC 2007b), Latin America (UNFCCC 2006b) and the SIDS expert meeting (UNFCCC 2007a). Following the workshops and meetings, summary reports were produced: Africa (UNFCCC 2007c), Asia (UNFCCC2007e), Latin America (UNFCCC 2006d) and SIDS (UNFCCC 2007d). The synthesis report of these workshops and meeting summarizes the identified adaptation needs and concerns, particularly those for which there was common interest across the regions (UNFCCC 2007f). The report includes recommendations by the Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation on possible next steps by Parties. This publication draws upon the proceedings and outcomes of these workshops and meeting. The work of the regional workshops, mandated by the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, is complemented by ongoing work on the Nairobi work programme organized under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice. 6 http://unfccc.int/2631.php 7 http://unfccc.int/3633.php 8 Decision 1.CP/10, see http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/cop10/10a01.pdfpage=2 11UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES to assess their impacts on the increased intensity of tropical III. ASSESSING THE cyclones and storm surge; monitoring events relating to the phenomenon of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) IMPACTS OF, AND is important in helping determining its effects on reducing or increasing precipitation in different regions VULNERABILITY AND leading to both floods and drought. ADAPTATION TO, Article 5 of the UNFCCC refers to the need for the international community to support and further develop CLIMATE CHANGE climate research and systematic observation systems, taking into account the concerns and needs of developing Assessing the impacts of and vulnerability to climate countries. As part of this recognition, the COP invited 9 change and subsequently working out adaptation needs the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) to launch requires good quality information. This information a regional workshop programme in 2000 to identify the includes climate data, such as temperature, rainfall and priority capacity-building needs and identify gaps in the frequency of extreme events, and non-climatic data, regional systematic observation (see FCCC/SBSTA/2006/ such as the current situation on the ground for different MISC.13, UNFCCC 2006f). Action Plans were subsequently sectors including water resources, agriculture and developed and are now being implemented for developing food security, human health, terrestrial ecosystems and country regions including Eastern and Southern Africa, biodiversity, and coastal zones (see chapter IV). Western and Central Africa, East and Southeast Asia, Central Asia, South and Southwest Asia, South America, This chapter describes what information is collected to Central America and the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands. assess climate variability and change, and the tools used The plans highlight the need for a better knowledge for assessing the impacts and vulnerability of developing base, better forecasting and climate services and a need countries to climate change. If the capacity for assessing to improve observations at all levels to enhance countries’ climate change is not there, countries are limited in their ability to adapt. They emphasise that effective adaptation ability to plan adaptation measures and adapt effectively. planning requires improved observations; improved regional, national and global data, as well as denser networks; the recovery of historical data; building of 3.1 INFORMATION GATHERING – DATA, SYSTEMATIC support among the user communities that have a demand OBSERVATION AND MONITORING for climate information; and promoting greater collabora- tion between the providers and users of climate information. For countries to understand their local climate better and thus be able to predict local climate change, they must At all the UNFCCC workshops and meeting, participants have adequate operational national systematic observing reported that observations and data availability still need networks, and access to the data available from other to be improved in all regions. At the Africa workshop, global and regional networks. Systematic observations participants agreed that systematic observation networks of the climate system are usually carried out by national in Africa are inadequate because there is a lack of stations meteorological centres and other specialised centres. They and lack of maintenance. Participants reiterated that take observations at standard preset times and places, missing and scattered observational climate data in Africa and monitor atmosphere, ocean and terrestrial systems. is a constraint to understanding current and future The major climate variables measured include temperature, climate variability. If data exist, there are difficulties in rainfall, sea surface temperature, sea level rise, wind speeds, obtaining it. Participants underlined the importance tropical cyclones (including hurricanes and typhoons), of implementing the GCOS Action Plan for Africa, the snow and ice cover. “Climate Information for Development Needs: An Action Plan for Africa”, to improve the situation. Launched A sure knowledge base from systematic observation and in 2007, the plan aims to improve the inadequate and forecasting services is essential to monitor climate; detect deteriorating observing systems through an integrated and attribute climatic change; improve the understanding programme that includes not only observations, but also of the dynamics of the climate system and its natural climate services and climate risk management and policy. variability; provide input for climate models; and thus plan adaptation options. For example, monitoring trends of 9 sea surface temperature and sea level are essential in order http://www.wmo.ch/pages/prog/gcos/index.php 13UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES ASSESSING THE IMPACTS OF, AND VULNERABILITY AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND ADAPTATION TO, CLIMATE CHANGE In most countries of Asia, the meteorological or hydro- In small island developing States the national meteorological meteorological department of the government is and hydrological services are the responsible agency responsible for collecting, processing and supplying data for climate observations. However, it was reported at the as well as maintaining infrastructure of the systematic expert meeting that many networks are not working observation system. Participants at the Asia workshop efficiently due to: limited assigned satellite windows for highlighted the need to improve observations and data data transmission; low frequency of recordings; delays availability, including in islands, mountainous, and coastal in maintenance and replacement and incorrect calibration ecosystems, at the national, regional