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Moving Forward : Southeast Asian Perspectives on Climate Change and Biodiversity.
 9789812309792, 9812309799

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Mo ving F orw ar d Moving Forw orwar ard

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) is one of the regional research and training centers of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), an intergovernmental body founded in 1965 to promote cooperation among Southeast Asian nations through activities in education, science, and culture. SEARCA’s programmes are designed to strengthen institutional capacities in agricultural and rural development in Southeast Asia through graduate education, short-term training, research, and knowledge exchange. SEARCA is hosted by the Philippine Government on the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, which is based in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. It is supported by donations from SEAMEO member and associate member states, other governments, and various international donor agencies. The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) was established as an autonomous organisation in 1968. It is a regional centre dedicated to the study of sociopolitical, security and economic trends and developments in Southeast Asia and its whole geostrategic and economic development. The Institute’s research programmes are the Regional Economic Studies (RES, including ASEAN and APEC), Regional Strategic and Political Studies (RSPS), and Regional Social and Cultural Studies (RSCS). ISEAS Publishing, an established academic press, has issued more than 2,000 books and journals. It is the largest scholarly publisher of research about Southeast Asia from within the region. ISEAS Publishing works with many other academic and trade publishers and distributors to disseminate important research and analyses from and about Southeast Asia to the rest of the world.

Moving Forward

Southeast Asian Perspectives on Climate Change and Biodiversity

Percy E. Sajise Mariliza V. Ticsay Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. Editors



First published in Singapore in 2010 by ISEAS Publishing Institute of Southeast Asian Studies 30 Heng Mui Keng Terrace Pasir Panjang, Singapore 119614 E-mail: [email protected] Website: and Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) College, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines 4031 E-mail: [email protected] All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. © 2010 Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore The responsibility for facts and opinions in this publication rests exclusively with the authors, and their interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views or the policy of the publishers or their supporters. ISEAS Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data Moving forward : Southeast Asian perspectives on climate change and biodiversity / edited by Percy E. Sajise, Mariliza V. Ticsay, Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. 1. Climate changes—Southeast Asia—Congresses.. 2. Biodiversity—Southeast Asia—Congresses. 3. Biodiversity—Climatic factors—Congresses. I. Sajise, Percy E. II. Ticsay, Mariliza V. II. Saguiguit, Gil C., Jr. III. International Conference-Workshop on Biodiversity and Climate Change in Southeast Asia : Adaptation and Mitigation, (2008 : Manila, Philippines) QC903.2 A9M93 2010 ISEAS:

ISBN 978-981-230-977-8 (soft cover) ISBN 978-981-230-978-5 (hard cover) ISBN 978-981-230-979-2 (E-book PDF)

Photo credits: Edwin Robert A. Cortes and Eric John F. Azucena for the book cover; photo on p. 57 was taken from the coverpage of Forest lives: Lessons on Sustaining Communities and Forests from the Small Grants Programme for Operations to Promote Tropical Forests, a joint publication of EU, UNDP, SEARCA, RECOFTC and AFN. Copyeditor, Desktop Artist, and Cover Designer: Leah P. Arboleda Printed in Singapore by Utopia Press Pte Ltd


Contents Tables Figures Foreword Preface Contributors Acronyms

vii ix xv xix xxv xxxiii


Exploring the Link between Climate Change and Biodiversity Ahmed Djoghlaf and Delfin J. Ganapin, Jr.




Issues on Climate Change and Biodiversity in the Region Rodel D. Lasco Climate Change in the Montane Mainland Southeast Asia: Reflections on Water Resources and Livelihoods Jian Chu Xu and David Thomas Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia Meine Van Noordwijk

11 31



Animal Genetic Resource Conservation and Climate Change in Cambodia: Reducing Livestock to Decrease GHG Emission? Vathana Sann and Bunthan Ngo









Malaysia’s Current Policy and Research Initiatives Toward Climate Change: Impacts to Biodiversity Alona C. Linatoc, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Maryati Mohammed Anticipated Impacts of Climate Change on Marine Biodiversity: Using Field Situations that Simulate Climate Change in Singapore Chou Loke Ming Climate Change and Biodiversity in the Philippines: Potential Impacts and Adaptation Strategies Florencia B. Pulhin and Rodel D. Lasco Research Initiatives on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation in Thailand Amnat Chidthaisong The Role of Biodiversity in Climate Change Mitigation in Vietnam: The Red River Estuary - Ba Lat Case Study Nguyen Huu Ninh, Le Thi Thuyet, and Cao Thi Phuong Ly Implications of the Dutch-Philippines Biodiversity Research on the Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation to Climate Change: The Coastal Ecosystem Wilfredo H. Uy









Biodiversity and Climate Change: Perspectives, Research Needs, and Institutions Percy E. Sajise, Mariliza V. Ticsay, Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., Rodrigo U. Fuentes and Rodel D. Lasco




Tables 2.1

2.2 3.1 3.2

5.1 5.2 5.3 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 7.1 7.2 8.1


Summary of climate change impacts on biodiversity, adaptation options, and mitigation potential in Southeast Asian countries based on country papers presented in the 2008 International Conference-Workshop on Biodiversity and Climate Change in Southeast Asia Estimated size of payments for biodiversity services Major rivers of the Montane Mainland Southeast Asia Average annual increase in temperature (units/decade) at different altitudes in the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding areas, 1961-1990 Summary of GHG and precursor emissions from agriculture (Gg) Projection of GHG emissions and removals by sector (Gg) Estimates of global CH4 sources States of Malaysia Major protected areas in Sabah Classification of terpene based on 5-carbon units Comparisons of lifetime properties of terpenes Per cent cover of benthic organisms across transects at Pulau Hantu Lagoon Percentage abundance and distributions of life forms across transects at Pulau Hantu Lagoon Adaptation options to climate variability and extremes for forest lands in the Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed, Philippines Beneficial groups of plants in the mangrove areas of Giao Thuy


23 31 37

91 92 93 103 112 119 120 134 134 158



10.2 10.3 11.1

Global carbon stocks in vegetation and top 1 m of soils (WBGU 1998) Initial economic valuation of the Ba Lat Estuary List of species reported at Mt. Malindang

195 196 214


Figures 2.1 3.1 4.1a





The main drivers of change in biodiversity 20 (Millennium Ecosystems Assessment 2005) Altitude zones of major rivers in Montane Mainland 33 Southeast Asia (MMSEA) (Thomas et al. 2008) A. The forest-agroforest-tree crops-agriculture gradient 57 plays a key role in the causation of climate change (in its expansion mode), and adaptive response and mitigation in stable mode; B. Globally, the areas with highest human sensitivity do not coincide with the areas of greatest biodiversity threat C. The concept of ecological footprint compares 58 to the amount of space needed to provide all the production and environmental services needed per capita, with the amount of space available on planet Earth; data for 2003 indicate overshoot; D. The relationship between total national GHG emissions and population density show large variation in per capita emissions Four pull forces that influence the use of resources 59 and potential trees by rural communities in their management of the landscape Four ‘tension fields’ between the four ‘pull forces’ 60 that influence the use of trees by rural communities in their approach to ‘healthy agriculture’ The pathway of drivers of emissions, consequences 61 for climate, and consequences for human and natural ecosystems require adjustments in both the fossil fuel/industrial emission pathway (adjustment of lifestyles) and the land-based emissions (adjustment of land-use patterns)




4.7 4.8




Relationship between relative agricultural function (RAF) 63 and relative ecological function (REF) of agroecosystems; B. Conceptual diagram of the DIVERSITAS Agrobiodiversity science program Illustration of the hypothesis that the probability 64 of agroecosystems to cope with the challenges of global change depends on the agrodiversity and complexity of current agroecosystems, based on resilience and technology-based adaptation (A). It is likely that systems of intermediate complexity are most vulnerable, but there is high uncertainty on the shape of the curve, as shown by lines I, II, and III (B) Sustainability at any scale can be achieved by either 66 sustainability or sustainagility at the subsystem level Relationship between diversity, provision of goods 66 to support the shop keeping unit (SKU) diversity of urban life, and the provision of environmental services The ecosystem services concept of the Millennium 67 Ecosystem Assessment includes the flow of ‘goods’ as well as ‘environmental services’ A. The intended scope of Reducing Emissions 73 from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in developing countries is the upper part of the agriculture-forest transition (inverted Kuznetz) curve, while A/R-CDM (afforestation/reforestation Clean Development Mechanism) is restricted to lands deforested before 1990; B. A large share of the actual emissions from the totality of land use and land cover change may be associated with small economic gains (‘abatement cost curve’) C and D. Abatement cost curves for three provinces of 74 Indonesia show most CO2 losses associated with small economic gains, especially those on peat soils









6.1 6.2

Dichotomy in the climate change adaptation debate between situations where plans can be made to address directional change and situations where ‘diversity’ provides the major part of the answer as size and direction of change are uncertain The direct experimental approach to test the diversity-productivity hypothesis has not yielded convincing results; some of the monocultures are as productive as the best mixtures Classification of trees by primary dispersal mode and the differences between natural forest and rubber agroforest species pools (Rasnovi 2006) The Bungo benchmark of the RUPES program in Jambi (Sumatra, Indonesia) and the potential role of rubber agroforests along the rivers to act as the ecological corridor connecting the protected areas; B. Hypothesis of the local and external appreciation of environmental services change with the agriculture-forest transition The curvature of the ‘baseline’ is linked to the ‘efficiency-fairness’ trade-off in using financial incentives for emission reduction; maximizing efficiency (tons of CO2e reduced per US$ invested) will lead to perverse incentives and perceptions of unfairness elsewhere Priority issues and next steps to link global financial transfers for emission reduction to sustainable local benefits Change in the efficiency of live weight gain (LWG), in terms of methane emissions, with increasing rate of LWG of Bos indicus eating grain diets (—) and tropical forage (—) (Source: Minson and McDonald, 1987) Map of Malaysia National institutional arrangement for CDM implementation in Malaysia








102 106



6.4 7.1 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 9.1

9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 10.1 10.2 10.3

Simplified diagram illustrating CDM projects that provide support to sustainable development policies in Malaysia Map of Sabah showing the areas where avoided deforestations are initiated Plan view of Pulau Hantu complex showing location of transects Observed anomalies in the mean annual temperature in the Philippines (1951-2006) Number of typhoons with wind speed of >185 kph occurring in the Philippines from 1980 to 2006 Annual mean sea level in five primary stations (Philippines’ Initial National Communication 1999) The Holdridge Life Zone System of vegetative cover classification (Holdridge 1967) Impacts of rainfall and temperature changes on Philippine forests Analyses of maximum, minimum temperatures and temperature range during the past 50 years in Thailand (Limskul and Goes 2008). The bold bars indicate significant changes in the trends at each measurement station and the hollow bars indicate those that are not significant Records on sea level change at the western seashore of Thailand (after Chinvanno 2007) The approaches applied by the Thailand Research Fund in assessing climate change impacts in Thailand Projected changes in precipitation over Thailand during the 21st century (Chinvanno 2008) Comparisons of carbon inputs and CO2 emission among different land use types (Lichaikul et al. 2007) Map of Vietnam Map of the Red River Delta The Ba Lat Estuary


114 133 143 144 146 151 153 167

169 173 174 176 182 190 191




Map of Mt. Malindang and the location of the different sampling sites of the second-generation studies The different vegetation types in the forest ecosystems of Mt. Malindang and their threatened plant species (Amoroso et al. 2006)




Foreword Climate change is not just a buzz word. It is real. In fact, an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence supports this. Across the globe, we are beginning to experience the effects of climate change. For the most part, climate change is man-made, mostly by industrialised countries. Since the advent of the industrial era, the rate of increase in temperature has been increasing. Because it is man-made, there is optimism that climate change can be managed. Managing it, however, requires nothing less than a concerted global action. There has been much media coverage on the more dramatic threats and consequences of climate change, such as tsunamis, forest fires, floods, severe droughts, and other such calamities. Meanwhile, what needs greater attention are the less dramatic, yet potentially more widespread and long-term consequences of climate change, such as decreasing agricultural yields, increasing water stress, continuing spread of infectious diseases, and persistent changes in the natural ecosystems. All of these consequences threaten the earth’s biological species. The tropics, which holds most of the world’s biodiversity, has been identified as being the most vulnerable to climate change. While the projected negative impacts on biodiversity are well articulated, the contributions of biological resources in reducing the impacts of climate change on people and agricultural production have not been fully appreciated. To address this gap, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), in partnership with the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, World Agroforestry Centre, Bioversity International, and Silliman University, organised a conference in Pasay City, Philippines on February 2008. This conference aimed at establishing the link between climate change and biodiversity in the context of agriculture and food security. The conference informed us on how different countries have adopted and mitigated


the effects of climate change, and how parallel efforts on biodiversity conservation play an important role in this whole effort. As a regional center for agricultural and rural development, SEARCA is keenly interested in knowing how Southeast Asian countries, particularly their rural communities, are coping with the effects of climate change. Such information will help SEARCA to be of better service to the region, particularly its agriculture sector. SEARCA’s foremost concern is that vulnerability to climate change is unequally distributed. The Human Development Report (2007/2008) indicates that it is “the poor who bear the brunt of climate change.” In developing countries, high levels of poverty and low levels of human development limit the capacity of poor households, especially in the rural areas, to manage climate-related risks. With low incomes and meager assets, as well as limited access to formal insurance and safety nets, poor households have to deal with climate-related shocks under highly constrained conditions. The limited strategies for coping with such shocks reinforce deprivation. To promote greater understanding of this multifaceted climate changebiodiversity-agricultural development nexus, we are pleased to present this book containing a number of papers presented at the abovementioned conference in the Philippines. It also includes papers contributed by well-recognised scientists and researchers. We hope that this book will become a useful and handy reference material for policy makers and students of development who seek to better understand the interrelated topic of biodiversity and climate change. Lastly, we are grateful to our conference partners for their continued and unstinting cooperation in the production of this book. We also owe a lot of gratitude to the government of The Netherlands, which, through its Ministry of Development Cooperation (DGIS), worked with SEARCA for more than five years to implement the Biodiversity Research Programme (BRP) for Development in Mt. Malindang, Mindanao. BRP showcased the research-for-development theme. The programme was implemented by Dutch and Filipino scientists/researchers who jointly conducted researches aimed at contributing to the biodiversity conservation efforts in Mt. Malindang. It has underscored the lesson that the problem of biodiversity conservation must not be taken in isolation from other emerging threats, such as climate change, as well as the overarching problems of poverty,


lack of technical and financial capacities, government policies and regulations, and many others. It is this rich experience in conducting BRP that gave SEARCA the impetus to convene the conference, which was likewise financially supported by the Dutch government. Arsenio M. Balisacan Director, SEARCA


Preface Climate change is a global phenomenon that is manifested by significant changes in weather parameters. These changes are mainly due to human activities which significantly increased greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere over many years. Past and current trends of weather parameters were measured using 21 global climate models. These models were based on atmospheric science, chemistry, physics, biology, and at times astrology. They were run using past and present scenarios of GHG emissions. Climate change is inevitable. It will continue to happen even if current emissions of GHGs are stopped. Some areas will become hotter and drier, while other areas will have more rains than usual. There are still changes happening in other places, even in Southeast Asia, but most of these are not documented properly. Some of the predicted changes or manifestations of climate change are increased water availability in most tropics and high latitude areas, and decreased water availability and drought in mid- and low-latitude areas. Global temperatures are likely to increase by 1.1-6.4 oC from 1990 to 2100, with best estimates of 1.8-5.4 oC. Sea level is expected to rise by 22-34 cm between 1990 and 2080. The most revealing demonstration of this effect is in the island atolls of the Pacific. Extreme events will likely manifest such as tropical cyclones, typhoons, and hurricanes, with larger peak wind speeds and heavier precipitation.

