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Policy Briefs

Policy Briefs

SEARCA’s Policy Brief Series discusses a comprehensive analysis of climate change-related issues and provides policy and research recommendations towards sustainable agriculture and natural resource management.

POLICY BRIEF SERIES | 2009-8
By Akihiro Sawa

The fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change closed with broad agreement on the Copenhagen Accord.

What is its significance and what are its implications for the future?

COP 15 Agenda

The biggest agenda of COP15 was to decide on a post-Kyoto protocol Framework within which the world would address climate change beyond 2012. The world’s attention had been focused on whether or not the meeting would succeed in establishing a framework that would impose legally binding emission reductions, in particular, upon the US, the developing countries, China, India, and other newly emerging economies experiencing remarkably rapid growth. Earlier, however, the US explicitly announced that it had no intention to return to the Kyoto Protocol.

The worst scenario for Japan would have been a decision on both a new framework involving the US and China and the extension of the Kyoto Protocol, therefore, perpetuating the disparity of obligation levels between Japan and other countries including the US. We can give the governmen credit for its diplomatic efforts to successfully avoid pushing Japan into such dire straits.

Read more: Japan’s Agenda after COP15: Forget Numerical Targets, Give the World a Framework

Knowledge Showcases

POLICY BRIEF SERIES | 2009-7
By Dr. Gelia T. Castillo

The global food crisis, manifested by soaring rice prices and long queues of would-be buyers, has generated various forms of social unrest all over the world. In the wake of these tumultuous developments, a renewed interest in agriculture has surfaced.

As the world “rushes to rice”, the focus tends to be geared toward producing more rice in irrigated, favorable, large, and accessible farms. However, one should not forget how the unfavorable areas would cope. These include the rainfed, upland, drought-prone, flooded and submerged, saline soils, and other problematic areas. They are the topographically, ecologically, and climatically challenged rice-growing places, where rice probably should not be grown, but is.

Read more: CURE Approach amidst Rice Crisis and Changing Climate

Knowledge Showcases

POLICY BRIEF SERIES | 2008-7 

When it rains, it pours. And this is true for Vietnam, particularly when it comes to floods and typhoons. The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (2007) estimates that 84% of all disaster deaths between 2000 and 2005 are all flood-related. It also reports that the number of floods have increased from 60 to 100 per year between 2004 and 2006.

Likewise, IDRC’s EEPSEA Director, Dr. Herminia A. Francisco,2 reports the same observation – that Vietnamese people have been living with floods all their lives. These floods will still rise given climate change. In responding to the challenge of changing climate, IDRC conducted case studies in Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, China, and Thailand.

Read more: Flood- and Typhoon-Proofing Communities: Learning from the Vietnam Experience

Knowledge Showcases

POLICY BRIEF SERIES | 2008-6
By Rodel D. Lasco

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment report highlights the role of tropical forests in mitigating the negative consequences of climate change. Initial results from Alternatives to Slash and Burn Partnership (ASB) study suggest that the abatement costs of alternative land uses are reasonable.

Introduction

Tropical forests are among the most valuable ecosystems in the world for many reasons. Although covering less than 10% of the earth’s land area, they provide 800 million people with fuel, food, and income (Chomitz, 2007). They harbor the largest terrestrial reservoir of biological diversity, from the gene to the habitat level. For example, more than 50% of known plant species grow in tropical forests (Mayaux et al. 2005). They help regulate climate by storing vast amounts of carbon.

Read more: Tropical Forests and Climate Change Mitigation

Knowledge Showcases

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