and global levels. of equipment; and limited access to products and services. Efforts regarding the harmonization and consistency of data Following 10 GCOS regional workshops between 2000 – should be enhanced through improved coordination 2006, elements of the regional action plans are now being between data providers from different sectors. For example, implemented. The Pacific Islands Global Climate Observing China reported at the workshop on the improvements it System is addressing capacity-building needs, improving is making to its systematic observation network under the observing stations, climate prediction, telecommunication framework of the China GCOS programme. China is and data rescue. The Regional Action Plan for Central monitoring atmospheric composition, energy balance, America and the Caribbean is partly being implemented water and carbon cycles, ecosystems, land use, ice and through the Mainstreaming Adaptation to Climate snow, and regularly submits real-time observation data of Change project. This includes upgrades of observation China GCOS stations and historical data records from networks, data rescue, and assessment of surface and national stations to the World Data Center for Meteorology. groundwater monitoring networks. The country has an operational system of short-term climatic monitoring, prediction and assessment, established in the In summary, the UNFCCC-organized workshops and Beijing Climate Centre, and has some regional cooperative meeting in 2006 – 2007 highlighted that there is still a climate programmes with other Asian developing need to take stock of available climate information in countries such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nepal, Sri developing countries so that it is clear where the systematic Lanka and Uzbekistan. observation needs are most pressing. Follow-up actions include improving and sustaining operational observing In Latin America, workshop participants reported networks, such as the GCOS observational networks. that climate information is either unavailable or sparse, Collaboration between national and international and it is difficult to use it for modelling and scenario providers of climate information and the users, in all development. According to the GCOS February 2005 report, sectors, of such information for adaptation to climate another reason for large gaps in observational coverage change is vital as well as generating awareness among lies in the fact that the network of national correspondents different user communities of the usefulness of climate works only on a voluntary basis. Retirements, political information and services and improving national and instability, economic problems and over-tasking of staff are regional coordination. Data needs to be carefully packaged a few of the issues that endanger the continuity of so that it can be used effectively. Rescuing historical climate data series (GCOS 2005). The workshop reported meteorological data is important. Education and training a significant gap in observational coverage and that the and improved national planning and reporting would problem is more acute for some regions, mainly the higher also help build capacity. elevations along the Andean Mountain Range. This range constitutes a major determinant of the climate systems of At the workshops and meeting, it was highlighted that the continent and high-elevation data is important for it is not just climate data that is needed for effective the detection and assessment of climate change and its vulnerability and adaptation assessments to climate change impacts on glaciers, snow cover, and run-off. It was in developing countries. Equally as important, and reported that the websites of national meteorological very much lacking at present, is the need for accurate services, in general, do not make datasets available to socio-economic data. This data needs to come from allow studies of detection and attribution of climate change across sectors and is an important complement to existing and there are just a few countries in Latin America assessments, particularly given that poverty has been which, at present, have active climate change programs. recognized as a major factor in vulnerability. It was emphasised as urgent to implement plans for investments in meteorological information and to improve Latin American countries’ capabilities and knowledge to undertake and maintain systematic, long-term, climate observational programs, along with the capacity to undertake analyses of climatic information. 14UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES ASSESSING THE IMPACTS OF, AND VULNERABILITY AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND ADAPTATION TO, CLIMATE CHANGE 3.2 INFORMATION ANALYSIS – REPORTING OF the use of models and tools in all regions and providing IMPACTS, VULNERABILITY AND ADAPTATION technical support, such as through the training of trainers on modelling tools, and follow-up through regional centres Reliable, systematic climate data helps countries determine of excellence, to address gaps in expertise in the application their current climate variabilities, and model future of methods and tools and in using climate information changes. Countries use a number of assessment models, and geographical information systems. At the SIDS meeting tools and methodologies as well as various scenarios, special mechanisms for vulnerability and adaptation including those provided by the IPCC (IPCC 2000), to help assessment training, including short courses and longer- provide an assessment of the future impacts of climate term professional training incorporating capacity-building change. Climate change impacts, vulnerability and for participatory approaches, were mentioned as a follow- adaptation assessments need to generate outputs that are up action. policy relevant. To do this, climate change data including future impacts and vulnerabilities needs to The development of higher resolution regional models for be integrated with socioeconomic data and analyses across developing countries is important as well as analysing a range of sectors, and the results must be tailored for the disparity between the model outcomes. This would policymakers and stakeholders. help enhance capacity for reaching informed decision making. For example, at the Africa workshop, participants All Parties to the UNFCCC are committed to submit national emphasised the need to develop regional climate communications in which they outline the implementation models to provide fine-scale climate information for long- of the UNFCCC and the impacts from climate change that term impact studies and forecasting, as well as facilitate they are facing. In their national communications, countries information exchange between African institutions. Some provide an assessment of vulnerabilities and adaptation efforts are being undertaken in this regard in developing options. Water