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Climate Change News

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Asia’s search for ways to feed over one billion new mouths in the next 40 years is prompting experts to call for renewed faith in its wide network of irrigation systems in order to ensure adequate food production.

This push by agriculture and water experts comes at a time when concern about the region’s irrigation systems have steadily entered discussions about the impact of climate change on food security. 

Rain-fed agriculture is more vulnerable to erratic weather patterns, so that the use of irrigation systems is viewed as being more dependable to farmers across the rice bowls of South Asia, South-east Asia and East Asia. 

Read more: Irrigation Systems Deserve a Second Look, Say Experts

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A GREATER portion of Cambodia’s population is vulnerable to flooding than that of any other country in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report assessing the impact of disasters. 

The Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2010, released yesterday at a conference in South Korea by the United Nations, cites databases indicating that 12.2 percent of Cambodia’s population is exposed to flooding, followed closely by Bangladesh with 12.1 percent. Vietnam was third with 3.9 percent. 

In absolute terms, Cambodia was the fifth-most-affected country, with 1.7 million residents exposed to flooding. Bangladesh topped this list with 19.2 million, followed by India (15.8 million), China (3.9 million) and Vietnam (3.4 million).

The release of the report came as Cambodian officials said 17,648 families faced food shortages as a result of flooding that began on October 10. 

Also yesterday, Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan said the issues of disaster management and climate change would be “highest on the agenda of ASEAN” as leaders from the 10-member bloc prepared to meet in Hanoi this week.

Read more: Flood danger stressed

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The market for so-called "Green Bonds" is expected to double in the year ahead.

Experts say that about US$1 trillion is needed every year to finance government targets of carbon reduction and sustainability and it's the bond market that holds the key.

While many developed economies have made aggressive targets to handle climate change, many are still grappling with the recovery from the global economic and financial tsunami of 2009, making it difficult for public sector investment to contribute to the US$1 trillion needed annually until 2030 to lower carbon emissions.

However, experts say that about 60 per cent of the money could come from so-called green bonds which target institutional investors.

Read more: Market for "Green Bonds" expected to double next year

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A new long-term investigation has revealed that global warming and climate change are having a profound effect on mountain vegetation, especially at low elevations.

The research was carried out by scientists in the United States, who wanted to investigate how vegetation patterns changed on and around mountains over the past 60 years or so

Experts from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California in Davis (UCD) collaborated on this investigation. 

One of the main applications for the new work is that conservationists could start developing regional landscape predictions, which would enable them to gain an idea of how that environment will react to climate change. 

Read more: Data Shows Climate Change Impact on Mountain Vegetation

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The World Bank today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding later this year with the Government of Korea, to strengthen cooperation and sharing of expertise in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation among Asian nations. This is "both timely and relevant, given the increasing convergence of the disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation agendas," said World Bank Sector Director for Sustainable Development in the East Asia and Pacific region (EAP), John Roome, pledging Bank's support for the implementation of the Incheon road map at a high level plenary of the 4th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction here today.

Read more: World Bank Urges Collective Action to Reduce Climate Change and Natural Disasters Impacts on...

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US scientists chart their success in targeting hunters as part of a global-warming education drive.

As a group that is traditionally politically conservative and somewhat suspicious of big government, hunters and anglers in the United States seem an unusual choice for conveying a message about the need for climate-change regulation. And yet it was precisely this group that the US National Wildlife Federation (NWF) began courting — with considerable success — in its drive for national climate legislation in 2007.

Eschewing a standard lecture format, the conservation group, based in Reston, Virginia, developed a more informal, conversational presentation on global warming that could be delivered by hunters and anglers to their fellow sportsmen in 35 states. Although talk of regulating greenhouse gases drew a cool reception, organizers from the NWF found that participants opened up when the discussion turned to local environmental impacts.

Read more: Educators take aim at climate change

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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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