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Asia and Middle-East
Climate Change Effects

Bangladesh Country Report

A definite trend toward increasing rainfall is expected to accompany climate change in Bangladesh, an ominous development in a country with such large areas of low elevation. Considering the possibility of greater variability in precipitation, water management is a key adaptation issue, with improved irrigation facilities to stabilize food grain production. High priority is suggested for a national system of tradable water rights. Since many of Bangladesh's rivers arise in the Himalayas of Nepal and India, regional cooperation in water management and water sharing is accorded front rank.

Bangladesh Is Used to Coping
But Rising Seas Pose New Dangers

"The people of Bangladesh have been living with natural hazards and catastrophe [particularly river and coastal flooding] for thousands of years," say the authors of this report on sea level rise, and the Bangladeshi have developed methods of coping with them. However, the threat of sea level rise because of climate change is "something new and potentially devastating." The country will have to develop a more comprehensive view of its coasts and how to manage them, taking into account global sea level rise, subsidence, population growth and development. It will need help from the world community to face this new challenge.

CHINA: Typhoon Surges May
Overwhelm China's Ancient Dikes

If sea level rose one meter, inundation or more frequent flooding would cover 125,000 square kilometers, home to 73 million people on China's long coastline. Protective dikes are already overtopped during typhoons, coasts are eroding and saltwater intrudes along the four large coastal plains. Natural subsidence is exacerbated by excessive drawing of groundwater. But protection of these coasts would be both affordable and economically effective, according to the authors.

China Faces Many Complexities
Besides Heavy Reliance on Coal

As almost everyone in the atmospheric community knows, the principal energy source for India and China is coal. At present 75 percent of China's energy comes from coal.

According to the assumptions for a baseline Chinese scenario presented by Professor Wu Zhongxin of Tsinghua University, the "primary energy supply will continue to depend largely on the exploitation and utilization of domestic energy resources," meaning coal. Importation of a large amount of natural gas and oil "will be considered as national strategy" in the long term. The country plans to speed up its exploitation of hydropower, and is in the process of building immense dams, such as the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. Nuclear power is expected to play an important role in easing pressure on fossil fuel supplies, especially in the coastal areas where economic growth is high and energy is short. A smaller role is envisioned for renewable fuels: biomass, wind, solar, waste gassification as a supplementary source for "rural and remote areas."

India Country Report

There are 6500 kms of low-lying, densely-populated coastline in India, placing the lives and livelihood of more than seven million people at risk if the sea level rises by one meter. The economic costs of sea level rise are large amounting to 43 percent of the 1988 GNP, mostly from loss of land, according to the India country study which was conducted by a well-qualified national team led by the Tata Energy Research Institute. Estimates of the average cost of protections, such as bulkheads, dikes, island elevation and beach nourishment, spread over 40 years, come to roughly 0.1 percent of the GNP.

India Looks To Gas And
Renewables to Reduce Use of Coal

Like China, India depends heavily on coal for energy. With coal as the primary source of industrial and electricity generation, it is also the main source of greenhouse gas emissions. However, Nandita Mongia, deputy coordinator of the Global Environment Facility for Asia and Pacific of the UNDP, stated that there is significant potential for reducing emissions in the country and saving money while doing so. There are mitigation options for the electric power and forest sectors, and carbon emissions may profitably be avoided through both efficiency improvement and fuel switching.

Indonesia Country Report

Climate change will alter the daily lives of millions of Indonesians by threatening everything from adequate food and water supplies to ecotourism revenues. Reverberating throughout the natural and socioeconomic environments, sea level rise, increased temperatures, and disrupted rain cycles will affect coasts, river basins, and upland areas. Agriculture, fisheries, and other sectors which are central to Indonesian cultures, subsistence, and economies will be particularly sensitive to these changes.