THE CONCERN FOR CLIMATE CHANGE Climate change is considered a major constraint in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) especially if the global community is not prepared for it. Climate change will increase the existing risks and vulnerability of people and ecosystems. The most vulnerable sector will be the


least developed countries in the tropics and sub-tropics, especially the impoverished communities. The 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicated evidences that show the decline of mountain glaciers and snow cover in both hemispheres. This decline is contributing to the rise in sea levels, especially in the Pacific island atolls and other coastal areas of small islands. Sea levels rose at an average of 1.8 mm per year from 1961 to 2003. Long-term precipitation trends from 1900 to 2005 also indicated significant increases in the eastern parts of North and South America, Northern Europe, and Northern and Central Asia. The projected impact on agriculture will vary over time and across locations. For example, climate change is predicted to cause shifts in areas that are suitable for the cultivation of many crops, i.e., Northern USA, Canada and most of Europe will have more areas for crop cultivation. On the other hand, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean will lose lands suitable for cultivating crops. Countries that will have the least capacity to cope with these drastic changes in the ability to grow food and generate other food needs will suffer most from climate change. There will be significant losses of genetic resources in several regions, especially for less mobile and tolerant animals, plants, and aquatic species. In other words, climate change will have losers and gainers at the local, regional, and global scales. By using models, it is projected that 23 crops will likely suffer from the significant decreases in the suitable areas for growth, e.g. typical cold weather crops such as strawberry, wheat, rye, apple, and oats. However, 20 crops will gain more favorable areas for growth, e.g. pearl millet, sunflower, common millet, chickpea, and soya bean. Many of the gains in crop cultivation areas will occur in regions where these crops are currently not integral components of food security. This would mean significant changes in the exchange of germplasm. These changes need to take place for the crops to cope with climate change. In addition, these changes will create consequent modifications in the food preferences of consumers. The other significant implication of these projected changes that are associated with climate change is the need to broaden the food base, which is very narrow at present. To attain this goal, there is a need to bring in more of the currently underutilised food species into the global food security basket. This means more intensified collection, characterization, conservation, and


utilization of these neglected species, i.e. plants, animals, fishes, arthropods and other useful biological materials. There is also the need to document all indigenous knowledge systems associated with the underutilized food crops and their uses. Documentation should likewise cover local knowledge, social networking schemes, and institutional arrangements being used by local communities to cope and mitigate risks that are associated with climate change. Lovell et al. (2008) strongly suggests that governments should not only proactively invest in producing new and climate-buffered crops, especially for countries in regions that are projected to have the greatest impact on food security due to climate change, e.g. wheat for South Asia, rice for Southeast Asia, and maize for South Africa. These efforts should be complemented by investments to secure water which is projected to become erratic in terms of supply. These tasks are urgent for the global community and it is a race against time! The climate change phenomenon will force humanity to think and take care of the global environment whilst not forgetting that the ultimate challenge will be how to adjust and act locally but also collectively at the national, regional, and global scales.

THE CLIMATE CHANGE AND BIODIVERSITY LINK Climate change will have great impacts on biodiversity in terms of reduction and loss. On the other hand, biodiversity can be used to enhance the mitigation and adaptation of people and environments to climate change. Biodiversity have provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural functions. Hence, the kind of biodiversity to must be promoted should be designed to minimize the negative impacts of climate change on any or a combination of these impaired functions, while considering time and spatial scales. Such type and kind of biodiversity that should be part of a technology or process that reduces resource inputs and emission per unit of output. Meanwhile, when used to enhance adaptation, the type and kind of biodiversity to be deployed should consider human and institutional arrangements, including the knowledge systems associated with it. These support mechanisms would moderate or harness beneficial opportunities in response to the actual or expected risks involved in climate change. Several countries in Southeast Asia are considered megabiodiversity centers as well as biodiversity hotspots. Hence, the pressures on resource use


would further exacerbate the impact of climate change and the inherent vulnerability of the coastal zones and small islands in the archipelagic countries in the region. Moreover, the projected intensification of typhoons and other extreme weather conditions will affect the coastal zones and human communities dependent on them, including the countries connected by major river systems, e.g. the Mekong and Irrawady river systems. These high-risk areas must be identified. National strategies must be developed for these areas to cope with the predicted impacts of climate change. Meanwhile, biodiversity that is needed for food and nutritional security, as well as in promoting ecosystem functions, must be collected, characterised, evaluated, and sustainably used and deployed. National, regional, and global platforms for promoting exchanges of these valuable germplasms, based on accepted access and benefit-sharing arrangements, must be promoted and supported. The relationships of poverty, economic growth, and access and benefit-sharing regimes of these valuable biodiversity must be studied and well understood. These relationships must be provided with the policy and institutional environments which will promote the synergy needed towards enhancing mitigation and adaptation to climate change, while taking into account the high-risk areas and the most vulnerable segment of human society.

THE BOOK’S RELEVANCE This book is a discourse on the general phenomenon of climate change, the importance of biodiversity, and how these two are linked and related. Chapter 1 generally describes the climate change phenomenon, how the prediction of weather changes was obtained, the role of biodiversity in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the need for partnership and collaboration. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 elucidate on the regional perspectives and crosscutting issues of climate change and biodiversity. The chapters cite the multifunctional role of ecosystems, with both natural and modified biodiversities, and how climate change has affected this role. They also discuss the role of biodiversity and ecosystems in mitigating and enhancing adaptation to climate change. The concept of sustainagility as a complement to sustainability is also introduced in these chapters. Sustainagility is defined as the ability of the system to support future changes.


Chapters 5 to 10 are country papers from Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. These papers describe the various monitored weather parameters that are associated with climate change over a long period of time, the predicted changes in various parts of the countries, and the national strategies that are being formulated and implemented to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Chapters 8 and 9, papers from the Philippines and Thailand, describe the kind of research that are presently being undertaken to provide the information needed to formulate a national program and serve as basis for best practices in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Chapter 11 is a specific research on biodiversity which is directly linked to development. The approach and methods used to bring this about is described and related to development issues including climate change. Chapter 12 is a synthesis of lessons learned and research gaps. This information can serve as inputs in determining the national and regional priorities for research – i.e. the geographical and social sectors that are most vulnerable to climate change, the areas in Southeast Asia that need more attention because of climate change, and many more. This book is particularly useful for policy makers, scientists, researchers, academicians, students and people who are at the forefront of climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity conservation. Information is relevant not only in identifying future research areas and setting the policy agenda, but more importantly in implementing critical actions at all levels. All these are required for people, communities, governments, and sectors to move forward in terms of becoming more aware, informed, prepared, and proactive in strengthening the link between climate change mitigation and adaptation and biodiversity conservation. Percy E. Sajise Senior Fellow, SEARCA and Honorary Research Fellow, Bioversity International


Contributors DR. AMNAT CHIDTHAISONG is an Assistant Professor at the Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE), King’s Mongkut University of Technology Thonburi, an international graduate education and research consortium of five institutions in Thailand. Dr. Amnat holds a PhD degree in Applied Bioscience and Biotechnology from Mie University in Japan. His postdoctoral researches were on microbial ecology at the Max-Planck Institute for Microbial Ecology in Germany, and stable isotope biogeochemistry at the University of California in Irvine, USA. His research fields include carbon cycle greenhouse gas biogeochemistry, and climate change. DR. CHOU LOKE MING is a Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore (NUS). He is a coral reef biologist and has focused more on coastal management and reef restoration. He has also been involved with many regional initiatives dealing with the marine environment, including consultancy services to international and regional agencies, such as the United Nations Environment Program-Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (UNEP-COBSEA). Dr. Chou is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network of the International Coral Reef Initiative since it was formed in 1996. He served as Chairman of the network from 2003 to 2005. PROF. DATUK DR. MOHD. NOH DALIMIN is a Professor at the Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, School of Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Malaysia. Prof. Noh specialises in Solid State Physics and Renewable Energy (Photovoltaic Systems), and his current research focuses on conservation and global climatic changes in relation to the use of renewable energy in tropical ecosystems. Prof. Noh obtained his Master of Science degree from Bedford College, University of London, and his PhD degree from Imperial College, University of London. Prof. Datuk Dr. Mohd. Noh Dalimin served as Vice-Chancellor of UMS from March 2005 to June 2008.


DR. AHMED DJOGHLAF is the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity based in Montreal, Canada. He holds the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, and Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations. Dr. Djoghlaf served as General Rapporteur of the Preparatory Committee of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), better known as the Rio Summit, as former ViceChair of the Eleventh Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Science and Technology for Development, as Vice-President of the Negotiating Committee on the Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Chair of one of two negotiating committees of the Convention to Combat Desertification. Dr. Djoghlaf holds a PhD degree from the University of Nancy, France, as well as four other post-graduate degrees, including Master of Arts in Government and Politics from St. John’s University, New York and a Law Degree from the University of Algiers. MR. RODRIGO U. FUENTES is the current Executive Director of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) based in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. Mr. Fuentes has been working in the field of environment and natural resources for the last 26 years, as consultant and/technical advisor to different intergovernmental and multi-lateral organizations such as the ASEAN, the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations agencies, and the World Bank. Mr. Fuentes holds a Forestry degree and a Masteral degree in Urban and Regional Planning which were both obtained from the University of the Philippines. He specialises in environmental program design and project development, policy and institutional assessment, environmental monitoring, and capacity development. His previous undertakings at the regional and subregional levels included the provision of assistance to governments in complying with the commitments to global agreements, such as the implementation of Agenda 21, the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. He is also credited for developing the Regional Framework program for implementing the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Regional Action programmes for the Asian region.


DR. DELFIN J. GANAPIN, JR. is a forest ecologist trained at the College of Forestry, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). He obtained his PhD degree in Environmental Planning and Policy from the State University of New York and Syracuse University in 1987 as a United Nations University and Ford Foundation fellow. He served the Philippine government as the Director of the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and then as Assistant Secretary and concurrent OICUndersecretary for Environment and Research of the Department. He later served as Undersecretary for Environment and Program Development. Dr. Ganapin was involved in the negotiations for biodiversity and climate change conventions. He was also the leading senior Philippine environment official to the Earth Summit and succeeding UN Conventions for Sustainable Development. Dr. Ganapin is currently the Global Coordinator of the UN Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) based in New York City, USA. DR. RODEL D. LASCO is the Philippine Country Coordinator of the World Agroforestry Centre (formerly the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry or ICRAF), and a Professor of the School of Environment and Management of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). He is a Convening Lead Author of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He holds a PhD degree in Forestry from UPLB, with specialisation on Silviculture and Forest Influences. In 1998, he pioneered forest and climate change researches in the Philippines. MS. ALONA CUEVAS LINATOC is a PhD Candidate and a researcher at the Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation at Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia. She holds a Master of Science degree in Forest Botany from Universiti Putra Malaysia. Her current research focuses on the biogenic volatile organic compounds emission in Malaysian landscapes and its implications to the global carbon cycle. Prior to her work in Malaysia, Ms. Linatoc was a Science Research Specialist/Ecosystem Management Specialist at the ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (ARCBC), and a Forester in the Laguna Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). She is a co-author of Climate Change and the Energy Challenge (2008).


MS. CAO THI PHUONG LY is a Researcher at the Center for Environment Research, Education and Development (CERED) in Hanoi, Vietnam. She obtained a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from the Vietnam National University, and is currently involved in climate change adaptation projects that are related to policy linkages and poverty reduction in two provinces in Vietnam. Her other research interest is on the economic valuation of coastal habitats. She has co-authored “A Survey on the Resource Use and Economic Valuation of the Coral Reefs and Sea Grass Beds of Phu Quoc, Vietnam.” PROF. DATIN DR. MARYATI MOHAMED is the Dean of the Centre for Postgraduate Studies, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Prof. Maryati obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia and a PhD degree in Insect (Aphid) Taxonomy and Ecology at the Queen Elizabeth College, University of London. Her current research interests are on the antinsect group, covering the conservation, traditional knowledge, and ethics aspects. Prof. Maryati is a founding member of BioNET International, based in the UK, and was a member of DIVERSITAS (Montreal). She pioneered the Bornean Biodiversity and Ecosystem Conservation (BBEC) Programme, and was the Founding Director of the Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC), Universiti Malaysia Sabah from June 1996 to May 2008. DR. NGUYEN HUU NINH is the Chairman of the Center for Environment Research, Education and Development (CERED) in Hanoi, Vietnam, a Senior Lecturer of the Vietnam National University, and also the Coordinator of the Indochina Climate Change Network. He holds a PhD degree in Biology from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and is a recipient of different international and national awards, including an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom, and the Campaign Medal for Achievement in Education Development from the Vietnam National University. He is the Lead Author Member of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was a recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. An author and co-author of various local and international reports and publications, Dr. Huu Ninh has a wide variety of professional experiences related to climate change, especially with UN organizations.