resources, agriculture and food security, countries, and regional models are being developed that human health, terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity, are capable of providing more useful information needed and coastal zones are common sectors for which impacts by planners and policy makers. For example, the Hadley and vulnerability assessment have been carried out by Centre’s model PRECIS (Providing REgional Climates 10 developing countries. for Impacts Studies) has been designed for use by local meteorological offices or research institutes. Training At the workshops and expert meeting, vulnerability and on this model has been undertaken in several developing adaptation assessments were identified as vital tools for countries, including Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa developing countries to evaluate and implement responses and India, and Jamaica, Cuba and Barbados mentioned at to climate change. A major problem in all regions was the expert meeting that results from the model have been the limited capacity at regional and national level due to used in vulnerability assessments. deficiencies in data collection and the lack of technical expertise. It was highlighted as important to make the At the SIDS meeting it was further highlighted that models, tools and methodologies that are appropriate for establishing a group of experts to facilitate assessments assessments in developing countries more widely available. for specific circumstances of SIDS would be useful. Exchanging information on tools used for vulnerability Establishing a roster of experts with specialized skills, and adaptation assessments, together with the outcomes in all regions at centres of excellence, would help to of these assessments, would help countries improve capacity maintain experts working in the regions. This would also in this area. This could be done through workshops help continuity in impact and vulnerability assessment, and symposia, regional science journals, websites to a problem highlighted at the Africa meeting where facilitate information exchange and by making better use participants emphasized that the impact and vulnerability of existing channels of information. assessment undertaken in the initial national communication process was disjoined from that of the The resolution of models used to determine climate second national communication. change in developing countries is too course and often relies on data from sources in other countries. Along Participants at all workshops and at the expert meeting with the disparity in outputs from different models, this emphasised the lack of socio-economic data, or indeed makes the use of results as a basis for adaptation action development indicators and relevant tools for enhancing very difficult. A major problem encountered when using models to get national results is the need for readjustment and downscaling to suit a country’s individual needs. 10 Participants highlighted the need for enabling training on http://precis.metoffice.com 15UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES ASSESSING THE IMPACTS OF, AND VULNERABILITY AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND ADAPTATION TO, CLIMATE CHANGE the use of socio-economic assessment in a way that responding to current climate variability. This approach would be relevant to policy makers and other stakeholders, helps to incorporate human and economic dimensions including ministries of finance and economy. It is of the local communities, particularly livelihood aspects important to link climate vulnerability to socio-economic and inter-sectoral relationships. It is useful in developing studies and long-term periodic and socio-economic specific strategies and policy implementation. However, it assessments. Preserving indigenous knowledge that is exhibits a weaker attribution to future climate change. relevant to community level responses, studies on coping strategies, and gender specific vulnerability assessments An example of this approach is the UNFCCC’s National were all highlighted as important elements to determining Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) for use by least adaptation options. developed countries to prioritize their urgent adaptation 12 needs. The rationale for NAPAs rests on the limited ability Useful methodologies for assessing adaptation options of least developed countries to assess their vulnerability include both top-down and bottom-up approaches. Both and adapt to climate change. A new approach was needed methodologies need to be linked to promote integrated that would focus on enhancing adaptive capacity to adaptation assessments. Top-down methodologies include climate variability and thus help these countries directly the use of modelling and scenario analysis. This can address their urgent needs arising from the adverse provide useful background to decision making and is strong effects of climate change. The NAPAs use and build upon in terms of the biophysical aspects of impacts. However existing coping strategies at the grassroots level, rather the models do not perform well in representing human than focusing on scenario-based modelling, to assess future interactions and local abilities to adapt. This is highlighted vulnerability and adaptive responses at local and state by an example from the Cook Islands (Box III- 2). level. Involvement of different stakeholders (national, sectoral, local) and including existing coping strategies As a complement to the top-down approach is a are an integral part in the assessment process. vulnerability-based, bottom-up, approach, which recognizes and builds upon local coping strategies and indigenous 11 Adapted from a presentation given by Ms. Pasha Carruthers on this topic at the UNFCCC CGE knowledge and technologies, and the capacity and coping Regional Hands-on Training Workshop on Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments for the Asia and the Pacific Region, held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 20 to 24 March 2006. 