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Climate Change News

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MANILA, Philippines – Two anti-climate change bills discouraging the use of plastic bags and encouraging the use of energy efficient recycling processes have been filed at the House of Representatives.

Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara called on the Aquino government to intensify the country’s climate change mitigation and adaptation capability, as he also urged on other sectors to join the campaign against climate change.

Read more: Twin Bills on Climate Change Filed

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...as UN report notes vulnerability of the Philippines to natural calamities

PEOPLE IN Asia-Pacific, including Filipinos, are four times more likely to be affected by natural disasters than those in Africa and 25 times more likely than those in Europe or North America, according to a United Nations (UN) report released at the Fourth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Thailand yesterday.

Read more: Asia-Pacific susceptible to socioeconomic impact of disasters

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A survey has found that Singaporeans are more concerned about the economy than about climate change.

The HSBC Climate Change Monitor found that only 12 per cent of respondents in Singapore ranked climate change as a top concern.

This is amongst the lowest across the countries in the survey. Only France, Britain and the US scored lower. 

Read more: S'poreans more concerned about economy than climate change: survey

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Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s government approved a 2.9 billion baht ($97 million) special budget to help victims of the nation’s worst flooding in five decades, as authorities in Bangkok worked to strengthen the city’s defenses.

The government will give 5,000 baht to each family in some of the worst-hit areas as part of its wider relief effort, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said today after a Cabinet meeting.

Thailand’s floods have spread to a third of the country, leaving 56 dead since Oct. 10, according to the Emergency Medical Institute of Thailand. The government said today that output from the main rice crop may fall 6.5 percent, and Kasikornbank Pcl warned the disaster may shave 1 percentage point from the nation’s economic growth in the fourth quarter.

At least 2.8 million people have been affected by the floods, and water has damaged 3.2 million rai (1.3 million acres) of agricultural land, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said today in a statement. Floodwaters have receded in nine provinces, leaving 25 still affected, it said.

Authorities in Bangkok are reinforcing the city’s flood- protection system amid concern the Chao Phraya river may overflow as tides peak, the Nation newspaper reported.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who stopped in Bangkok today on a four-nation tour, expressed his “deep profound sympathy” to the flood victims.

“It is a stark reminder of the reality of climate change,” he told reporters in Bangkok, adding that he discussed with Abhisit ways the UN could work with Southeast Asian nations to address global warming.

Read more: Thailand Boosts Aid for Flood Victims as Bangkok Escapes Deluge

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A tropical cyclone has hit Burma's Arakan State and has been upgraded to a “Category II” cyclone, Myanmar Climate Change Watch has said.

Cyclone Giri, which formed over the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean, has reached a “very destructive stage” with winds of up to 120 km per hour, and is due to hit Kyaukphyu, a major town in Arakan State, by 3 p.m. local time.

Read more: Cyclone Giri Hits Arakan State

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Bangkok - Floods in central Thailand caused by a week-long monsoon deluge have claimed at least 17 lives this week, caused 267 million dollars in damage and were threatening the capital, officials said Friday. Bangkok, a city of 10 million inhabitants, was preparing for possible flooding Sunday and Monday from the swollen Chao Phrya River which runs through the capital.

As they reach the city, the floodwaters were set to run into a surge of water coming up the river from high tides in the Gulf of Thailand, Irrigation Department officials said. Heavy rainfalls in the area at the same time could seriously compound the problem, experts warned. 'If they are lucky, there will not be more heavy rain coming down next week,' said Smith Dharmasaroja, chairman of the Foundation of Natural Disaster Warning Council.

Read more: Bangkok braced as Thailand's flood death toll hits 17

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SINGAPORE - In the absence of a global agreement, Singapore will still take steps to implement energy-efficiency measures announced under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint in April last year, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Yaacob Ibrahim said in Parliament yesterday.

These include implementing minimum Green Mark standards for all new buildings in Singapore, Minimum Energy Performance Standards for household appliances by next year and the Energy Conservation Act by 2013.

Read more: S'pore to go 'green', with or without global agreement: Dr Yaacob

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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — A U.S.-based foundation is urging concerted international action to preserve world-famed cultural heritage sites at risk of loss or damage, including Cambodia's ancient Angkor Wat temple complex, one of the great landmarks of Asia.The Global Heritage Fund says in a report circulated Monday that "of the nearly 500 global heritage sites in the 100 poorest and emerging countries of the world ... over 200 are facing irreversible loss and damage today.

Read more: Conservationists say Angkor Wat at risk from tourists

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Borneo Bulletin's Deputy Editor, James Kon, walked into the office one day with two pieces of A4-sized paper in his hand and said: "I need two people to go to Temburong with HSBC for a 'Climate Camp'. Who wants to go?"

We immediately signed up for the assignment, as we were sure that it would be an experience of epic proportions. We were right.

HSBC staff, including the bank's Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility, Lim Boon Teck, were among those who signed up for the trip to Kuala Belalong Field Study Centre on October 2.

According to Boon Teck, it was the third time that HSBC has organised such a trip. A large number of HSBC staff from all over the country expressed their interest in the trip, as they were keen to learn more about the Climate Change Partnership with CTFS and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), as well as its collaboration with Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

Read more: HSBC raises awareness on Green issues with 'Climate Camp'

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NAY PYI TAW, Oct. 16, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Myanmar Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation U Htay Oo said on Saturday that the country's rice supply in general exceeds local demand as a whole.

Htay Oo made the remarks at the World Food Day commemorative ceremony held in the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw.

Of Myanmar's 23 million hectares' total areas of farmland, 8 million hectares are put under paddy, producing 20 million tons of rice, he said.

"In Myanmar, rice production is still increasing faster than demand contributing not only for local consumption but also for world food supply," he noted, adding that programs for food security were carried out regionwise, but some states and regions have yet to try to meet their rice sufficiency level.

Read more: Myanmar's rice supply exceeds local demand

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