MR. BUNTHAN NGO is the Vice-Rector of the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) for Academic Affairs and International Cooperation. Mr. Ngo obtained his degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand. He is actively involved in the modernization of the agricultural curricula of RUA. Through his efforts, numerous international cooperation activities have been established with the University, which provided opportunities to lecturers and researchers to study contemporary issues in agriculture. DR. MEINE VAN NOORDWIJK is an ecologist trained at Utrecht and Wageningen, The Netherlands. He has worked in Southeast Asia since 1993 and is the Regional Coordinator of the Southeast Asian Programme of the World Agroforestry Centre based in Bogor, Indonesia. His work on biodiversity, watersheds, and carbon provides links between the biophysical environment with the policy domains. DR. FLORENCIA B. PULHIN is a Researcher at the Forestry Development Center, Environmental Forestry Programme of the University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Forestry and Natural Resources (UPLB-CFNR). She holds a PhD degree in Forestry from UPLB. Her research involvements for the last 10 years focused on tropical forests and climate change. DR. GIL C. SAGUIGUIT, JR. is the Deputy Director responsible for the administration and financial management of SEARCA. He holds a degree in Rural Economics from the Universite de Montpellier I France. His fields of interest, expertise, and experiences include project management and implementation, rural development and extension, participatory and communitybased approaches, and multidisciplinary research. Dr. Saguiguit also served as SEARCA’s Research and Development (R&D) Manager, before he assumed the position of Deputy Director. Dr. Saguiguit has written and co-authored a number of publications on community-based natural resource management, North-south collaborative research, and agriculture and rural development. DR. PERCY E. SAJISE is now a Senior Fellow at SEARCA, while at the same time serving as an Honorary Research Fellow of Bioversity International and Adjunct Professor at the School of Environmental Science and Management of the University of the Philippines Los Baños. Trained as a plant ecologist at


Cornell University, he has more than 25 years of experience as a scientist who specializes in interdisciplinary work on natural resource management and ecological studies in the uplands of Southeast and South Asia. He spearheaded several regional networks such as the Southeast Asian Universities Agroecosystem Network (SUAN), Asian Association of Agricultural Colleges and Universities (AAACU) and a national network on Environmental Education in the Philippines (EENP). He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Asia Pacific Association of Forest Research Institutions (APAFRI), and a Board Member of the World Center on Forestry (CIFOR). He was the former Director of SEARCA and the Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific of Bioversity International (formerly the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute). He is a member of the World Academy of Arts and Science. DR. VATHANA SANN is concurrently the Deputy Secretary General of the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), Council of the Ministers of Russian Federation, and the Coordinator of the Master of Science Program at the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) in Cambodia. He obtained his PhD degree in International Agriculture, specializing in Animal Science, from Georg-August University of Goettingen in Germany in 2006. As a lecturer and a researcher in the field of livestock production system, Dr. Vathana Sann’s main research interest is on animal genetic conservation and tropical animal welfare. He has published three papers on the characterization of poultry genetic resources in Cambodia, and has caught the attention of the research community because of his researches on the contribution of the livestock sector on greenhouse gas emission and its impacts on climate change. DR. MARILIZA V. TICSAY is a plant-wildlife ecologist trained at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. For more than 15 years, she had served as Manager for a number of foreign-funded environmental projects in the Philippines, including The Conditions of Biodiversity Maintenance in Asia Project, the Environmental and Security Management Programme (ESMP), The Institutional Context of Biodiversity Conservation in Southeast Asia Project, and the Biodiversity Research Programme (BRP0 for Development in Mindanao. She currently works as the Knowledge Management Specialist at ACB, and a Technical Consultant for Programme Development and Implementation at SEARCA, and ACB.


DR. DAVID E. THOMAS is currently a consultant and Country Coordinator for the World Agroforestry Centre, based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He has a PhD degree on Wildland Resource Science from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a Masters degree in Pomology, and Bachelor degrees in political science, and soil science and plant nutrition. He has been living in Southeast Asia and working on natural resource management, agriculture, and rural development issues for more than 30 years. He has actively supported the development of MMSEA concepts and the implementation of collaborative research during his 12 years of service as Senior Policy Analyst for the World Agroforestry Centre, and from previous work with the Ford Foundation, the East-West Center, and other organizations. Recent MMSEA research projects, in which he has collaborated in, have been supported by the US National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and various other donors. MS. LE THI THUYET is a Researcher at the Climate Change Section of CERED in Hanoi, Vietnam. Ms. Thi Thuyet obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the Hanoi University of Science in 2007. She is currently working at the Integrated Water Resource Management Project in Nam Dinh, Vietnam. DR. WILFREDO H. UY obtained his Master of Science degree in Marine Science from the University of the Philippines Diliman, and his PhD degree in Aquatic Ecology at IHE-Delft and Wageningen University in The Netherlands. Dr. Uy is involved in several research programs in Mindanao, southern Philippines. These include the Marine Protected Area (MPA) Networking and Integrating Fisheries Management Initiatives in Zamboanga del Sur – Iliana Bay, and the Fisheries Assessment for Sustainable Management in Lake Mainit, Surigao del Norte. He was also the Study Leader of the Coastal Component of the Biodiversity Research Programme (BRP) for Mt. Malindang, Misamis Occidental, Mindanao, Philippines. DR. JIAN CHU XU is an ethno-ecologist by training. He has more than 20 years of extensive field experience in mainland Southeast Asia, South Asia and Southwest China. He is a Senior Scientist and the Country Representative of the World Agroforestry Centre, China Program, Beijing, as well as a Professor at the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Science. He worked as a Program Manager at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Nepal. He was also the Director of the Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous


Knowledge, an NGO, based in Southwest China, that works with indigenous people for cultural survival, forest management, land-use transition, community livelihood, and watershed governance. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific, and the scientific steering committee of the Land-Use and Land-Cover Change, International Geosphere-Biosphere Program and International Human Dimension Program of Global Change Program (LUCC-IGBP/IHDP).



- alienable and disposable - Afforestation/Reforestation Clean Development Mechanism - Asian Association of Agricultural Colleges and Universities - ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity - Asian Development Bank - animal genetic resource - Asian Institute of Technology - Aquatic Ecosystems Master Project - ASEAN Member States - Asia-Pacific Network on Climate Study - Fourth Assessment Report - ASEAN Regional Center for Biodiversity Conservation - Association of Southeast Asian Nations


- billion - Bornean Biodiversity and Ecosystem Cooperation - National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology - Philippine-Netherlands Biodiversity Research Programme (BRP) for Development in Mindanao: Focus on Mt. Malindang and its Environs - Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds


- Council for Agricultural and Rural Development - Convention on Biological Diversity - community-based forest management - climate, community and biodiversity - Canadian Climate Center - Climate Change Enabling Activity Project - Clean Development Mechanism




- Community Environment and Natural Resources Office - Center for Environment Research, Education and Development - Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research - methane - Conservation International - Wolrd Center on Forestry - China National Report on Climate Change - carbon dioxide - Conference of Parties - creditable reductions of emission for deforestation - Coral Triangle Initiative


- DENR Administrative Order - Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Netherlands Ministry of Development Cooperation - Department of Science and Technology


- Environmental Education in the Philippines - ecological footprint - environmental impact assessment - Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources Programme - El Niño Southern Oscillation - Executive Order - Environmental and Security Management Programme - Emission Trading - European Union


- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


- General Circulation Models - gross domestic product - Global Environment Facility - greenhouse gas/gasses - Geographic Information Systems - glacial lake outburst floods - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technishe Zusammenarbeit - Global Warming Potential



- hectares



- human development index - International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development - World Agroforestry Centre (formerly the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry) - International Coral Reef Action Network - Integrated Coastal Zone Management - information, education and communication - indigenous knowledge systems - Integrated Model to Assess the Greenhouse Effect - Innoprise-Face Foundation Rainforest Rehabilitation Project - Indian Ocean Dipole - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (now Bioversity International) - intellectual property rights - Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation - International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture - International Union for the Conservation of Nature - Joint Graduate School of Energy and the Environment - Joint Implementation - Japan International Cooperation Agency - Joint Liaison Group


- kilometers per hour


LGUs - local government units LTER - Long-term Ecological Research LUCC-IGBP/IHDP - Land-Use and Land Cover Change – International Geosphere-Biosphere Program and International Human Dimension Program of Global Change Program LUCF - land-use change and forestry LWG - live weight gain



- meters - million - Marine Protected Areas Monitoring and Evaluation - Mapped Atmosphere-Plant-Soil System - microbial biomass - Millennium Development Goals - Millennium Ecosystems Assessment - Mindanao Consortium for Biodiversity - Montane Mainland Southeast Asia - Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment - Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment - Marine Protected Area - MPA Support Network - Mindanao State University


- National Climate Center - National Committee on CDM - National Committee for the Marine Science - National Conservation Strategy - National Disaster Coordinating Council - Natural Environment Research Council Centre for Population Biology - nitrogen-fixing tree product/s - National Integrated Protected Areas System - National Research Council of Thailand - National Steering Committee on Climate Change - National Statistics Office - non-forest timber products - National University of Singapore - natural vegetative strips


- tropospheric ozone - Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development - Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Planning


- Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration - Philippine Association of Marine Scientists




- Philippine Area of Responsibility - Philippine Council for Marine and Aquatic Resources Research and Development - Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed - Presidential Decree - Payments for Environmental Services - Participatory (Rapid) Rural Appraisal - research and development - Republic Act - relative agriculture function - Netherlands Development Research Advisory Council - reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation - reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries - relative ecological function - Reduced Impact Logging - Royal University of Agriculture


- short-chain fatty acids - Southeast Asia - Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization - Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture - Socioeconomic and Cultural Studies - Small Grants Programme - UNDP Small Grants Program for Tropical Forests for South and Southeast Asia - shop keeping unit - sea surface temperatures - Southeast Asia Regional Vulnerability to Changing Water Resource and Extreme Hydrological Events Due to Climate Change - Silliman University - Southeast Asian University Agroecosystem Network


- Terrestrial Ecosystems Master Project - Timber License Agreement - Training Needs Assessment - Thailand Research Fund




- United Kingdom - United Nations - United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization - United Nations Convention on Climate Change - United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification - United Nations Conference on Environment and Development UNDP - United Nations Development Programme UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme UNEP-COBSEA - United Nations Environment Program-Coordinating Body on the Seas of Southeast Asia UNESCAP - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific UNFCC - United Nations Framework on Climate Change USA - United State of America USAID - United States Agency for International Development USD - US dollars VOCs

- volatile organic compounds


- World Health Organization


Exploring the Link Between Climate Change and Biodiversity



Exploring the Link Between Climate Change and Biodiversity Ahmed Djoghlaf and Delfin Ganapin, Jr.

BIODIVERSITY LOSS AND CLIMATE CHANGE* The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme share the belief that the poor and vulnerable communities will bear the worst of biodiversity loss and climate change impacts. These same poor and vulnerable communities are the critical stakeholders that hold the key to making the efforts in biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation successful. All of us are joined together. We must thus work together given the dire consequences of the double impacts of biodiversity loss and global warming. A word that comes to mind is ‘extinction.’ This word appropriately links biodiversity loss and global warming. In the past, biodiversity loss is like ’dying with a whimper’ as species are lost and people do not even know what they had lost. The concern was also on specific areas where biodiversity loss is relatively fast. We now call these areas as ‘biodiversity hotspots.’ Global warming, however, drastically changes the equation of extinction. Extinction will not only be just for the rare and endangered species but also for global biodiversity. The ecological feedback goes full circle. Humans, who are most responsible for biodiversity loss and global warming, are likewise directly endangered. There is still confidence that humans will adapt and survive. But there is the definite risk of becoming poorer. Those who are already poor are at risk of further declining to the worst of conditions.

Reproduced from Moving Forward: Southeast Asian Perspectives on Climate Change and Biodiversity edited by Percy E. Sajise, Mariliza V. Ticsay and Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2010). This version was obtained electronically direct from the publisher on condition that copyright is not infringed.No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Individual articles are available at< >


Ahmed Djoghlaf and Delfin Ganapin, Jr.

FACING THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE** According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if temperature increase exceeds by 1.5-2 ºC, 20-30 per cent of plant and animal species are at risk of extinction. This condition is especially relevant for those species that are already at risk due to low populations, restricted patchy habitats, and limited climatic ranges. Overall, as many as 1 M species may face increased threats of extinction because of climate change. Climate change has already affected the functioning, appearance, composition, and structure of ecosystems. Recently observed changes in the climate have caused consequent changes in species distribution and population sizes, timing of reproduction or migration events, and increase in frequency of pest and disease outbreaks. Other impacts of climate change on ecosystem functions include the widespread bleaching of corals, instances of wetland salinisation and salt water intrusion, the expansion of arid and semi-arid lands at the expense of grasslands and acacia trees, pole ward and upward shifts in habitats, replacement of tropical forests with savannah, and shifting desert dunes. In fact, climate change creates impacts on every ecosystem. These impacts also reflect on the health of biodiversity in surrounding ecosystems. In Asia, for example, up to 50 per cent of biodiversity is at risk [of being extinct] due to climate change, while as much as 88 per cent of reefs may be lost over the next 30 years. Furthermore, as many as 1,522 plant species in China and 2,835 plants in Indo-Burma could become extinct. With regards to agriculture, parties to the Thirteenth Meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, have considered the integration of climate change impact and response activities within the programme of work on agricultural biodiversity. The reasons for doing this initiative are clear. A warming of greater than 3°C is projected to create negative impacts on agricultural production in all regions. Meanwhile, elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are expected to create negative impacts on livestock health, especially among those in low-nitrogen environments. In Southeast Asia, precipitation extremes will increase with shifts in the timing of important precipitation events. In Indonesia, for example, climate change is expected to increase the chance of a 30-day delay in the onset of monsoon rains by as much as 40 per cent by 2050.

Exploring the Link Between Climate Change and Biodiversity


Indigenous and local communities are particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. They tend to be among the first to face the adverse consequences of climate change because of their dependence on and close relationship with the environment. The impacts of climate change on indigenous and traditional livelihoods include increased weed infestations in grazing lands throughout the world, and exposure of livestock to diseases. Loss of livelihoods and traditional practices of populations living in vulnerable ecosystems are already significant.

THE BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE LINK Even if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were to decrease significantly tomorrow, climate change would continue to affect ecosystems for hundreds of years due to global climate feedback mechanisms. As such, it is critically important that immediate attention is given to adaptation. Biodiversity contributes to many ecosystem services, including the provision of food and fodder, nutrient cycling, and the maintenance of hydrological flows. As such, maintaining biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions is an important component of adaptation. Likewise, biodiversity resources, such as land races of common crops, mangroves and other wetlands, and vegetative cover, can form an integral part of adaptation plans. This is particularly true when considering agricultural ecosystems. In cereal cropping systems, adaptations based on biodiversity resources and sustainable land management, such as changing varieties and planting times, enable the avoidance of an average 10-15 per cent reduction in yield under local temperature increase of 1-2°C. Other biodiversity-based adaptation activities for agricultural systems include the conservation of agricultural genetic resources, the reduction of other threats to agricultural biodiversity, the restoration of degraded lands with native species, the integration of land and water management, implementation of disease control programmes for native livestock, and integration of invasive species management planning. The conservation and the resilience of ecosystems are therefore crucial to climate change adaptations. They constitute the ecosystems’ coping strategies needed to reduce the negative impacts of climate change.


Ahmed Djoghlaf and Delfin Ganapin, Jr.

Biodiversity also contributes to climate change mitigation. Forests account for as much as 80 per cent of the total aboveground terrestrial carbon. Peat lands, meanwhile, which only cover 3 percent of the world’s terrestrial surface, store 30 per cent of all global soil carbon or the equivalent of 75 per cent of all atmospheric carbon. As such, healthy forests and wetland ecosystems have the potential to capture a significant portion of projected emissions. Each year, about 13 M ha of the world’s forests are lost due to deforestation. Deforestation is currently estimated to be responsible for 20 percent of the annual human-induced CO2 emissions. Because of the role of forests in storing carbon and providing essential goods and services, the conservation of forest biodiversity can considerably reduce emissions and has potential co-benefits for adaptation and sustainable development. Moreover, sustainable land management in agricultural areas can increase carbon sequestration in the soil through techniques, such as integrated pest management, conservation tillage, intercropping, and the planting of cover crops. In fact, when cover crops are used in combination with conservation tillage, the soil carbon content can increase annually for a period of up to 50 years. The sustainable management of grazing land can provide similar cobenefits since such lands contain between 10-30 per cent of the world’s soil carbon stocks. Another emerging role of biodiversity in GHG mitigation is the use of bio energy which is derived from renewable sources. Bio energy is considered to be carbon-neutral, since, in theory, the carbon released during combustion can be taken up by growing plants. However, the GHG reduction potential ultimately depends on the type of biomass used and the associated production practices. If produced in a sustainable way, the use of biomass in producing bio energy can efficiently mitigate climate change impacts while enhancing biodiversity, especially on degraded lands.