12 range of communities, local institutions and sectors in http://unfccc.int/2719.php 11 Box III-2. Experience of the Cook Islands in applying impacts assessments methodologies As part of the Pacific Island Climate Change Assistance Programme carrying out the assessment, including gaining trust for the project, which aims to help Pacific islands meet their reporting obligations the limited time to carry out the project, the presentation of complex to the UNFCCC, the Cook Islands applied the prototype integrated material, gathering the relevant input, recording feedback, verifying assessment model PACCLIM (PACific CLimate Impacts Model). anecdotal evidence and quantifying observations and uncertainties. This model was developed by the International Global Change The conclusion was that the tool had limited applicability for the Institute in New Zealand and involved the integration of a global Cook Islands and was rather complicated, and that it would be better climate model with climate data and a regional climate scenario to focus on refining data collection and on improving results by generator. using simpler methods. The tool could be better used for training Economic activity in the Cook Islands includes tourism, pearls, in identifying cross-sectoral considerations. commercial and subsistence fisheries and coastal floodplain agriculture. The Cook Islands faced numerous challenges when 16UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Table IV-1 highlights some impacts of climate change IV. REGIONAL IMPACTS in Africa on key sectors and gives an indication of the adaptive capacity of this continent to climate change. OF AND VULNERABILITIES As a result of global warming, the climate in Africa is predicted to become more variable, and extreme weather TO CLIMATE CHANGE events are expected to be more frequent and severe, with increasing risk to health and life. This includes increasing risk of drought and flooding in new areas (Few et al. 2004, Christensen et al. 2007) and inundation due to sea-level rise in the continent’s coastal areas (Nicholls 2004; McMichael et al. 2006). This chapter highlights the impacts of and the vulnerabilities to climate change in the four regions: Africa will face increasing water scarcity and stress with Africa, Asia, Latin America and small island developing a subsequent potential increase of water conflicts as States. Impacts and vulnerabilities vary by region and almost all of the 50 river basins in Africa are transboundary were reported in the background papers to the (Ashton 2002, De Wit and Jacek 2006). Agricultural workshops and meeting held in these regions by the production relies mainly on rainfall for irrigation and will UNFCCC (UNFCCC 2006b, 2006c, 2007a, 2007b) and be severely compromised in many African countries, in presentations during the workshops and meeting particularly for subsistence farmers and in sub-Saharan 13 themselves. Additional sources, including information Africa. Under climate change much agricultural land for the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC 2007), will be lost, with shorter growing seasons and lower yields. are used here to complement the information provided National communications report that climate change at the workshops and meeting and are referenced will cause a general decline in most of the subsistence where used. crops, e.g. sorghum in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Zambia; maize in Ghana; Millet in Sudan; and groundnuts in Gambia. Of the total additional people at risk of 4.1 AFRICA hunger due to climate change, although already a large proportion, Africa may well account for the majority Africa is already a continent under pressure from climate by the 2080s (Fischer et al. 2002). stresses and is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Many areas in Africa are recognized as Africa is vulnerable to a number of climate sensitive having climates that are among the most variable in diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and diarrhoea the world on seasonal and decadal time scales. Floods (Guernier et al. 2004). Under climate change, rising and droughts can occur in the same area within months temperatures are changing the geographical distribution of each other. These events can lead to famine and of disease vectors which are migrating to new areas widespread disruption of socio-economic well-being. and higher altitudes, for example, migration of the malaria For example, estimates reported at the workshop mosquito to higher altitudes will expose large numbers indicate that one third of African people already live of previously unexposed people to infection in the densely in drought- prone areas and 220 million are exposed populated east African highlands (Boko et al. 2007). to drought each year. Future climate variability will also interact with other stresses and vulnerabilities such as HIV/AIDS (which is Many factors contribute and compound the impacts of already reducing life expectancy in many African countries) current climate variability in Africa and will have negative and conflict and war (Harrus and Baneth 2005), resulting effects on the continent’s ability to cope with climate in increased susceptibility and risk to infectious diseases change. These include poverty, illiteracy and lack of skills, (e.g. cholera and diahrrhoea) and malnutrition for adults weak institutions, limited infrastructure, lack of and children (WHO 2004). technology and information, low levels of primary education and health care, poor access to resources, low management Climate change is an added stress to already threatened capabilities and armed conflicts. The overexploitation of habitats, ecosystems and species in Africa, and is likely land resources including forests, increases in population, to trigger species migration and lead to habitat reduction. desertification and land degradation pose additional threats Up to 50 per cent of Africa’s total biodiversity is at risk (UNDP 2006). In the Sahara and Sahel, dust and sand due to reduced habitat and other human-induced pressures storms have negative impacts on agriculture, infrastructure (Boko et al. 2007). The latter include land-use conversion 14 and health. due to agricultural expansion and subsequent destruction 18UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES REGIONAL IMPACTS OF AND VULNERABILITIES AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO CLIMATE CHANGE Table IV-1. Regional Impacts and Vulnerabilities to Climate Change in Africa Impacts Sectoral vulnerabilities Adaptive Capacity Temperature Water Africa has a low adaptive capacity – Higher warming (x1.5) throughout – Increasing water stress for many countries. to both climate variability and climate the continent and in all seasons – 75–220 million people face more severe water shortages change exacerbated by existing compared with global average. by 2020. developmental challenges including: – Drier subtropical regions may – low GDP per capita become warmer than the moister Agriculture and food security – widespread, endemic poverty tropics. – Agricultural production severely compromised due to loss – weak institutions of land, shorter growing seasons, more uncertainty about – low levels of education Precipitation what and when to plant. – low levels of primary health care – Decrease in annual rainfall in much – Worsening of food insecurity and increase in the number – little consideration of women and of Mediterranean Africa and the of people at risk from hunger. gender balance in policy planning northern Sahara, with a greater – Yields from rain-fed crops could be halved by 2020 in – limited access to capital, including likelihood of decreasing rainfall some countries. Net revenues from crops could fall by markets, infrastructure and as the Mediterranean coast is 90% by 