Malaysia Country Report

Climate change could cause the collapse of essential industries - coastal tourism, mangrove products and fisheries - along Malaysia's extended shoreline which is now devoted either to agriculture or dense cities. Beaches may retreat up to 100 meters inland and beach hotels may be ruined. Bunds may be overtopped and abandoned, and the sea may advance 2.5 km inland, causing widespread destruction of agricultural land and facilities.

Malaysia Awakens to Erosions
Threat Along Its Extensive Coast

Coastal erosion along Malaysia's nearly 5000 km coastline is reaching crisis proportions even without sea level rise and is the most serious climate change impact facing the nation. Inundation and increased flooding also pose severe threats particularly to the dominant coastal activity - agriculture.

Pakistan Country Report

The most significant impact of climate change on Pakistan is likely to come from the increased variation of the monsoons. Doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere, according to some models, could increase average summer monsoon rains by up to 60 percent. Resulting floods would hit the densely populated areas which produce most of the food, fiber and fodder in the country; they would destroy irrigation systems and crops, especially cotton which is the main cash crop of Pakistan. Erosion and landslides from the aggravated rains would jeopardize the fragile livelihoods of people in the mountain ecosystems Another frequently used model, by contrast, foresees summer monsoon rains decreasing, placing heavy stress on winter wheat, the main food staple. In either case, changes in agriculture and redesign of irrigation will be essential.

Philippines Country Report

An average of 19 typhoons now hit the Philippines each year, and three major droughts struck the country during the 1980s. Under climate change the country can expect even more typhoons, floods, storms and droughts. Sea level rise compounds the risks, leading Filipinos, already concerned about their vulnerability, to view climate change scenarios for 2010 and 2070 with alarm.

A Senator from US and One from the
Philippines Urge Green Energy Support

"Science has turned the corner on understanding the causes of climate change,"and we must now think about how to reduce and adapt to these changes, said Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, in a speech to Summit participants.

Citing the signals we are receiving -from increased floods and drought, coastal damage, hurricanes and tropical storms, sea level rise, spread of infectious disease and loss of forests - he said the cost of doing nothing may be prohibitive. What is the best way of moving forward? climate_alert/articles/8.1/ramos.shtml">Address of Philippine
President Fidel V. Ramos

On behalf of the people and government of the Philippines, I bid you welcome to Manila.

That a developing country is hosting a conference on so complex a subject should surprise no one. Developing and underdeveloped countries are the most vulnerable and least capable of protecting themselves from this global threat.

If the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 achieved anything unanimously, surely it is the fact that it made all of earth's leaders conscious and fearful of what is happening to our natural environment. This is not to say that all our countries - developed and developing - see environmental problems in the same way. Our national priorities vary according to our circumstances.

Sri Lanka Country Report

By the year 2070, climate change in Sri Lanka is likely to have brought average temperatures to their highest level in the past 120 years and extreme weather that will cause high environmental damage. Impacts on the nation's coastal area, site of the largest concentration of people and economic activity, will be most severe with flooding and storm surges, beaches narrowed by erosion - leading to possible damage to hotels - and salt water invasion of estuaries and aquifers. The coastal population estimated at about 7.5 million in 2000 will have nearly doubled by 2070.

Viet Nam Country Report

The vast majority of the people of Viet Nam - about 80 percent - are engaged in agriculture, the economic sector most likely to be affected by climate change: increased temperatures and rainfall, sea level rise, more typhoons, floods and other disasters. Because of the potential adverse consequences to so many of its citizens, the country has begun to consider climate change issues actively.

Russia Hopes to Stabilize
CO2 Emissions by 2010

The Russian Federation is in second place as an emitter of greenhouse gases with its share of total world emissions at 11 percent, stated Vladimir Kh. Berdin, Chief of the Climate Change Division of Russian's Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring Service. (More recent data put China slightly ahead of Russia. The U.S. share stands at 23 percent.) However, if Russia's hopes and plans are followed, the country sees the possibility of stabilizing emissions at 1990 levels by 2010.

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