THE NEED FOR PARTNERSHIP AND COLLABORATION Global warming and its consequences are, therefore, not just the concern of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). CBD is a major partner, together with other international development agencies. CBD is the international framework for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of its benefits. With 190 Parties,

Exploring the Link Between Climate Change and Biodiversity


the CBD has near-universal participation among countries that have committed to preserving life on earth. CBD seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change. Efforts are being done through scientific assessments, development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices, and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders, including indigenous and local communities, youth, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and women. As one of the main drivers of change for biodiversity, climate change is reflected in the 2010 biodiversity target to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss. Target 7 aims to maintain and enhance the resilience of the components of biodiversity to adapt to climate change. This target is crucial in the battle against biodiversity loss. CBD’s cross-cutting issues on biodiversity and climate change and the ecosystem approach allow for the comprehensive consideration of the issue at all levels. Traditional knowledge and the perspectives of local and indigenous communities are also considered. The three Rio Conventions—on Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Desertification— were derived directly from the 1992 Earth Summit. They represent a way of contributing to the sustainable development goals of Agenda 21. In 2001, the Conventions established a Joint Liaison Group (JLG) to enhance the exchange of information and explore opportunities for synergistic activities. The activities for enhanced synergies on adaptation, as identified by the JLG, include the provision of focal points of all Conventions with up-todate information on relevant assessments, research programmes and monitoring tools; collaboration on the development of common messages; development of educational materials; and establishment of joint web-based communication tools. More specifically, the CBD and the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNCCC) collaborate on issues related to the Nairobi work program on impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation to climate change. Further collaborative action is being undertaken on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (RED-DC) and approaches to stimulate action. The CBD and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) are also joining forces with regards to the biodiversity of dry and sub-humid lands. These ecosystems are vulnerable to the combined effects of biodiversity loss, desertification and climate change. Since these areas are usually


Ahmed Djoghlaf and Delfin Ganapin, Jr.

dominated by agricultural activities, there are also significant linkages to the CBD programme of work on agro-biodiversity. But ultimately, strategic global work programmes have to be put into an operational framework and acted upon at national and local levels. This, however, cannot be done by one agency alone. Each network member or partner has the capacity to provide vital parts of the needed expertise and resources, as well as experience in the development, coordination and implementation of regional development programs. Each partner should thus be fully involved. With partnerships, concerted efforts towards the formidable task of addressing both biodiversity and climate change concerns could be effectively implemented. Partners must also strategically focus resources and choose the niche where the best contribution to the overall effort can be made. These are quite ambitious objectives, as they must be. The stakes are enormous and intergenerational. Time is also short. Thus, all of us should bind together as partners across sectors, agencies and countries. ***

NOTES Presented by Dr. Delfin Ganapin Jr., Global Manager of the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme, New York, USA as an introduction to the keynote message of Dr. Ahmed Djoglaf, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, Canada. Dr. Ganapin delivered Dr. Djoglaf’s keynote message during the International Conference-Workshop on Biodiversity and Climate Change in Southeast Asia held in February 2008 in the Philippines. *


Highlights of Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf’s keynote message.

Presented by Dr. Delfin Ganapin Jr. in conclusion of Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf’s keynote message. ***


Issues on Climate Change and Biodiversity in Southeast Asia



Issues on Climate Change and Biodiversity in Southeast Asia Rodel D. Lasco

Climate change is fast becoming a present reality. The most recent IPCC (2007) report concludes that: “…warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and [the] rising global average sea level… (Denman et al. 2007).” Among the projected impacts of climate change is the loss of thousands of species, as well as changes in natural ecosystems. Indeed, climate change is a real threat to biodiversity. Globally, about 20-30 per cent of species will be at increasingly high risk of extinction, possibly by 2100, as global mean temperatures exceed 2-3°C above pre-industrial levels. Global uncertainty range from 10 to 40 per cent, but varies among regional biota from as low as 1 per cent to as high as 80 per cent (Fischlin et al. 2007). The Millennium Ecosystems Assessment (2005) concluded that in the past 50 years, humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in history. These changes have been made mainly to meet the rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber, and fuel. These changes have resulted in a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on earth. It is expected that climate change will exacerbate existing pressures on biodiversity resources. The Southeast Asian region is among the few countries with the richest biodiversity resources in the world. Although occupying only 3 per cent of the world’s total surface, 20 per cent of all known species live deep in its mountains,


Rodel D. Lasco

jungles, rivers, lakes, and seas. The tropical forests harbor 10 per cent of the world’s floral diversity (Gitay et al. 2002). Three of the world’s 17 mega diversity countries are in the region, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Southeast Asia also has seven of the world’s 25 recognised biodiversity hotspots or areas that are known to be biologically rich but are under the greatest threat of destruction. There are more than 27,000 endemic species in the region. Nine countries also share many species that are biologically distinct from the rest of the world as these countries share common land or water borders. The rich species diversity of these countries is reflective of the diverse ecosystems represented by the types of natural habitat found in the region – high mountains, evergreen tropical forests, monsoon forests, limestone formations, wetlands, and marine waters. Many of these sites have either World Heritage Site or ASEAN Heritage Park inscriptions. It is understandable that such natural wealth also provides the economic base for many of the communities in this region. The interplay between the state of natural resources, economic growth, and the progress of alleviating poverty has become a critical nexus for the development of the region. Southeast Asia’s biodiversity resources are under severe stress and in danger of being lost to future generations. For example, the region has the highest relative rate of deforestation among major tropical regions. It could lose three quarters of its original forests by 2100 and beyond by up to 42 per cent of its biodiversity (Sodhi et al. 2004). This unprecedented erosion of biodiversity in the region will have dire ecological and socioeconomic consequences. Climate change will add another layer of stress to the many stressors that are already endangering biodiversity in the region. These stressors will be magnified over time. Much uncertainty remains over the magnitude of climate change in Southeast Asian countries and how biodiversity resources will be affected. This chapter provides a comprehensive but concise discussion of the link between climate change and biodiversity in Southeast Asia. Information is drawn largely from the papers presented in the 2008 International ConferenceWorkshop on Biodiversity and Climate Change in Southeast Asia: Adaptation and Mitigation.

Issues on Climate Change and Biodiversity in Southeast Asia


CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE BIODIVERSITY RESOURCES OF SOUTHEAST ASIA Over the last few decades, Asia’s natural ecosystems and the biodiversity contained therein are under severe pressure to support the ever growing demand for natural resources (UNFCCC 2007; Taylor et al. 1999) The increasing loss of biodiversity in Asia is being attributed to development activities and land degradation (especially overgrazing and deforestation), pollution, overfishing, hunting, infrastructure development, species invasion, land-use change, and the overuse of freshwater (UNEP 2002; Gopal 2003). The most affected areas are coastal and marine ecosystems, forests, and the mountainous regions. Climate change is expected to exacerbate the various stresses facing these ecosystems. Projected elevational shifts of ecosystems are also expected due to climate change. Changes in the distribution and health of rainforest and monsoon forests can also occur, just like in Thailand, where an increase from 45 to 80 per cent in tropical forest cover is expected. This increase in forest cover will subsequently lead to an increase in evapotranspiration and rainfall variability. These increases pose negative effects on the viability of freshwater wetlands (Taylor et al., 1999). Around 1,250 to 15,000 species of higher plants are threatened in India and the scenario is also the same in Myanmar, China, Malaysia, and Thailand (IPCC 2001). The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (Cruz et al. 2007) projects that up to 50 per cent of Asia’s total biodiversity is at risk due to climate change. Large populations of many other species could also be lost due to the synergistic effects of climate change and habitat fragmentation (Ishigami et al. 2003, 2005). Though evidence of climate-related biodiversity loss in Asia remains limited, a large number of plant and animal species are reportedly moving to higher latitudes and altitudes as a consequence of observed climate change impacts in many parts of Asia in recent years (Yoshio and Ishii 2001; IUCN 2003). There are even more limited projections on the impacts of climate change on the biodiversity of Southeast Asia in the IPCC report (2007), reflecting the paucity of data in the region. Among these projections were the estimated extinctions of 105-1,522 plant species and 10-213 vertebrates in Indo-Burma under a doubled-CO2 climate using two General Circulation Models (GCMs) (Malcolm et al. 2006). In the Philippines, modeling work, using the Holdridge Life Zones, show that dry forest types are under threat of being wiped out, even without human intervention, with increasing rainfall that is projected in most


Rodel D. Lasco

of the country, assuming that only climate shift is the driver of change (Lasco et al. 2007; Pulhin and Lasco 2008). It has also been observed that in the past 20 years, the increasing intensity and spread of forest fires in Southeast Asia were largely related to rises in temperature and declines in precipitation, in combination with increasing intensity of land uses (Cruz et al. 2007). Whether this trend persists in the future or not is difficult to ascertain considering the limited literature on how the frequency and severity of forest and brush fires are likely to respond to expected increase in temperature and precipitation in Southeast Asia. The uncertainty lies on whether the expected increase in temperature is enough to trigger more frequent and severe fires despite the projected increase in precipitation. Should the frequency, duration, and intensity of fires increase with climate change? If so, there could be severe impacts on biodiversity resources. The complexity and regeneration of diverse species that are thriving in the forested areas may be reduced. Coral ecosystems are also under dire threat if the climate continues to change. Under some climate change scenario, the loss of reefs in Asia may be as high as 88 per cent in the next 30 years (IPCC 1992; Sheppard 2003; Wilkinson, 2004). The International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN) reported that the worldwide massive coral bleaching that occurred in 2002 only ranked second from the 1997-1998 coral bleaching event caused by the El Niño Southern Oscillation, which in turn was caused by climate change (UNEP 2002). If conservation measures could receive increasing attention, large areas of the reefs would recover from the direct and indirect damage of climate change within the next 10 years. However, if abnormally high sea-surface temperatures (SST) continue to cause major bleaching events and reduce the capacity of the reefs to calcify, due to CO2 increase, most human efforts are futile (Kleypas et al. 1999; Wilkinson 2002). Asia is home to 80 per cent of the world’s commercial marine organisms like fish, shrimp, and shellfish. Due to the fluctuating temperatures in the coastal areas, plankton shifts occur, thereby leading to sardine movement towards the Japan Sea (IPCC 2001). At greater than 500 ppm of atmospheric CO2 concentration, it was reported that probably half, and possibly more, of coral-associated fauna are becoming rare or extinct given their dependence on living corals and reef rugosity (Hoegh-Guldberg et al. 2007). Another study showed that 25 per cent of coral reefs could be destroyed as a result of climate change. The southern part of the Philippines and central Indonesia possessed

Issues on Climate Change and Biodiversity in Southeast Asia


the top 10 per cent richest location for the four taxa used in the study, which includes fishes, corals, snails, and lobsters (Roberts et al. 2002). Although adaptation strategies exist that aim to reduce the impacts of climate change to natural ecosystems and their biodiversity, these are mainly generic. In forest ecosystems, such strategies include the use of improved technologies for tree plantation development and reforestation, and the improvement of initiatives to protect forests from fires, insects, and diseases. These strategies could reduce the vulnerability of most forests in Asia to climate change and variability (Cruz et al. 2007). Other adaptation measures that IPCC identified include the implementation of comprehensive intersectoral programs that combine measures to control deforestation and forest degradation with measures to increase agricultural productivity and sustainability, extend rotation cycles, reduce the damage to remaining trees, reduce logging waste, implement soil conservation practices, and use wood in a more carbon-efficient way. These strategies would help conserve a large fraction of the carbon in the atmosphere. Climate-risk adaptation practices also exist at the community level in many developing countries. These strategies are primarily designed to cope with climatic variability and extremes at the farm level. In the Philippines, for example, upland farmers are using appropriate species/crops, implementing proper scheduling, adapting to technical innovations (e.g. water conservation measures), participating in capacity building programs, and conducting law enforcement initiatives (Lasco et al. 2007). The range of adaptation options identified by the participants suggests the high degree of awareness on how local communities adjust to climate variabilities and extremes. The country papers in this book highlight the potential impacts of climate change on biodiversity in the various Southeast Asian countries. In Thailand, a study by Roud and Gale (2008) (Chidthaisong 2008) suggests that the number and proportion of detections of Lophura diardi pheasant, which inhabit the lowlands, have significantly increased as compared to the detections of Lophura nycthemera pheasant, which inhabit highly elevated areas. Environmental factors, mediated by the changing climate, are the most plausible explanation for the changing proportion of sightings of the two species. In the Philippines, the study on the potential change in forest ecosystems, using the Holdridge Life Zones system, showed that dry forests are the most vulnerable to climate change as most models show increasing rainfall in the country (Pulhin and Lasco 2008). In coastal ecosystems, several potential impacts were also


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identified based on global studies (Uy 2008). In Singapore, several analog studies showed the vulnerability of marine ecosystems to climate change (Chou 2008). Some adaptation strategies were also identified to address the impacts of climate change to the biodiversity of Southeast Asian countries. For forest ecosystems, these strategies included protection activities, rehabilitation of degraded forests, and improvement of harvesting technologies (Pulhin and Lasco 2008). For coastal and marine ecosystems, adaptation measures included the implementation of integrated coastal zone management, and the establishment of marine protected areas (Uy 2008; Pulhin and Lasco 2008). The need to mainstream climate change in biodiversity policies and management approaches was also highlighted (Pulhin and Lasco 2008). The above review shows the very limited information on how climate change affects Southeast Asia’s biodiversity. In this region, the key challenge, therefore, is to generate science-based information that could guide policy makers and development workers on how to cope with the impacts of climate change. Without this information, adaptation actions will be fragmented and poorly targeted. A way out of this uncertainty is to focus on no-regrets measures that many agree will help arrest the erosion of biodiversity resources. For instance, the establishment of protected areas seems to be a no-regrets measure that is bound to create positive impacts in allowing ecosystems to adapt to climate change. The tropical region has the largest potential for climate change mitigation through forestry activities. Southeast Asia has the highest potential in terms of reducing deforestation (Nabuurs et al. 2007). At US$272/t CO2, about 109,000 Mt of CO2 emissions will be prevented. The role of natural ecosystems and their biodiversity, in mitigating climate change, is more clearly elaborated in scientific literature, especially for forest ecosystems in Indonesia and the Philippines. Many studies have shown the ability of planted trees to rapidly sequester substantial amounts of carbon in these countries (Murdiyarso 1996; Palm et al. 2007; Lasco et al. 2007; Lasco and Pulhin 2006; and Lasco and Pulhin 2003). There is, in fact, a growing interest in many countries in obtaining carbon finance for forestry projects. Avoiding loss of forests (or deforestation; also known as reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation or REDD), and preventing carbon emissions in the process, are now at the center of climate change negotiations. This interest further highlights the natural ecosystems’ ability to mitigate climate change (Kanninen et al.