2100. technology approached. – Already compromised fish stocks depleted further by – ecosystems degradation – Decrease in rainfall in southern rising water temperatures. – complex disasters Africa in much of the winter rainfall – conflicts region and western margins. Health – Increase in annual mean rainfall in – Alteration of spatial and temporal transmission of disease East Africa. vectors, including malaria, dengue fever, meningitis, – Increase in rainfall in the dry Sahel cholera, etc. may be counteracted through evaporation. Terrestrial Ecosystems – Drying and desertification in many areas particularly the Extreme Events Sahel and Southern Africa. – Increase in frequency and intensity – Deforestation and forest fires. of extreme events, including – Degradation of grasslands. droughts and floods, as well as – 25–40% of animal species in national parks in sub-Saharan events occurring in new areas. Africa expected to become endangered. Coastal Zones – Threat of inundation along coasts in eastern Africa and coastal deltas, such as the Nile delta and in many major cities due to sea level rise, coastal erosion and extreme events. – Degradation of marine ecosystems including coral reefs off the East African coast. – Cost of adaptation to sea level rise could amount to at least 5–10% GDP. Source: Boko et al. (2007), Christensen et al. (2007). 13 http://unfccc.int/3582.php 14 Presentation from Ms. Balgis Osman Elasha, UNFCCC African Regional Workshop on Adaptation, Accra, Ghana, 21 to 23 September 2006. http://unfccc.int/3743.php 19UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES REGIONAL IMPACTS OF AND VULNERABILITIES AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO CLIMATE CHANGE of habitat; pollution; poaching; civil war; high rates of Climate change will affect many sectors, including water land use change; population growth and the introduction resources, agriculture and food security, ecosystems and of exotic species. For example, the habitat of the great biodiversity, human health and coastal zones (Table IV-2). apes, including the western lowland Gorilla – identified as Many environmental and developmental problems in Asia critically endangered on the World Conservation Union’s will be exacerbated by climate change. (IUCN) red list of threatened species, is likely to seriously 15 decline between 2002 and 2032. Under climate change, predicted rainfall increases over most of Asia, particularly during the summer monsoon, Future sea level rise has the potential to cause huge could increase flood-prone areas in East Asia, South Asia impacts on the African coastlines including the already and Southeast Asia. In Central and South Asia, crop degraded coral reefs on the Eastern coast. National yields are predicted to fall by up to 30 per cent, creating communications indicate that the coastal infrastructure a very high risk of hunger in several countries. in 30 percent of Africa’s coastal countries, including the Gulf of Guinea, Senegal, Gambia, Egypt, and along Global warming is causing the melting of glaciers in the East-Southern African coast, is at risk of partial or the Himalayas. In the short term, this means increased risk 16 complete inundation due to accelerated sea level rise. of flooding, erosion, mudslides and GLOF in Nepal, In Tanzania, a sea level rise of 50 cm would inundate Bangladesh, Pakistan, and north India during the wet over 2,000 km2 of land, costing around USD 51 million season. Because the melting of snow coincides with (UNEP 2002a). Future sea level rise also threatens lagoons the summer monsoon season, any intensification of and mangrove forests of both eastern and western Africa, the monsoon and/or increase in melting is likely to and is likely to impact urban centres and ports, such as contribute to flood disasters in Himalayan catchments. Cape Town, Maputo, and Dar Es-Salaam. In the longer term, global warming could lead to a rise in the snowline and disappearance of many glaciers causing serious impacts on the populations relying 4.2 ASIA on the 7 main rivers in Asia fed by melt water from the Himalayas. Throughout Asia one billion people Asia is the largest continent on Earth and spreads over four could face water shortage leading to drought and land climatic zones (boreal, arid and semi-arid, tropical and degradation by the 2050s (Christensen et al. 2007, temperate). The region faces formidable environmental Cruz et al. 2007). and socio-economic challenges in its effort to protect valuable natural resources. Land and ecosystems are being In Asia, the principal impacts of climate change on health degraded, threatening to undermine food security. In will be on epidemics of malaria, dengue, and other addition, water and air quality are deteriorating while vector-borne diseases (Martens et al. 1999). The global continued increases in consumption and associated burden of climate change-attributable diarrhoea and waste have contributed to the exponential growth in the malnutrition are already the largest in the world in region’s existing environmental problems. Furthermore, Southeast Asian countries including Bangladesh, the region is highly subject to natural hazards, such as Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar and Nepal in 2000. the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan Illness and death are expected to increase from Earthquake, and the 2006 landslides in the Philippines. diarrhoeal diseases due to drought and flooding, and There is evidence of prominent increases in the intensity are also expected from increased amounts of cholera and/or frequency of many extreme weather events such as bacteria in coastal waters. An increase in the frequency heat waves, tropical cyclones, prolonged dry spells, and duration of severe heat waves and humid intense rainfall, tornadoes, snow avalanches, thunderstorms, conditions during the summer is likely to increase the and severe dust storms in the region (Cruz et al. 2007). risk of mortality and morbidity, principally in the Impacts of such disasters range from hunger and old and urban poor populations of temperate and tropical susceptibility to disease, to loss of income and livelihoods, Asia (Epstein et al. 1995) and high temperatures and affecting human survival and well-being. For example poor urban air quality, such as in Chongqing, China and the extreme weather events in China during 2006 included in Jakarta, Indonesia, could contribute to widespread major storms and flooding in the east and south, as well heat stress and smog induced illnesses in urban populations as heat and drought in central, western and northeastern (Cruz et al. 2007). regions, killing more that 2700 people and causing USD 20 billion in damages. 20UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES REGIONAL IMPACTS OF AND VULNERABILITIES AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO CLIMATE CHANGE Table IV-2. Regional Impacts and Vulnerabilities to Climate Change in Asia Impacts Sectoral vulnerabilities Adaptive Capacity Temperature Water Adaptive capacity varies between – Warming above the global mean in – Increasing water stress to over a hundred million people countries depending on social central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau, due to decrease of freshwater availability in Central, South, structure, culture, economic capacity, northern, eastern and southern Asia. East and Southeast Asia, particularly in large river basins geography and level of environmental Warming similar to the global mean such as Changjiang. degradation. in Southeast Asia. – Increase in the number and severity of glacial melt-related – Fewer very cold days in East Asia floods, slope destabilization followed by decrease in river Capacity is increasing in some parts and South Asia. flows as glaciers disappear. of Asia, for example the success of early warning systems for extreme Precipitation, snow and ice Agriculture and food security weather events in Bangladesh and – Increase in precipitation in most of – Decreases in crop yield for many parts of Asia putting the Philippines. However, capacity is Asia. Decrease in precipitation in many millions of people at risk from hunger. still constrained due to poor resource central Asia in Summer. – Reduced soil moisture and evapotranspiration may increase bases, inequalities in income, weak – Increase in the frequency of intense land degradation and desertification. institutions and limited technology. precipitation events in parts of South – Agriculture may expand in productivity in northern areas. Asia, and in East Asia. – Increasing reduction in snow and Health ice in Himalayan and Tibetan Plateau – Heat stress and changing patterns in the occurrence of glaciers disease vectors affecting health. – Increases in endemic morbidity and mortality due to Extreme Events diarrhoeal disease in south and Southeast Asia. Increasing frequency and intensity of – Increase in the abundance and/or toxicity of cholera in extreme events particularly: south Asia. – droughts during the summer months and El Niño events; Terrestrial Ecosystems – increase in extreme rainfall and winds – Increased risk of extinction for many species due to the associated with tropical cyclones in synergistic effects of climate change and habitat East Asia, Southeast Asia and South fragmentation. Asia; – Northward shift in the extent of boreal forest in north Asia, – intense rainfall events causing although likely increase in frequency and extent of forest landslides and severe floods; fires could limit forest expansion. – heat waves/hot spells in summer of longer duration, more intense Coastal Zones and more frequent, particularly in – Tens of millions of people in low-lying coastal areas of East Asia. south and Southeast Asia affected by sea level rise and an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones. – Coastal inundation is likely to seriously affect the aquaculture industry and infrastructure particularly in heavily-populated megadeltas. – Stability of wetlands, mangroves, and coral reefs increasingly threatened. Source: Christensen et al. (2007), Cruz et al. (2007). 15 http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/loss_of_great_ape_habitat_2002_2032_africa 16 http://unfccc.int/national_reports/non-annex_i_natcom/items/2979.php 21UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES REGIONAL IMPACTS OF AND VULNERABILITIES AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO CLIMATE CHANGE In recent years, enormous pressures have been put on thousand of deaths and severe economic losses and social 18 Asia’s ecosystems to support the ever growing demand for disruption in the region in recent years , for example natural resources. The most affected areas are coastal in 1998 hurricane Mitch caused 10,000 deaths and severe and marine ecosystems, forests and mountainous regions damage to infrastructure, with Honduras and Nicaragua and the flora and fauna within them. Climate change the worst hit. Northeast Brazil, on the other hand, will have a profound effect on the future distribution, is particularly affected by drought and its associated productivity, and health of forests throughout Asia, for socio-economic impacts (Charvériat 2000). example northeast China may become deprived of conifer 17 forest. Grassland productivity is expected to decline by Under climate change, as Andean glaciers disappear this as much as 40 – 90 per cent for an increase in temperature century, there is likely to be serious effects on peoples of 2 – 3° C, combined with reduced precipitation, in the lives and livelihoods and on ecosystems. Currently people semi-arid and arid regions of Asia. in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, along the Andean Cordillera, depend on glacial seasonal discharge for their Fisheries in both fresh water and sea water could be affected. water supply as well as for hydro-energy. Higher rates Fisheries at higher elevations are likely to be adversely of economic recession correspond with greater flows of affected by lower availability of oxygen due to a rise in water, which cause erosion, flooding and mudslides surface air temperatures. In the plains, the timing and in lowland areas. However, as the glaciers disappear – amount of precipitation could also affect the migration of such as the Chacaltaya Glacier in Bolivia, predicted fish species from the river to the floodplains for spawning, to disappear within the next 15 years – flows will tail off dispersal, and growth (FAO 2003). Sea level rise and changes dramatically leading to serious water shortages, in sea water temperature, salinity, wind speed and reduced hydropower, greater risks of drought, as well direction, strength of upwelling, mixing layer thickness as flooding, and serious environmental degradation and predator response to climate change have the (nef 2006, Magrin et al. 2007, UNEP 2007). potential to substantially alter fish breeding habitats and food supply for fish and ultimately the abundance of There are uncertainties over the effects of climate change fish populations in Asian waters with associated effects on rainfall in Latin America. However it is predicted that on coastal economies (Cruz et al. 2007). arid and semi-arid areas will receive even less rain under climate change leading to degradation of agricultural Projected sea level rise could flood the residence of millions land and impacting food security. Except for mid-latitude of people living in the low lying areas of South, areas, where CO fertilization effects may balance out the 2 Southeast and East Asia such as in Viet Nam, Bangladesh, negative effects of climate change, agricultural yields are India and China (Wassmann et al. 2004, Stern 2006, expected to decrease throughout Latin America by the Cruz et al. 2007) and 30 percent of coral reefs could be end of the Century. lost in the next 10 years (Cruz et al. 2007). The