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Climate Change News

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FOR many of us, the weather is a mundane topic, but whether we like it or not, the rain, wind, temperature, humidity, sunshine and clouds deeply affect our lives. And so does climate change, which triggers extreme weather.

Read more: Do your part to weather effects of climate change too

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Source of income: Tourists and locals travelling in a ferry and boat along the Tonle Sap river during the recent Visak Bochea day in Phnom Penh. — AFP

Phnom Penh - The Tonle Sap is doomed.

The ecosystem of the gigantic lake whose annual flood cycle has been the pulse of Cambodia for millennia, and on which millions depend for food and irrigation is set to spectacularly collapse, throwing into question everything from Cambodia’s food security, to its economy, to its demographics.

Read more: Cambodia facing economic peril

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Recent initiatives have explored ways to integrate climate change considerations into national development planning. A publication by the Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) developed a set of proposals for integrating Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) into national development plans. A recently-concluded project on co-investment in mitigation and adaptation in Southeast Asia helped integrate climate change into national development efforts in Indonesia and Viet Nam.

Read more: Integrating Climate Considerations into National Development Planning in the Spotlight

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The three nations – all members of the Paris climate agreement – are involved with 18 of 22 coal power deals made in Indonesia since 2010, according to a report from Market Forces, an Australia-based environmental finance organization.

Brandon Camp

BANGKOKJapan, China, and South Korea are bankrolling environmentally destructive coal-fired power plants in Indonesia despite their pledges to reduce climate-changing emissions under the Paris climate deal, analysts told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Read more: Japan, China, and South Korea violate Paris agreement by funding coal in Indonesia

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Cambodian women have joined a forest defenders’ group in large numbers, patrolling remote districts to catch illegal loggers in the act.

SANDAAN, CAMBODIA – On a bright day in Cambodia’s remote Sandaan district, a group of environmental activists loads small tree saplings onto half a dozen tractors.

Then, grinning like celebrities at the villagers watching them, they drive the tractors past the rice fields and into the dense forest where their work will begin.

Sok Am, 23, has arrived in Sandaan from a nearby village to join the four-day tree-planting event. The young woman says she is accustomed to spending days ensconced in the forest, on patrol.

“I love the forest and I want to protect it. We use it for everything – we make medicines from herbs and tree bark, and the trees protect us from the wind and hurricanes,” Am says. “But the loggers are always in the forest.”

Am is one of the estimated 120 women who have joined the 400-strong Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN), a grass-roots movement that formed over a decade ago to stave off the advance of loggers in Cambodia’s forests.

Traditionally, Cambodian women are expected to stay at home to care for children and cook for their families, not ride motorbikes through the woods to confront male loggers. But the PLCN’s women have surprised even their peers with their dedication to the cause, and some have taken on leadership roles within the group.

Eng Bisey is a member of the Prey Lang Community Network, a grass-roots movement that fights illegal forest loggers. (Cristina Maza)

Read more: The Women Confronting Loggers to Protect Cambodia’s Dwindling Forests

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A recent report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts devastating consequences to countries in Asia and the Pacific if climate change goes unabated.  The report finds that should the forecast 6C (about 11F) rise in temperature by 2100 occur under a ‘business-as-usual’ approach, countries in the Asia-Pacific region will experience dramatic changes to their agriculture and fisheries sectors, land and marine biodiversity, domestic and regional security, trade, urban development, migration, and health.  In a worse case scenario the report warns that drastic changes in the region’s weather system may even pose an existential threat to some countries in the region and crush any hope of achieving sustainable and inclusive development.  The report, ‘A Region at Risk: The Human Dimensions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific’, found that the rising mean global  temperature is expected to see the region subject to increasing numbers of typhoons and tropical cyclones, while annual rainfall is expected to increase by up to 50 per cent over most land areas in the region.  Coastal and low-lying areas in the region will experience increased risk of flooding, while direct housing damage from tropical cyclones is expected to increase by up to 58 per cent in the Philippines alone; which the report highlights has seven out of the top 25 cities globally most at risk from a one-meter (3.3ft) sea-level rise.

A recent report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts devastating consequences to countries in Asia and the Pacific if climate change goes unabated.

Read more: Unabated Climate Change: ASEAN Food Shortages, Overcrowding, Deaths

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Climate change used to be a controversial topic with debate raging between the sceptics and believers. However, as more research is done and the topic of man-made climate change becomes less of a theory and more of an accepted ongoing reality, the focus shifts towards who can benefit and who will lose out in the era of climate change.

Read more: Investing Opportunities in an Era of Climate Change

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According to the Provincial Climate Change Action Plan 2017-2023, an estimated 244,997 people are highly susceptible to landslides, with Puerto Princesa City, Roxas, and Rizal having the highest population exposure.

PUERTO PRINCESA, Philippines – With the rainy season in full swing, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) here has reminded communities residing in hazard-prone areas to always be prepared for disasters.

PDRRMO officer-in-charge Cruzalde Ablaña said people living in hilly to mountainous areas, and along the shoreline and rivers are vulnerable to climate-related hazards such as landslides, storm surges, and flooding.

Read more: Palawan's hazard-prone towns identified

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Extreme weather and conflict have a particularly acute impact on female farmers in the Philippines. Credit: PWRDF, CC BY-SA

Heavily exposed to increasing incidence of extreme weather events, the Philippines is among one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change in the world.

Climate-induced disasters in the Philippines frequently disrupt fruit and cash-crop production, resulting in income loss and higher food prices. Over the past four years, weather events have cost the Philippine economy an annual average of 0.3% of GDP.

Typhoon Haiyaan alone caused crop loss of 1.1 million tonnes and destroyed 600,000 hectares of farmland in 2013, costing the Filipino agriculture industry and small farmers an estimated US$724 million.

Read more: In the Philippines, climate change and conflict conspire against rural women

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