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2007). This increasing interest in the role of forest ecosystems in climate change mitigation is due to the potential financial windfall estimated to run into several billions of US dollars annually. The role of terrestrial ecosystems to mitigate climate change was also discussed by the various country papers. In Cambodia, the destruction of forest ecosystems is the leading cause of GHG emissions. Reducing deforestation can lead to less GHG emissions. In addition, there are mitigation options that exist in cattle raising to reduce CH4 emissions (Sann and Ngo 2008). In Malaysia, the Danum Valley is hosting the Innoprise-Face Foundation Rainforest Rehabilitation Project (INFAPRO) designed to abate the enhanced greenhouse effect by planting and protecting forests. The project aims to rehabilitate 25,000 ha of degraded forests through enrichment planting to increase the capacity of logged-over forests for carbon sequestration (Linatoc et al. 2008). In Thailand, the role of forests in oxidizing CH4 and sequestering carbon was discussed (Chidthaisong 2008). In Vietnam, the role of wetland ecosystems, specifically the Red River Estuary, to mitigate climate change was highlighted (Ninh et al. 2008) (Table 2.1).

CROSS-CUTTING IMPLICATIONS AND ISSUES High Uncertainty in Climate Change Scenarios In almost all of the papers presented in this book, it is clear that climate change scenarios are very uncertain for most countries in Southeast Asia. As a result, the very limited research on climate change impacts on biodiversity are generalisations based on studies elsewhere. “…the limited ability of current climate models to predict inter-annual (and inter-decadal) variability in rainfall patterns and the lack of information on current species-environment relationships makes it difficult to predict [the] impacts of rapid climate change on biodiversity… (Corlett 2003).”


Forests Wetlands Mangroves



Loss of pheasant species

Sedimentation Natural colonization of humanmade habitats Salinity depression Sea surface temperature elevation

Various impacts but not sitespecific



Loss of dry forests










Forest protection rehabilitation of degraded lands Improved harvesting technology Mainstreaming of climate change policies Establishment of marineprotected areas Ecological studies Integrated coastal zone management

Adaption Options

Carbon sink and sequestration

Increase carbon sink in marine environment

Preventive measures against deforestion

Carbon sequestration

Reduce deforestation to decrease GHG Proper cattle management to reduce methane emissions

Mitigation Potentials

Table 2.1 Summary of climate change impacts on biodiversity, adaptation options, and mitigation potential in Southeast Asian countries based on country papers presented in the 2008 International Conference-Workshop on Biodiversity and Climate Change in Southeast Asia

18 Rodel D. Lasco

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This uncertainty is being addressed in many Southeast Asian countries by implementing various projects. But local climate projections for biodiversity conservation may still take time. Hence, adaptation measures will likely remain embedded and implicit in measures to address more pressing threats to biodiversity loss. There are also implications on how far policy makers in the region will take the threat of climate change to biodiversity seriously. Given the more pressing causes of biodiversity loss, it will be a tough sell to convince the policy makers to allocate local resources to climate change adaptation initiatives. More often than not, the resources needed for adaptation research and development will likely come from external donors.

Climate Change as One of Many Stressors to Biodiversity The Millennium Ecosystems Assessment (2005) report highlights the many drivers of the present state of biodiversity in the world (Figure 2.1). Climate change is just one of these drivers. At present, climate change has a much lower impact than the other drivers, although it will be more important in the future. This fact implies that climate change must not always be blamed for the loss of biodiversity. Habitat change and overexploitation are far more important drivers of biodiversity loss than climate change (Figure 2.1). This situation poses several challenges. Researchers must help elaborate on the additional stress that climate change has on biodiversity resources. They must conduct studies that factor out the additional threats posed by climate change. To do this, researchers must be able to draw upon robust projections of climate change scenarios at the national and sub-national levels. The results of such studies could guide policy makers in determining the amount of additional resources needed to address climate change impacts.

Biodiversity and Climate Change Adaptation Climate change directly and indirectly creates impacts on biodiversity resources. Hence, biodiversity resources need to adapt to a new climate regime. They are also important in enhancing the adaptive capacity of local communities living in and around them. The effects of climate change to biodiversity will therefore


Rodel D. Lasco

Figure 2.1 The main drivers of change in biodiversity (Millennium Ecosystems Assessment, 2005)

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have a cascading effect on local communities which rely heavily on such resources. For example, most of the 20 M people living in the Philippine uplands rely on natural resources, especially the surrounding forests, to survive. Changes in forest composition and the extent of these changes could have profound effects on the livelihoods of these communities. Changes in vegetative cover could also affect the hydrological properties of watersheds which supply water for power, agriculture, and domestic use. Hardly any assessment of these more indirect climate change impacts has been done in Southeast Asia.

Biodiversity and Climate Change Mitigation There is high interest on the role of natural ecosystems for climate change mitigation, especially carbon sequestration by trees and forests. The burgeoning carbon market, which now runs to several billions of dollars annually, provide strong incentives for people to venture and take advantage of this opportunity. However there are several issues that Southeast Asian countries need to be wary of. The first issue that needs to be considered is the implication of the rising number of carbon sequestration projects in Southeast Asia. Carbon payments are contingent on the amount of carbon sequestered in trees. The rate of carbon sequestration is typically higher in fast-growing trees as compared to the slow-growing indigenous trees. This situation could spawn the massive planting of exotic, and possibly invasive species, to enhance the financial profitability of these projects. The danger may be enhanced with the entry of the private sector whose main motivation is profit. One way of addressing this risk is to mandate globally accepted standards such as the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standard for forestry projects. The second issue is the increasing focus on forests for climate change mitigation. Forests can maximise carbon stocks and rate of sequestration. However, this role may overshadow the importance of the various flora and fauna that make up the forests’ biodiversity. More attention may be given to the ability of forests to obtain high carbon stocks at the expense of biodiversity protection initiatives. Again, robust standards for climate mitigation projects could be a way to prevent this from happening.


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The third issue is the availability of financing schemes for climate change mitigation. These schemes could be leveraged for biodiversity conservation.

The Role of Environmental Service Payments Payment for environmental services (PES) is a generic term used to denote a way of creating incentives for forest resources. PES is a voluntary transaction in which a well-defined environmental service (ES), or land use that is likely to secure that service, is being “bought” by at least one ES buyer, from at least one ES provider, if and only if the ES provider secures an ES provision, i.e. conditionality (Wunder 2005). Payments for biodiversity protection exist at the local, national, and international scales. International organisations, foundations, and conservation NGOs are major buyers of biodiversity conservation services. Scherr et al. (2007) estimated that the financial payment for biodiversity protection services is the largest forest ecosystem services that are associated with land use and land-use change, if the conservation easements are included (Table 2.2). The market for biodiversity conservation is highly segmented. Also, a number of different payment systems exist, including the purchase of high-value habitats (e.g. “debtfor-nature swaps”), payment for access to species or habitats, and payment in support of management to conserve biodiversity, tradable rights, and support for biodiversity conservation businesses (Jenkins et al. 2004). The possibility of using PES for biodiversity conservation was highlighted in the paper from the Philippines (Pulhin and Lasco 2008). In Malaysia, the Sabah State Government, in collaboration with an Australian-based forestry investment firm, New Forests Pty Ltd, committed to protect the 34,000 ha of forests in biodiversity-rich Malua Forest Reserve on a commercial basis (Linatoc et al. 2008). The innovative project aims to produce biodiversity credits which are tradable securities that reward activities supporting the conservation and sustainable use of natural ecosystems. It plans to sell endangered species credits to offset the negative impacts of certain activities on those species and their habitats. Biodiversity credits will be primarily marketed to oil palm companies/ producers, energy companies, and other businesses involved in the production of biodiesel.

US$20 million for just offsets

Probably some 50% of global market

(Source: Ecosystem Market matric, ver. 19. Ecosystem Marketplace, 2006)

Government conservation payments and US$3,000 million - just Costa Rice: over US$14 million; Current biodiversity offsets flora and fauna oriented global expenditures on protected areas are programs (excluding water estimated at approx. US$6.5 billion/year and soil conservation)

(Offsets outside the regulatory framework)

Voluntary biodiversity offsets

(Expenditures by NGOs for conservation)

Size and use of easements in developing countries unknown. Roughly US$2 billion/year(McKinsey-WRI-TNC)

US$6,000 million in US alone

Land trust, conservation easements

Estimated Current Size of Payments in Developing Countries (US$ per annum)

Unknown as to ho many species offsets are driven by Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulation in developing countries

Estimated Current Size of Payments Globally (US$ per annum)

Regulatory-drive species offsets (including US$45 million in the US US Conservation Banking) Program just begun in Australia and possibly similar program in France, size unknown

Ecosystem Payment Types

Table 2.2 Estimated size of payments for biodiversity services

Issues on Climate Change and Biodiversity in Southeast Asia 23


Rodel D. Lasco

Despite significant progress, most payments for biodiversity services remain nascent and, to a large degree, experimental. Major constraints to market development exist, such as the significant transaction costs that are associated with setting up and implementing trades (Jenkins et al. 2004). Most biodiversity conservation services are intangible, making them difficult to package for sale, and rarely consumed by a clearly identifiable clientele. Threshold effects in the service supply make it difficult to portion out services to individual buyers. Examples are the forests that fall below a certain size. Such forests will likely fail to deliver the biodiversity resources demanded from it (Grieg-Gran and Bann 2003).

Research Gaps The country papers in this book reveal the paucity of data on the link of climate change and biodiversity resources in Southeast Asia. Clearly, major gaps in knowledge remain. There is still lack of information on national to sub-national climate scenarios which are considered the starting point of impact assessments. Most of the predicted climate change impacts are thus generic and taken from studies in other countries. A major research effort is needed to fill this gap. Furthermore, “…the limited ability of current climate models to predict inter-annual (and inter-decadal) variability in rainfall patterns, and the lack of information on current species environment relationships, makes it difficult to predict impacts of climate change on forests biodiversity… (Corlett 2003).”

CONCLUSIONS Southeast Asia is an important locus of global biodiversity. The biodiversity resources in this region are facing severe pressures that are approaching an ecological crisis. Climate change adds additional stress to the already fragile ecosystems. This stress is expected to increase over time. Most vulnerable ecosystems include coastal and marine ecosystems and forest ecosystems. Most countries still lack

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adaptation strategies. For those who have, the strategies are very generic which constrain implementation. Natural ecosystems in the region can play a role in climate change mitigation. This is increasingly being explored especially in forest ecosystems. Major research gaps remain and these gaps must be addressed soon.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT The author would like to acknowledge Ms. Rizza Karen Veridiano for her assistance in the preparation of this paper.

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Fischlin, A., G.F. Midgley, J.T. Price, R. Leemans, B. Gopal, C. Turley, M.D.A. Rounsevell, O.P. Dube, J. Tarazona, A.A. Velichko. 2007. “Ecosystems, their properties, goods, and services.” In Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change edited by M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson. pp 211-272. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Grieg-Gran, Maryanne and Camille Bann. 2003. “A closer look at payments and markets for environmental services.” In From Goodwill to Payments for Environmental Services, a survey of financing options for sustainable natural resource management in developing countries edited by Pablo Gutman. Switzerland: WWF Macroeconomics for Sustainable Development Programme Office. Gopal, Brij. 2003: “Future of wetlands in Asia. Abstract” In 5th International Conference on Environmental Future, Zürich. abstracts/Gopal.pdf. Hoegh-Guldberg, O., P.J. Mumby, A.J. Hooten, R.S. Steneck, P. Greenfield, E. Gomez, C.D. Harvell, P.F. Sale, A.J. Edwards, K. Caldeira, N. Knowlton, C.M. Eakin, R. Iglesias-Prieto, N. Muthiga, R.H. Bardbury, A. Dubi, and M.E. Hatziolos. 2007. “Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification.” Science. 318:1737-1742. Gitay, Habiba, Suarez, Avelino, Watson, Robert and David Jon Dokken. 2002. “Climate Change and Biodiversity.” Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 2001.”Summary For Policymakers Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, And Vulnerability.” Geneva: IPCC. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 1992: “Climate Change 1992: The Supplementary Report to the IPCC Scientific Assessment.” Edited by J.T. Houghton, B.A. Callander and S.K. Varney. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Ishigami, Yasuhiro, Shimizu Yo and Omasa Kenji. 2003. “Projection of climatic change effects on potential natural vegetation distribution in Japan.” Journal of Agricultural Meteorology, 59, 269-276.

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Shigami, Yasuhiro, Shimizu Yo and Omasa Kenji. 2005. “Evaluation of the risk to natural vegetation from climate change in Japan.” Journal of Agricultural Meteorology, 61, 69-75. IUCN (The World Conservation Union), 2003a: “Indus Delta, Pakistan: economic costs of reduction in freshwater flows.” Case Studies in Wetland Valuation No. 5, Pakistan Country Office, Karachi, 6 pp. (Accessed 24 January 2007). Jenkins, Michael, Sara Scherr and Mira Inbar. 2004. “Markets for biodiversity services: potential roles and challenges.” Environment, 46 (4) pp 32-42. Kanninen, Markku, Daniel Murdiyarso, Frances Seymour, Arild Angelsen, Sven Wunder, and Laura German. 2007. “Do trees grow on money? The implications of deforestation research for policies to promote REDD.” Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor. Kleypas, Joan, Robert Buddemeier, David Archer, Jean-Pierre Gattuso, Chris Langdon, and Bradley Opdyke. 1999: “Geochemical consequences of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide on coral reefs.” Science, 284, 118120. Lasco, Rodel, Florencia Pulhin, and Renezita Sales. 2007. “Analysis of leakage in carbon sequestration projects in forestry: a case study of upper Magat watershed, Philippines.” Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 12: 1189-1211. Lasco, Rodel, Rex Victor Cruz, John Pulhin, and Florencia Pulhin. 2007. “Spillovers and Trade-offs of Adaptation in the Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed of the Philippines.” In Climate Change and Adaptation edited by Neil Leary, James Adejuwon, Vicente Barros, Ian Burton, Jyoti Kulkarni and R Lasco. London: Earthscan. Lasco, Rodel and Florencia Pulhin. 2006. “Assessing the role of watershed areas in mitigating climate change in the Philippines: the case of La Mesa watershed.” Journal of Environmental Science and Management 9:19-29. Lasco, Rodel and Florencia Pulhin. 2003. “Philippine forest ecosystems and climate change: Carbon stocks, rate of sequestration and the Kyoto Protocol.” Annals of Tropical Research. 25(2), 37-51. Malcolm, Jay, Canran Liu, Ronald Neilson, Lara Hansen and Lee Hannah. 2006: “Global warming and extinctions of endemic species from biodiversity hotspots.” Conservation Biology, 20, 538–548.