loss may be as high as 88 per cent (59 per cent of global) in As well as through extreme events, the main risks of the next 30 years (Sheppard 2003; Wilkinson 2004). climate change on health and life are from heat stress – particularly due to urban heat island effects in megacities, and transmissible diseases including malaria, dengue 4.3 LATIN AMERICA and cholera (Githeko and Woodward, 2003, Patz 2005). Rodent-borne infections can also increase after floods and Latin America includes much of the world’s biological droughts such as leptospirosis and Hantavirus Pulmonary diversity, as well as a wide variety of ecosystems, climatic Syndrome (Ahern et al. 2005). Expected increases in regions, topographies and land-use patterns. Particularly forest fires due to warmer, drier climate and increased vulnerable to climate change are the water, agriculture and deforestation and forest fragmentation are likely to health sectors, the Andean glaciers, the Amazon region heighten the vulnerability of the population to the health and regions vulnerable to extreme climatic events (UNFCCC impacts of biomass burning smoke, the effects of which 2006d). The impacts of climate change in this region and have already been observed in Brazil (Haines and Patz 2004; its adaptation potential are highlighted in Table IV-3. The Patz 2004). region has already been experiencing climate-related changes with the frequency and intensity of extreme events, particularly those associated with the ENSO phenomenon. Torrential rains and resulting floods, including those associated with tropical cyclones, have result in tens of 22UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES REGIONAL IMPACTS OF AND VULNERABILITIES AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO CLIMATE CHANGE Table IV-3. Regional Impacts and Vulnerabilities to Climate Change in Latin America Impacts Sectoral vulnerabilities Adaptive Capacity Temperature Water The lack of modern observation – Warming above the global mean is – Increase in the number of people experiencing water equipment and climate monitoring predicted in most of Latin America. stress – likely to be 7–77 million by the 2020s. hinders the quality of forecasts lowering – In southern South America warming – Runoff and water supply in many areas compromised due public trust in climate records and similar to global mean. to loss and retreat of glaciers. applied meteorological services. This – Reduction in water quality in some areas due to an increase has a negative impact on the quality Precipitation, snow and ice in floods and droughts. of the early warning and alert advisory – Decrease in annual precipitation in services. most of Central America and in the Agriculture and food security southern Andes, although large local – Reductions of crop yields in some areas, although other Some social indicators have improved variability in mountainous areas. areas may see increases in yields. in recent decades including life – Increase in winter precipitation in – By the 2050s, 50% of agricultural lands are very likely to be expectancy, adult literacy and freshwater Tierra del Fuego. subjected to desertification and salinization in some areas. access. However, adaptive capacity – Increase in summer precipitation – Food security a problem in dry areas where agricultural land is limited by high infant mortality, low in south-eastern South America. subject to salinization and erosion reducing crop yields and secondary school enrolment and high – Uncertain rainfall changes over livestock productivity. levels of inequality both in income and northern South America, including in access to fresh water and health care the Amazon forest. Health as well as gender inequalities. – Increasing reduction and – Risks to life due to increases in the intensity of tropical disappearance of Andean glaciers. cyclones. – Heat stress and changing patterns in the occurrence of Extreme events disease vectors risk to health. Increasing frequency and intensity of extreme events, many related to Terrestrial Ecosystems ENSO, particularly: – Significant habitat loss and species extinctions in many – intense rainfall events causing areas of tropical Latin America, including tropical forests, landslides and severe floods; due to higher temperatures and loss of groundwater with – dry spells and drought, such as effects on indigenous communities. in northeast Brazil; – heat waves, with particularly major Coastal Zones effects in megacities due to heat – Impacts on low lying areas, such as the La Plata estuary, island effects; coastal cities and coastal morphology, coral reefs and – Increase in intensity of tropical mangroves, location of fish stocks, availability of drinking cyclones in the Caribbean basin. water and tourism due to sea level rise and extreme events. Source: Christensen et al. (2007), Magrin et al. (2007). 17 Presentation by Mr. Mozaharul Alam, UNFCCC Asian Regional Workshop on Adaptation, 11-13 April, Beijing, China. http://unfccc.int/3955.php 18 Presentation from Mr. Carlos Nobre, UNFCCC Latin American regional workshop on adaptation, Lima, Peru, 18 to 20 April 2006. http://unfccc.int/3719.php 23UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES REGIONAL IMPACTS OF AND VULNERABILITIES AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO CLIMATE CHANGE The Amazon Basin is home to some 40 per cent of the 4.4 SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES world’s remaining tropical forest and contains one of the Earth’s richest assortments of biodiversity; thousands The small island developing States comprise 51 States and of species of plants, over a million insect species, more Territories spread over the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic than 700 fish species, 1,000 bird species, and over 300 Oceans and Caribbean Sea, and are highly vulnerable to mammalian species. The reduction of tropical forest area, the effects of climate change and already feeling its especially in the tropical rainforests, will probably entail impacts. The climate of SIDS is influenced by large ocean- the loss of many species (Scholze et al. 2005). Climate atmosphere interactions such as trade winds, El Niño change threatens to substantially affect the Amazon and the monsoons. Small island developing States are region, which in turn is expected to alter global climate characterised by the concentration of large settlements and increase the risk of biodiversity loss (WWF 2006). with associated economic and social activities at or near By 2050 for a projected increase of 2° C surface temperature, the coast. In SIDS, arable land, water resources and severe species loss is predicted over central Brazil, Mexico biodiversity are already under pressure from sea level rise. and in dry areas of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile (Thomas Increases in population and the unsustainable use of et al. 2004; Siqueira and Peterson 2003; Miles et