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Climate Change in the Montane Mainland Southeast Asia



Climate Change in the Montane Mainland Southeast Asia: Reflections on Water Resources and Livelihoods Jian Chu Xu and David Thomas

The mountainous area, which includes Southwest China (Yunnan Province, part of Sichuan and eastern Tibetan Plateau), together with Northern Mainland Southeast Asia, is the source of headwaters and major tributaries leading into seven major rivers that drain into an area of nearly 4 M km2. These water resources have impacts on the lives of more than 696 M people (Table 3.1). The Asia-Pacific plate meets the Indo-European plate to form the Himalayan range and a number of smaller ranges. They run almost parallel with each other from Northern Yunnan through the Southern portion of the province and into the neighbouring countries to the south. The headwaters of the Yangtze, Salween, Table 3.1 Major rivers of the Montane Mainland Southeast Asia River

Basin Area (km2)

Percentage of Glacier Melt in River Flow

Population Density

Population (million)

Water Availability (m3/person/year)












8,934 23,796





























Chao Phraya


~4 million

(Source: Water Resources e-Atlas (WRI, UNEP, IWMI, IUCN), Xu et al., 2008)



Jian Chu Xu and David Thomas

Irrawaddy, Mekong, Red, Chao Phraya and Pearl Rivers are located within this montane region. Except for the Yangtze River, which flows through Central China, the other rivers flow through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam (Figure 3.1). This region can be further divided into an alpine zone (above 3,000 m asl), a montane zone (between 300-3,000 m asl), and a lowland zone (less than 300 m asl). The term ‘Montane Mainland Southeast Asia (MMSEA)’ is used loosely to describe the areas in the montane and alpine zones (Thomas et al. 2008). Moreover, the alpine zone, which is dominated by the high altitude Tibetan Plateau, is referred to as the ‘Water Tower of Asia’ (Xu et al. 2008). The montane zone, meanwhile, has been called the ‘Roof of Southeast Asia’ (Thomas et al. 2008). Like other mountain areas the world over, the MMSEA region is particularly vulnerable to global warming. MMSEA has high plateau and mountainous areas that demonstrate a number of noticeable impacts related to global climate change. The most widely reported of these impacts include the rapid reduction in many glaciers in high altitudes, too much water during monsoons, and too little water in mountain watersheds during the dry season (Ma et al. 2008). These conditions clearly have implications on downstream water resources (Nogues-Bravo et al. 2007). Moreover, the mountains in the region have a history of disasters. Climate change can alter the frequencies, distribution, mix, and magnitudes of these disasters - both favourably and adversely. During the past half century, the Yangtze, Red, Mekong, and Chao Phraya Rivers have flooded at an increasing rate (Jacobs 1996; Zhu et al. 2003), causing some of the worst devastation recorded in history. Despite such evidences, high uncertainty exists on the rates, magnitudes, the direction of changes, and the results they bring in terms of changes in precipitation, and impacts on runoff and water availability. At present, very little is known on the dynamics of mountain topographyclimates and hydrological processes, and their response to changing climatic inputs. Water, both too little and too much, can be a good indicator as a reflection of climate change in the mountain region.

MOUNTAIN CLIMATE AND WATER In the mountains, climatic conditions vary more sharply with elevation than with latitude. Mean temperatures, for example, decline about 1 oC per 160 m of elevation, compared with 1oC per 150 km by latitude. Hence, the effects of climate change

Figure 3.1 Altitude zones of major rivers in Montane Mainland Southeast Asia (MMSEA) (Thomas et al. 2008)

Climate Change in the Montane Mainland Southeast Asia 33


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are expected to intensify in mountain areas. These areas are expected to be uniquely placed to serve as areas for detection of climate change and related impacts (Beniston 2003). Mountainous areas display great climatic variability. Mountains act as barrier to atmospheric circulation for both the summer monsoon and the winter westerlies. The summer monsoon dominates the climate during a six-month period (May-October) in the MMSEA region. Monsoon rainfall is mainly of an orographic nature, resulting in distinct variations in rainfall with elevation, as well as distinct differences between the southern rim of the Himalayas and the rain-shadowed areas of the Tibetan Plateau behind the main mountain range (Mei’e 1985). On the meso-scale, the impacts of climate change are mainly due to local topographic characteristics (Chalise and Khanal 2001), with dry inner valleys resulting from to the lee effect (i.e., more rain on the windward side than on the sheltered side of a mountain). Likewise, the valley bottoms of the deep inner valleys in high mountain areas receive much less rainfall than the adjacent mountain slopes. This situation suggests that currently measured rainfall, which is mainly based on measurements of the valley bottoms, is not representative of these areas. Major underestimates thus result from the use of these data. Temperature decreases, with elevation at a rate of about 0.6 oC per 100 m, and wide ranges of temperatures, are found over short distances. Local temperatures also correspond to season, aspect, and slope. Temperature regimes vary from the tropical region– with average annual temperatures of more than 24°C in eastern Myanmar – to the alpine region in the areas of the Tibetan Plateau and high mountain peaks, where annual average temperatures are below 3 °C (Wyss 1993). Climate controls river flow and glacier mass balance in the alpine region. A substantial proportion of the annual precipitation falls as snow, particularly on the high altitude Tibetan Plateau (above 3000 m). Ice and glaciers cover about 17 per cent of these high altitude areas and provide important short- and long-term water storage facilities. The Tibetan Plateau has the highest glaciated areas outside the polar region, although there is still lack of accurate and detailed data (Owen et al. 2002, Dyurgerov and Meier 2005). Water from both permanent snow and ice, and from seasonal snow-pack is released by melting. They are stored in high altitude wetlands and lakes. This event gives a distinct seasonal rhythm to the annual stream flow regimes in rivers. Contribution of snow and glacial melt to average flows of major rivers in the region ranges from 6.6 per cent, for the Mekong, and 8.8 per cent, for the Salween, to 18.5 per cent, for the Yangtze (Xu et al. 2008).

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Glacial melt provides the principal water source of dry season water for 25 per cent of the population who are living in western China (Xu 2008).

PRESENT AND PROJECTED EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE Climate change is currently taking place at an unprecedented rate. It is projected to compound the pressures on mountain ecosystems and societies that are already associated with rapid urbanisation, industrialisation, expanding infrastructure, and economic development. It will have potentially profound and widespread effects on the availability of and access to water resources. By 2050, access to freshwater in Southeast Asia, particularly in large basins, is projected to decrease. Coastal areas, especially heavily populated mega-delta regions in South, East, and Southeast Asia, such as the Yangtze Delta and Pearl River Delta in China, and the Mekong Delta and Irrawaddy Delta in Southeast Asia, will be at their greatest risk of being flooded due to increased tropical cyclones, and overflows from rivers originating in the mountain watersheds (Norad 2007).

Rising Temperatures IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007) concludes that there is a more than 90 per cent chance that observed warming since the 1950s is due to the emission of GHGs from human activities. Temperature projections for the 21st century suggest a significant acceleration of warming over those observed in the 20th century (Ruosteenoja et al. 2003). In Asia, it is very likely that all areas will get warmer during this century. Recent modeling experiments suggest that warming will be significant in the mountains and highlands of Asia, including the Tibetan Plateau, which has shown consistent trends in overall warming during the past 100 years (Gao et al. 2003; Yao et al. 2006). A noticeable monotonic trend has occurred in the annual temperature pattern in the past four decades (1965-2006). The mountain region also experienced a significant temperature regime shift in 1986. The mean annual temperature increased from 15.5°C to 16.4°C in the Yunnan Province of Southwest China (Ma et al. 2008). This temperature increase also occurred in the mountain ranges of Western Europe (Lenoir et al. 2008).


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Various studies suggest that warming in the Tibetan Plateau has been much greater than the global average level (IPCC 2007a; Du et al. 2004). Warming in Nepal, for example, was 0.6°C per decade, between 1977 and 2000 (Shrestha et al. 1999). Warming in the mountain regions has been progressively greater with increasing elevation (Table 3.2). An analysis on the observed grid data (New et al. 2001) suggests that progressively higher warming in higher altitudes is a phenomenon prevalent over the Asian highlands. Shi (2001) analysed the data of 97 meteorological stations that are located in the Tibetan Plateau between 1955 and 1996. He found an average decadal rise in temperature of 0.16 o C per decade. This is much higher than the rate of increase for the northern hemisphere as a whole, which increased by a total of 0.4 o C between the 1960s and 1980s. The rate of increase in winter temperatures on the Tibetan Plateau (0.32-0.33o C/decade), which is mainly due to increases in average minimum temperatures, has greatly contributed to the increase in the average annual temperatures (Shi 2001; Niu et al. 2005). Summer temperatures have changed to a lesser degree. On the average, winters in the 1990s were 1.5 o C warmer than in the 1960s, while summer temperatures have only increased by 1.1 o C over the last 40 years (Li 2005). Furthermore, there is also a tendency for the warming trend to increase with elevation on the Tibetan Plateau and its surrounding areas. This trend suggests that the Tibetan Plateau is one of the most sensitive areas in terms of response to global climate change (Liu and Chen 2000). With rising temperatures, the shrinking of glaciers in mountainous areas is likewise accelerating (Liu et al. 2006). To date, China’s glaciers have shrunk 5.5 per cent since the 1960s (Li et al. 2008). In many areas, a greater proportion of total precipitation appears to be falling as rain as compared to previous periods. As a result, the melting of snow begins earlier and the winter is becoming shorter. These changes affect river regimes, natural hazards, water supplies, and people’s livelihoods and infrastructure. The extent and health of high altitude wetlands, green water flows from terrestrial ecosystems, reservoirs, water flow, and sediment transport along rivers and in lakes, are likewise affected. The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of IPCC (2007a) predicted that the area-averaged annual mean warming would be about 3 ºC in the 2050s, and about 5 ºC in the 2080s over the land regions of Asia. The area-averaged annual mean warming of the Tibetan Plateau, meanwhile, will rise even more (Rupa Kumar et al. 2006) (Table 3.2).

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Table 3.2 Average annual increase in temperature (units/decade) at different altitudes in the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding areas, 1961-1990 Altitude (m)

No. of Stations





Annual Average








(Source: Liu and Hou, 1998)

Nogues-Bravo et al. (2007) described the two most divergent scenarios - that of a fossil-fuel incentive world of rapid economic growth combined with the introduction of efficient technologies (A1FI), and an alternative scenario with rapid changes in economic structures but with clean technologies (B1) introduced. In the two scenarios, the region will see a large increase in average temperatures by 2055 - +5.0ºC (+0.62ºC/per decade) for A1FI and +3.6ºC (+0.45ºC/per decade) for B1. These scenarios predict an increase of +8.4ºC (+0.76ºC/per decade) for A1F1 and +4.8ºC for B1 (+0.43ºC/per decade) by 2085 in highland Asia. However, because of the extreme topography and complex reactions of the region to the greenhouse effect, even high-resolution climatic models cannot give specific projections of climate change in the high altitude areas.

Precipitation Trends Long-term paleo-climatic precipitation records provide a useful perspective on present-day conditions and variability. Ice-core studies on the Tibetan Plateau indicate that both wet and dry periods have occurred since AD 960 (Tan et al. 2008) and AD 1600 (Yao et al. 2008). In more recent centuries, the records show weakening monsoons during the 18th century, and then strengthening monsoons between the 19th- to the early 20th century. This was followed again


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by weakening monsoons from the early 1920s to the present (Duan and Yao 2004). During the last few decades, inter-seasonal, inter-annual and spatial variability in rainfall trends were observed all across Asia. In the mountainous regions, both increasing and decreasing trends have been detected. The increasing trends were found in the Tibetan Plateau’s northeast region (Zhao et al. 2004) and its eastern and central parts (Xu and Liul 2007). Ma et al. (2008b) found that the monthly rainfall in the mountainous region of Yunnan increased by 54.9 per cent and 43.1 per cent in September and May, respectively. Monthly rainfall decreased by 27.6 per cent and 14.4 per cent in June and July, respectively. The increase in rainfall in May indicated the earlier onset of the monsoon season, and the change in monthly rainfall from May to September indicated the variability of the monsoons. Despite these results, there is still a major need for more research on precipitation and hydrological processes in the mountainous region as most studies have excluded this area due to its extreme and complex topography, and lack of adequate rain-gauge data (Shrestha 2000).

Impacts on Water Resources Glacial Retreats in Water Tower: Glaciers in the highlands of Asia store about 12,000 km3 of freshwater. This is the largest body of ice outside the polar caps and the source of water for numerous rivers that flow across Asia (Dyurgerov and Meier 2005). Glaciers, as a source of water, have immediate impacts on human settlements in the mountains and surrounding lowlands. People rely on fresh water for domestic purposes, irrigation, hydropower, and industrial use, as well as environmental flow and other ecosystem functions. Glaciers, together with high altitude wetlands and lakes, are considered ‘water towers.’ They are also considered as good indicators of climate change as they have impacts on sea levels (Meier 1984). It has been estimated that about 30 per cent of water resources in the eastern Himalayas are derived from the melting of snow and ice. As a result of global warming, significant quantities of water are being released from longterm storage as glacier ice. In the short term, this situation may result to an increase in water supply, i.e. higher water levels in high altitude lakes and increased stream flows. But in the long term, as glaciers disappear, the water supply from the melting of glaciers likewise decline.

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Water is necessary for all life forms, but it also can be dangerous and destructive (Weingartner et al. 2003). In the last half century, 82 per cent of the glaciers in western China have retreated (Liu et al. 2006). On the Tibetan Plateau, the glacial area has decreased by 4.5 per cent over the last 20 years, and by 7 per cent over the last 40 years (China National Report on Climate Change or CNRCC 2007). The length of the glaciers in the Tibetan Plateau is shorter than 4 km. They are projected to disappear with a 3 ºC rise in temperature without changes in precipitation. If current warming rates are maintained, the glaciers that are located over the Tibetan Plateau are likely to shrink at very rapid rates - from 500,000 km2 in 1995 to 100,000 km2 by the 2030s (IPCC 2007b). Hence, it may be concluded that with a 2 ºC increase in temperature by 2050, 35 per cent of the glaciers today will disappear. With this disappearance is the increase in runoff which will reach its peak between 2030 and 2050 (Qin 2002). Research results in the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayan Mountains suggest that glacier retreat is due to the precipitation decrease combined with temperature increase. This would shrink the glaciers in this region, thereby speeding up climatic warming and drying (Ren et al. 2003). In addition, most scenarios suggest that water scarcity will turn into catastrophic proportions by the 2050s as a result of population growth, climatic change, and the increase of water consumption (Oki 2003).

Increasing Runoff in Mountain Watersheds: With mountain regions providing more than 50 per cent of global river runoff, and with more than onesixth of the Earth’s population relying on glaciers and seasonal snow packs for their water supply, the effects of climatic change is of tremendous importance to the densely populated lowland regions that depend on mountain watersheds for their domestic, agricultural, and industrial needs (Barnett et al. 2005; Graham et al. 2007). Processes that determine the conversion of precipitation into runoff and downstream flows are many and complex. Changes in precipitation type (rain, snow) and its amount, intensity, and distribution over time and space, have direct impacts on total and peak river runoff, potentially moving it away from agricultural and dry season demands and towards monsoon flash floods. Evapotranspiration rates, linked to temperature, have an effect on the amount of water available for runoff.


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Two of the main concerns of climate change in MMSEA, however, are glacier retreat at high altitudes, and too much or too little water in upland or mountain watersheds. Both these concerns cause water variability downstream. The resulting effects, particularly those on food production and economic growth, are likely to be unfavorable. The situation in the region may appear to remain normal for several decades to come. It may even bring increased water availability to satisfy the demands of the dry season. However, water shortage can occur abruptly. Water systems can go from being plentiful to scarce in a few decades or less. If the warming trend continues, some of the most populated areas in the world may experience water shortage which may continue for several more decades (Barnet et al 2005).

Water-Related Hazards: The intense seasonal precipitation during the monsoon season in Asia can trigger hazardous events in the different elevation zones. While snow avalanches and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) predominate at very high elevations (>3500 m), landslides, debris flows, and flash floods are common in the mid-elevation mountains (500-3500 m). Floods are the principal hazards in the lower valleys and plains. Flooding may also become a major development issue. It is projected that more variable and increasingly direct rainfall-runoff will lead to more downstream flooding. Floods are likely to occur downstream in the Mekong Basin. Perhaps most seriously, climate change also involves changes in the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. There is widespread consensus that global warming is associated with these extreme fluctuations, particularly in combination with intensified monsoon circulations. Although many other factors are involved, the growing incidence and toll of related natural disasters, such as floods and drought, is of particular concern. Yet the lack of high frequency observed data and poorly coordinated data exchange prevent the comprehensive assessment of changes in extreme climatic events in MMSEA. Available studies, however, suggest indications of changes in climatic pattern and increases in extreme events. An increase in the frequency of high-intensity rainfall is observed in Yunnan (Ma et al. 2008), and high-intensity events can lead to flash floods and landslides. Monsoons in Asia are related to large-scale climatological

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phenomena, such as El Niño and La Niña, which leads to less and higher than average monsoon and precipitation, respectively (Dhar and Nandargi 2003). El Niño and La Niña are in turn influenced by climate change. The magnitude of deviations in monsoon precipitation is likely to increase, resulting in the increased occurrence of droughts and floods. The shift from a snowdominated to a rain-dominated precipitation regime is a commonly perceived phenomenon in the high mountains. In the eastern Tibetan Plateau, the melting glaciers that are associated with climate change, particularly atmospheric warming, has led to the formation of glacial lakes in open areas behind exposed end moraines. These changes are causing great concern because many of these high-altitude lakes are potentially dangerous. Moraine dams are comparatively weak and can suddenly break, leading to the sudden discharge of huge volumes of water and debris. Resulting GLOFs can cause catastrophic flooding downstream, with serious damage to life, property, forests, farms, and infrastructure. The mountain ranges in the region have a history of disasters that are triggered by some or all of the cryogenic processes discussed above. Climate change can alter their frequencies, distribution, mix, and magnitudes – both favourably and adversely. Due to the limited investigation into these processes and their relationship to climate, our understanding of how climate change can affect them, at different sub-regions, is still limited. Thus, there should be caution in making predictions, especially alarming ones. However, there is a need to emphasise that there is still cause for concern. Valuable infrastructure, such as hydropower plants, roads, bridges, and communication systems, are increasingly at risk from climate change. The entire hydropower generation systems, established on many rivers, are in jeopardy if landslides and flash floods increase and if there is a decrease in the already low water flows during the dry season. Mountain engineers have to consider how to respond to extreme events in the mountain context (OECD 2003).

Impacts on Mountain Biodiversity Global climate change impacts could be tracked by biological indicators such as phenology (Menzel et al., 2006) and distribution of species (Lenoir et al. 2008). There is an evident sign of advanced unfolding, blossoming, and ripening


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of the leaves and fruits of wild plants; and of the hibernation, migration, and breeding of wildlife in mountain regions. Throughout China, the phenology of events has become two to four days earlier than in the 1980s (Zheng et al. 2002). Previous synchronous relationships between predators and prey, as well as those between insects and plants, are breaking down, creating negative consequences for both the individual species and their ecosystems (Parmesan 2006). As temperatures rise and glaciers retreat, the species shift their ranges to follow their principal habitats and climatic optima. There is strong evidence that forest plant species, and many vertebrate and invertebrate species, have already followed the pace of climate change by shifting their distributions to higher altitude. This is a significant upward shift in tree line at a rate of 5-10 m per decade (Baker and Moseley 2007), and in species optimum elevation that averages at 29 m per decade (Lenoir et al. 2008) in alpine ecosystems. Within a species, there may be significant variations in climate tolerance among individuals. This variation can result in the evolution of new phenotypes, and even in the formation of novel species’ associations and other ecological surprises. The disappearance of some extant climates increases the risk of extinction for species with narrow geographic or climatic distributions, and the disruption of existing communities. Most endemic plant species are unable to respond successfully as the rate of climate change increases (McCarty 2001). The resultant invasions of weedy and exotic species from lower elevations also bring accompanying problems. There is increasing concern on the possibility of alterations in the overall albedo, water balance, and surface energy balance in high-altitude grasslands with increasing degradation and desertification in the arid areas. Evidences of the effects of climate change on the grasslands have been documented from the northeast Tibetan Plateau where the Kobresia sedge and alpine turf communities are changing to semi-arid alpine steppe (Ma and Wang 1999; Miller 2000). The location and areas of natural vegetation zones on the Tibetan Plateau would substantially change under projected climate change scenarios. The areas of temperate grassland and cold temperate coniferous forests could expand, while temperate desert and ice-edge deserts may shrink. The vertical distribution of vegetation zone can move to higher altitudes. Climate change may result in boundary shifts of the farming-pastoral transition region to the south in Northeast China. This shift can increase the scope of grassland areas

Climate Change in the Montane Mainland Southeast Asia


and provide more favourable conditions for livestock production. However, the transition area of the farming-pastoral region is also the area of potential desertification. Hence, desertification may still occur if protection measures are not taken in the new transition area (Li and Zhou 2001; Qiu et al. 2001). More frequent and prolonged droughts, as a consequence of climate change combined with other anthropogenic factors, would result in the increasing trends of desertification in Asia.

LIVELIHOODS, VULNERABILITY, AND ADAPTATION Water provides life and supports livelihoods. However, water also causes disasters, such as flash floods and landslides, in the mountainous region. Vulnerability is defined as the “degree to which individuals and systems are susceptible to or unable to cope with the adverse effects of climate change” (Smit and Pilifosova 2001). The future potential impacts are either avoidable or unavoidable. Adaptation to climate change is about water. Effective adaptation in the water sector includes both the establishment of effective institutional arrangements and the implementation of adaptive capacity – awareness, governance, and knowledge about water resources from the local to the river basin levels. Adaptation involves the change of behaviour, practices, and livelihoods, according to new conditions (Mirza 2007), including too much and too little water. In practice, adaptation includes a multitude of options that are associated with different scales, contexts, and approaches. Thus, there may be options at the local or regional scales that are influenced by different contexts. These various influences include the new rural farming practices or urban water demand management, and the focus of different initiatives to address poverty alleviation, enhance transparency in decision making, or empower women. In order to reduce the negative effects of climate change, society must adapt and structural inequalities must be addressed. It is important to note, however, that the poor and marginalized communities already face most of the difficulties that are usually associated with climate change. This is nothing new to these communities. Examples include poor health, susceptibility to floods and landslides, and a lack of adequate shelter, food, and water. It is not enough to focus only on approaches, such as flood-safe housing or new types


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of pest-resistant crops. The focus must also include enhanced capacity to adapt, thereby implying a more comprehensive approach. Thus,… “an adaptation strategy to reduce [the] vulnerability [of communities] to future climate change [impacts] needs to be incorporated into regulatory procedures, integrated natural resources management, and other development planning procedures” (UNDP-GEF 2007). Considering that poverty is still widespread in the mountainous regions, the empowerment of poor people to adapt to climate change is critical. Examples of adaptation at different levels may include good water governance, and the mainstreaming of climate change into development and institutional reforms (Mirza 2007), general political reforms, associated openness (ibid), health education programmes (WHO 2001), participatory watershed and sub-basin management organizations, and the development of early warning systems for floods and droughts. Impacts of climate change on mountain ecosystems are not understood sufficiently to estimate the full scale of downstream impacts from reduced snow and ice coverage, runoff, and river flow fluctuations. While in-depth studies of glaciers, snow pack, and permafrost have been conducted in some highland areas, they have been scattered widely in space and time. Few detailed investigations of snow and ice response to climate warming have taken place in most portions of the highlands of Asia. There are also insufficient studies of mountain watershed dynamics, especially the hydrological responses, to increase human activities as well as responses to climate changes. There is still lack of baseline studies for most areas There have been very few initiatives on the longterm monitoring of climatic variables, runoff, and hydrology, in the context of the extraordinary heterogeneity of mountain topography (Liu and Chen 2000; Rees and Collins 2006; Messerli et al. 2004). In addition, the one common feature that all mountainous areas share - which is a complexity that result from topography – causes variabilities, especially in temperature and precipitation, over very short distances (Becker and Bugmann 1997). These variabilities make projections difficult. Most models and predictions for high-altitude areas are dependent upon extrapolation from climate and stream-gauging stations at comparatively low altitudes. They are also based on assumptions based on other extrapolation

Climate Change in the Montane Mainland Southeast Asia


of the better-studied parts of the world (Rees and Collins 2004), which might not be suitable for the mountain regions in Asia. The importance of the most widespread cryogenic processes – avalanches, debris flows, rock glaciers, alpine permafrost, and surging glaciers – has been recognized, and their incidences have been recorded for certain areas. Yet, there are almost no basic scientific investigations of these cryogenic processes that have taken place in the region, despite the region’s involvement in significant hazards — the patterns and intensities of which are affected by climate fluctuations that may increase or decrease risks in given areas. Few model simulations have attempted to address the issues that are related to future climatic change in mountainous regions. This situation is primarily due to the current spatial resolution of the used models. They are too crude to adequately represent the topographic and land-use details (Beniston et al. 2003). Thus, the immense diversity of cascade effects, which are found within the region, should be recognised. These effects include the diversity of climates and topo-climates, hydrology and ecology, and, above all, human cultures and activities. Before effective responses can be made, much work has to be conducted to identify and predict the possible cascade effects of climate change across different systems, from glaciers to water resources, from biodiversity to food production, from natural hazards to human health, and all those that are filtered through such diverse contexts. In particular, there has thus far been little engagement with local populations to learn from their knowledge and experience in adapting to unique and changing environments and to address their concerns and needs (Xu and Rana 2005). Most importantly, the downstream effects of changing water flow regime in the large Southeast Asian rivers are to a great extent still unknown. It is likely that these changes would have major, but today, largely unknown impacts on downstream societies. Impacts on water resources would differ depending on the importance or influence of different sectors and interest groups, such as tourism, irrigated agriculture, industry and resource extraction, as well as ecosystem conservation or mitigation measures that reduce water-induced hazards. There are also substantial variations within and among these sectors and interest groups in different countries and valleys. Glaciation in low latitudes has the potential to play an important role in the global radiation budget. A positive climatic feedback mechanism for highland glaciation indicates that a higher glacier-free or high albedo surface


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has a cooling effect over the Tibetan Plateau, and a warming effect over the Persian Gulf and the Arabian peninsula (Bush 2000). Mountainous regions are also important carbon sinks, particularly due to the carbon storage of soils in grasslands, wetlands, and forest lands. Wang et al. (2002) estimates that the organic carbon content of soils subtending grasslands on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau total to 33.5 Pg. This figure represents almost a quarter of China’s total organic soil carbon and 2.5 per cent of the global pool of soil carbon. Climatic variables influence soil carbon stocks through their effects on vegetation, and their influence on the rates of decomposition of soil organic matter. In grassland ecosystems, the net ecosystem productivity, in terms of the amount of carbon sequestered, is very small as compared to the size of fluxes. Hence, there is a great potential for changes that affect these fluxes to change the overall net flow of carbon. Grasslands may thus shift from being a CO2 sink to a CO2 source (Jones and Donnely 2004). This situation thereby contributes to further global warming.

CONCLUSIONS As one of the most economically dynamic regions in the world, the GMS is vulnerable to global warming and increased human activities. Uncertainties about the rate and magnitude of climate change and their potential impacts prevail. Yet, there is no question as to the influence of climate change in gradually and powerfully altering the ecological and socioeconomic landscape in the region, and particularly in relation to water. It is thus imperative to revisit and redesign the research agenda, development policies, management and conservation practices, and appropriate technologies. Given the level of uncertainty in scientific knowledge, the policies need to be ‘adaptation friendly.’ The mitigation of carbon emissions should be a responsibility that is shared among citizens and the private sector in the mountains as elsewhere. Adaptation and mitigation measures, that are intended to cope with climate change, can create opportunities, as well as offset the dangers of a warming planet. But these measures must be identified and adopted ahead of, rather than in reaction to, the dangerous trends. Climate change is not new for mountain people. The tectonic uplift and quaternary climate changes, including recovery from the last major glacial

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period and Little Ice Age, mean that every aspect of life has been adapted to, or stressed by, changing temperature regimes, water availability, and extreme events. Mountain farmers and herders have a long history of adapting to these uncertainties, and other related and unrelated environmental changes, as well as ecological surprises. Adaptations have come through the mobility of people and land uses, as well as through the flexibility in livelihood strategies and institutional arrangements. Mountain people have lived with and survived great hazards, such as flash floods, avalanches, and droughts for millennia. Building the capacity to adapt and strengthen the socioecological systems, in the face of climate change, is doubly important, and a key step towards achieving sustainable livelihoods. Supporting and maintaining resilience, and encouraging strategies to cope with surprises and long-term changes, are the new adaptive mantras, unlike earlier notions of improving people’s adaptations in the context of relatively stable and known habitats. Climate change, as a public and global issue, has evolved from a narrow interest within the hydro-meteorological sciences to a broad recognition that both the social consequences and response policies have implications on all aspects of human development. Adaptive policies and major efforts to reverse the human drivers of climate change have to be incorporated into all sectors: land use, water management, disaster management, energy consumption, and human health. Hazard mapping can help both decision-makers and local communities improve their understanding of the current situation. Hazard mapping can thus increase the possibilities of these sectors to anticipate or assess their flexibility in adapting to future changes through proper planning and technical designs. Good science, based on credible, salient, legitimate knowledge, can often lead to good policies, in the context of climate change and mountain specificities. Credibility means that knowledge, which has been derived from field observations and tested by local communities, implies that salient information is immediately relevant and useful to policy makers. Legitimate information is unbiased in its origins and creation, and is both fair and reasonably comprehensive in its treatment of opposing views and interests. Policy is a formula that is used for the power and application of knowledge and resources to accomplish an objective. The question then is who has the power, who has the (scientific or local) knowledge, or who has both the power and the knowledge.