al. available natural resources add further problems. Tropical 2004). The central-eastern Amazon is predicted to undergo storms and cyclones cause storm surges, coral bleaching, an irreversible process of ‘savannization’ (Nobre et al. 2004). inundation of land, and coastal and soil erosion with resulting high-cost damages to socio-economic and Low-lying coasts in several countries (Argentina, cultural infrastructure. For example, in the Pacific islands Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, region, cyclones accounted for 76 per cent of the Panama, El Salvador, Uruguay, Venezuela) and large reported disasters between 1950 and 2004, with the cities (Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Recife, etc.) are among average costs relating to damage caused per cyclone the most vulnerable to extreme weather events such standing at USD 75.7 million in 2004 value (World Bank as rain, windstorms and hurricanes with their associated 2006a). In the Caribbean region, the 2004 hurricane storm surges and sea level rise. season alone caused damages estimated at USD 2.2 billion in four countries: the Bahamas, Grenada, Jamaica and 19 National communications report that sea level rise is the Dominican Republic. likely to have adverse impacts on: buildings and tourism, (e.g. in Mexico, Uruguay); coastal morphology (e.g. in The projected impacts of climate change cross all sectors Peru); mangroves (e.g. in Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, and the vulnerability and low adaptive capacity of SIDS Venezuela); and availability of drinking water in the is inextricably linked to the socio-cultural and economic Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Ecuador and the River Plate context of these island States (Table IV-4). Vulnerabilities estuary. Mesoamerican coral reefs (e.g. Mexico, Belize, include low availability of resources, a small but rapidly Panama); and the location of fish stocks in the south-east growing population, remoteness, susceptibility to natural Pacific (e.g. Peru, Chile) are also likely to be affected. disasters, excessive dependence on international trade, and vulnerability to global developments. Mangrove forests located in low-lying coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise, increased mean Water supply in SIDS is likely to be exacerbated by future temperatures, and hurricane frequency and intensity, climate change. Freshwater lenses are predicted to reduce especially in Mexico, Central America and Caribbean in size due to increased demand and reduced rainfall. It continental regions (Magrin et al. 2007) and could has been estimated that a 10 per cent reduction in average disappear unless they are better managed (Medina et al. rainfall by 2050 could produce a 20 per cent reduction 2001, McLeod and Salm 2006). Fish stocks are also in the size of the freshwater lens on the Tarawa Atoll, affected by warmer sea waters with resulting negative Kiribati, and reduce the thickness of the freshwater lens consequences for fishing in the region. on atolls by as much as 29 percent. Freshwater supplies are also threatened by saltwater intrusion due to storm Salinization of drinking water could become an surge and sea level rise (Mimura et al. 2007). increasingly serious problem in coastal areas due to sea level rise. Sea-level rise in some areas may lead to a The projected impacts of climate change on agriculture reduction in the salinity of hypersaline lagoons negatively include extended periods of drought, loss of soil fertility affecting biodiversity (Quammen and Onuf 1993). and shortening of the growing season which will lead to major economic losses and seriously affect food security. 24UNFCCC CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS, VULNERABILITIES REGIONAL IMPACTS OF AND VULNERABILITIES AND ADAPTATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO CLIMATE CHANGE Table IV-4. Regional Impacts and Vulnerabilities to Climate Change in small island developing States Impacts Sectoral vulnerabilities Adaptive Capacity Temperature Water Small islands, whether located in the – All Caribbean, Indian Ocean and – Water sources seriously compromised due to rising sea tropics or higher latitudes are especially North and South Pacific small island level, changes in rainfall and increased evapotranspiration, vulnerable to the effects of climate States will experience warming. e.g. in the Pacific, a ten percent reduction in average rainfall change, sea level rise and extreme Warming will be lower than the (by 2050) would lead to a twenty percent reduction in the events. global average. size of the freshwater lens on the Tarawa Atoll, Kiribati. Characteristics such as limited size, Precipitation Agriculture and food security proneness to natural hazards and – Decrease in summer rainfall in – Agricultural land and thus food security affected by sea-level external shocks enhance the vulnerability the Caribbean in the vicinity of the rise, inundation, soil salinization, seawater intrusion into of islands to climate change. In most Greater Antilles. freshwater lenses, and decline in freshwater supply. cases they have low adaptive capacity, – Increase in annual rainfall in the – All agricultural production affected by extreme events. and adaptation costs are high relative equatorial Pacific and in the northern – Fisheries affected by increasing sea surface temperature, to GDP. Indian Ocean, in the Seychelles and rising sea level and damage from tropical cyclones. the Maldives. – Decrease in rainfall in the vicinity Health of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean, – Increases in the intensity of tropical cyclones increase and east of French Polynesia, in risks to life. the Pacific. – Heat stress and changing patterns in the occurrence of disease vectors and climate sensitive diseases affect health. Extreme Events – Increasing intensity of tropical Terrestrial Ecosystems cyclones, storm surge, coral – Replacement of local species and colonization by bleaching and land inundation. non-indigenous species. – Forests affected by extreme events are slow to regenerate. Forest cover may increase on some high latitude islands. Coastal Zones – Most infrastructure, settlements and facilities located on or near the shore and will be affected by sea-level rise, coastal erosion and other coastal hazards, compromising the socio-economic well-being of island communities and states. – Accelerated beach erosion, degradation of coral reefs and bleaching will all have impacts on incomes from fishing and tourism. – Habitability and thus sovereignty of some states threatened due to reduction in island size or complete inundation. Source: Christensen et al. (2007), Mimura et al. (2007). 19 United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean press release. http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/JCDR-677LG5?OpenDocument 25

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