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Scientific knowledge is useful, but limited and full of uncertainties at the complex regional scale. Hence, the ‘Nobody Knows Best’ becomes the model (Lebel et al. 2004). Alternative perspectives carry their own set of values and perceptions about who should be making the rules, where the best knowledge lies as guide in making decisions, and what additional knowledge is needed. Moreover, four contrasting perspectives – state, market, civil society (and the ‘greens’), and the locals – must all find a way to debate and ultimately merge together in decision-making processes. In order to help become better informed of such processes, scientists must generate new knowledge with reduced uncertainties, and facilitate dialogues among stakeholders with balanced perspectives. In such processes, international cooperation is essential in transferring the technology from the global level and outside sources to the local level. This transfer of technology helps build regional cooperation in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

REFERENCES Baker, B.B., R. K. Moseley. (2007) Advancing Treeline and Retreating Glaciers: Implications for Conservation in Yunnan, P.R. China. In Artic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 39 (2): 200-209. Barnett, T.P., J.C. Adam, D.P. Lettenmaier. (2005) ‘Potential Impacts of a Warming Climate on Water Availability in a Snow-dominated Region.’ In Nature, 438(17): 303-309. Becker, A., H. Bugmann. (1997). Eds.: Predicting global change impacts on mountain hydrology and ecology: integrated catchment hydrology/altitudinal gradient studies. Workshop Report. IGBP Report 43. Stockholm, 61 pp. Beniston, M. (2003) ‘Climatic Change in Mountain Regions: A Review of Possible Impacts’. In Climatic Change, 59: 5-31. Bush, A.B.G. (2000) A positive climate feedback mechanism for Himalayan glaciation. Quaternary International 65-66: 3-13. Chalise, S.R., N.R. Khanal. (2001) ‘An Introduction to Climate, Hydrology and Landslide Hazards in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region’. In Tianchi, L.; Chalise, S.R.; Upreti, B.N. (Eds) Landslide Hazard Mitigation in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas, pp 51-62. Kathmandu: ICIMOD. Chaulagain, N.P. Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources of Nepal. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Flensburg, Flensburg, 2006.

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CNRCC (2007) China National Report on Climate Change 2007 (in Chinese). Beijing: China National Committee on Climate Change Dhar, O.N., S. Nandargi. (2003) Hydrometeorological aspects of floods in India. Natural Hazards 28, 1-33. Du, M.Y., S. Kawashima, S. Yonemura, X.Z. Zhang, S.B. Chen. (2004) ‘Mutual Influence between Human Activities and Climate Change in the Tibetan Plateau during Recent Years’. In Global and Planetary Change, 41: 241249. Duan, K., Yao, T. (2004). Low-frequency of southern Asian monsoon variability using a 295—year record from the Dasuopu ice core in the central Himalayas. Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 31. Dyurgerov, M.D., M.F. Meier. (2005) Glaciers and Changing Earth System: A 2004 Snapshot, p117. Boulder (Colorado): Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado. Gao, X.J., D.L. Li, Z.C. Zhao, and F. Giorgi, (2003): Climate change due to greenhouse effects in Qinghai-Xizang Plateau and along the Qianghai-Tibet Railway. Plateau Meteorol., 22(5), 458–463. Graham, L.P., S. Hagemann, S. Jaun, and M. Beniston (2007). On interpreting hydrological change from regional climate models. Clim. Change, doi:10.1007/s10584-006-9217-0. Hofer, T. and B. Messerli. (2006) Floods in Bangladesh: History, Dynamics and Rethinking the Role of the Himalayas. New York: United Nations University Press. Hu, Z., Y. Song, R. Wu. (2003) ‘Long-term Climate Variations in China and Global Warming Signals’. In Journal of Geophysical Research, 108(D19): 4614. IPPC (2001). Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment Report of the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). J. T. Houghton, Y. Ding, D.J. Griggs, M. Noguer, P. J. van der Linden and D. Xiaosu (Eds.) IPCC (2007a). Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (Eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 996 pp. IPCC (2007b). Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the


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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 976pp. IUCN; IWMI; Ramsar Convention and WRI (2003) Water Resources Atlas. Available online at, accessed on 12 June 2007. Jacobs, J.W. (1996) Adjusting to climate change in the Lower Mekong. Global environmental change 6(1):7-22. Lebel, L., A. Contreras, S. Pasong, P. Garden. (2004) ‘Nobody Knows Best: Alternative Perspectives on Forest Management and Governance in Southeast Asia’. In International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 4(2): 111-127. Lenoir, J., J.C. Gegout, P.A. Marquet, P. de Ruffray, H. Brisse. 2008. A significant upward shift in plant species optimum elevation during the 20th Century. Science 320:1768-1771. Li, X., G. Cheng, H. Jin, S. Kang, T. Che, R. Jin, L. Wu, Z. Nan. 2008. Cryospheric change in China. Global and Planetary Change 62:210-218. Liu, X., P. Hou. 1998. Qingzang Gaoyuan jiqi linjin diqu jin 30 nian qihou biannuan yu haiba gaodu de guanxi. Gaoyuan Qixiang 17(3): 245-249. Liu, S.Y., Y.J. Ding, J. Li, D.H. Shangguan, Y. Zhang. 2006. ‘Glaciers in Response to Recent Climate Warming in Western China.’ In Quaternary Sciences, 26(5): 762-771. Liu, X., B. Chen. (2000) ‘Climatic Warming in the Tibetan Plateau during Recent Decades’. In International Journal of Climatology, 20: 1729-1742. Ma, X., J.C. Xu, J. Qian. (2008a) Water resource management in a middle mountain watershed. Mountain Research and Development 28(3-4):286291. Ma, X., J.C. Xu, Y. Luo, S.P. Aggarwal, J.T. Li. (2008b) Response of hydrological processes to land cover and climate change in Kejie Watershed, Southwest China. Hydrological Process (In Press). Mei’e R., Y. Renzhang, B. Haoshend. (1985). An outline of China’s physical geography. Beijing: Foreign Language Press. Messerli, B., D. Viviroli, R. Weingartner. (2004) ‘Mountains of the World: Vulnerable Water Towers for the 21st Century’. In Ambio, 13: 29-34. Mi, D.; Z. Xie. (2002) Glacier Inventory of China. Xi’an: Xi’an Cartographic Publishing House.

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Mirza, M. (2007). Climate change, Adaptation and Adaptative Governance in Water Sector in South Asia. Adaptation and Impacts Research Division (AIRD), Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Totonot at Scarborough, Canada. Nogues-Bravo, D., M.B. Araujo, M.P. Errea, J.P. Martinez-Rica. (2007). Exposure of global mountain systems to climate warming during the 21st Century. Global Environmental Change 17(2007):420-428. Norad. 2007. Factsheet: Climate Change 2007". Synthesis Report. The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Climate Change Factsheet no. 6. OECD (2003) Development and Climate Change: Focus on Water Resources and Hydropower. Paris: Organization for Co-operation and Development. Oki, T. (2003) ‘Global Water Resources Assessment under Climatic Change in 2050 using TRIP’. In Water Resources Systems—Water Availability and Global Change (Proceedings of symposium HS02a held during IUGG2003 in Sapporo, July 2003). IAHS Publ. No. 280. Fontainebleau (France): IAHS. Owen, L.A., R.C. Finkel, M.W. Caffee (2002) A note on the extent of glaciation throughout the Himalaya during the global last glacial maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews 21:147-157. Qin D.H. (2002) ‘Glacier Inventory of China (Maps)’. Xi’an: Xi’an Cartographic Publishing House. Rees, G.H; D.N. Collins. (2004) An Assessment of the Impacts of Deglaciation on the Water Resources of the Himalaya. Wallingford: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Rees, G.H., D.N. Collins. (2006) ‘Regional Differences in Response of Flow in Glacier-fed Himalayan Rivers to Climate Warming’. In Hydrological Processes, 20: 2157-2167. Ren, J.W., D.H. Qin, S.C. Kang, S.G. Hou, J.C. Pu, Z..F. Jin (2003). Glacier variations and climate warming and drying in the central Himalayas. Chinese Science Bulletin, 48(23): 2478-2482. Ruosteenoja, K., T.R. Carter, K. Jylhä and H. Tuomenvirta, (2003: Future climate in world regions: an inter comparison of model-based projections for the new IPCC emissions scenarios. The Finnish Environment 644, Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, 83 pp. Rupa Kumar, K., A.K. Sahai, K. Krishna Kumar, S.K. Patwardhan, P.K. Mishra, J.V. Revadkar, K. Kamala, G.B. Pant. (2006) ‘High Resolution Climate


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Change Scenario for India for the 21st Century’. In Current Science, 90: 334-345. Shi, Y.F., 2001. Ke yujian de Qingzang Gaoyuan huanjing da bianhua (zaiyao). Yanhu Yanjiu 9(1): 2-3. Shrestha, A.B., C.P. Wake, P.A. Mayewski, J.E. Dibb. (1999) ‘Maximum Temperature Trends in the Himalaya and Its Vicinity: An Analysis Based on Temperature Records from Nepal for the Period 1971-94’. In Journal of Climate, 12: 2775-2787. Shrestha A.B, C.P. Wake, J.E. Dibb, P.A. Mayyewski. (2000). Precipitation fluctuations in the Nepal Himalaya and its vicinity and relationship with some large-scale climatology parameters. International Journal of Climatology 20: 317–327. Thomas, D.E., B. Ekasingh, M. Ekasingh, L. Lebel, et al., (2008). Comparative assessment of resource and market access of the poor in upland zones of the Greater Mekong Region. Published by World Agroforestry Centre, ICRAF Chiang Mai. Thompson, M., G. Gyawali. (2007) ‘Introduction: Uncertainty Revisited’. In Thompson, M., Warburton, M., Hatley, T. (eds) Uncertainty on a Himalayan Scale. Kathmandu: Himal Books. UNDP-GEF (2007). Climate change impacts, Vulnerability and adaptation in Asia and the Pacific. A background note for the Training Workshop on Environmental Finance and GEF Portfolio Management 22-25 May 2007, Amari Watergate, Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand. Wang Xin, Xie Zi-chu, Feng Qing-hua, et al. (2005). Response of Glaciers to Climate Change in the Source Region of the Yangtze River. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 2005, 27(4): 498-502. Wilkes, A. (2008). Towards mainstreaming climate change in grassland management Policies and practices on the Tibetan Plateau. Working Paper no. 68. Wu, Q.B., X. Li, W.J. Li. (2001) ‘The Response Model of Permafrost along the Qinghai -Tibetan Highway under Climate Change.’ In Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology, 23(1): 1-6. Wyss, M. (1993). Approach to a regionalisation of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Mountains. In Xie Z, Feng Q, Liu C. 2001. A modelling study of the variable glacier system- using southern Tibet as an example. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology 24(1), 16-27.

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Xu, J., G.M. Rana. (2005) ‘Living in the Mountains’. In Jeggle, T. (Ed) Know Risk, p196-199. Geneva: UN Inter-agency secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. Xu Y., Z-C Zhao, D. Li. (2005). Simulations of climate change for the next 50 years over Tibetan Plateau and along the line of Qing-Zang Railway, Plateau Meteorology, 24(5).698-707. Xu, J.C. (2008) The Highlands: A Shared Water Tower in a Changing Climate and Changing Asia. Working Paper No. 67. World Agroforestry Centre. Xu, Z., T. Gong, C. Liu. (2007). Detection of decadal trends in precipitation across the Tibetan Plateau. Methodology in Hydrology (Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Methodology in Hydrology held in Nanjing, China, October–November 2005). IAHS Publ. 311, 2007. 271 276. Yao, T.D., Y.Q. Wang, S.Y. Liu, J.C. Pu, Y.P. Shen. (2004) ‘Recent Glacial Retreat in High Asia in China and Its Impact on Water Resources in Northwest China’. In Science in China Ser. D Earth Science, 47(12): 10651075. Yao, T.D., X.J. Guo, T. Lonnie, K.Q. Duan, N.L. Wang, J.C. Pu, B.Q. Xu, X.X. Yang, W.Z. Sun. (2006)’ ä18O Record and Temperature Change over the Past 100 years in Ice Cores on the Tibetan Plateau’. In Science in China: Series D Earth Science, 49(1): 1-9. Zhao, L.; C.L. Ping, D.Q. Yang, G.D. Cheng, Y.J. Ding, S.Y. Liu. (2004) ‘Change of Climate and Seasonally Frozen Ground over the Past 30 Years in QinghaiTibetan Plateau, China’. In Global and Planetary Change, 43: 19-31. Zhu, C., T. Nakazawa, J. Li, L. Chen. 2003. The 30–60 day intraseasonal oscillation over the western North Pacific Ocean and its impacts on summer flooding in China during 1998. Geophys. Res. Lett. 30 (18), 1952.

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Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia Meine Van Noordwijk

AGROFORESTRY AS PART OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION/ADAPTATION NEXUS The IPCC (2007) has compiled strong scientific evidence that the global climate is changing at rates not seen in recent geological history. This change is causally linked to changes in the composition of the atmosphere. This in turn is largely caused by an increase of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) effect due to emissions of CO2 that had been stored in the past as energy-rich organic compounds or as calcium carbonate. The CO2 are released by use of fossil fuel or cement. About 20 per cent of the increase in GHGs gasses is caused by the release of CO2 that has been stored for hundreds or thousands of years, in aboveground forest biomass or peat soils. International agreement on emission reduction is hard to reach mainly due to the large differences in per capita emissions between countries. Countries with high historical emissions do not want to accept equal per capita emission rights. While the Kyoto accord related emission reduction targets to the 1990 emission levels, a further reduction will have to provide a pathway towards globally equitable emissions, not exceeding the carrying capacity of the atmosphere and oceans. Rapid increases in the GHG effect can lead to positive feedback loops by triggering the release of CO2 and CH4 from boreal zones, reduction of uptake capacity by the oceans, and/or changes in the circulation patterns of oceans (the ‘conveyor belt’ that links all oceans) or atmosphere (‘tropics’). Indonesia will be affected by climate change, but it is also co-responsible for the change. If the recent estimates of emissions from peat soils and forest fires are correct (Figure 4.1), the per capita emissions of Indonesia are 30 per cent higher than most European countries, but still below those of the USA, the only Annex-I


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country that has not ratified the Kyoto agreement. Published Ecological Footprint (EFP) data (Figure 1C; data source: World Wildlife Fund 2006) provide an indicator of the level of simplicity of the Human Development Index (HDI) or Gross Domestic Product (GDP). EFP is a resource management tool that measures how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its wastes under prevailing technology. Today, humanity’s EFP is 23 per cent higher than what the planet can regenerate. In other words, it now takes more than one year and two months for the Earth to regenerate what have been used in a single year, or by early October, the resource recovery potential for the year will be depleted. The EFP also allows assessment of the absolute sustainable carrying capacity of the Earth at current land-use practices and technology. If the sustainable footprint is shared equally among all humans, 1.8 ha is available. If 0.8 HDI is the target, there is no country at present that can meet the combined criteria. The Millennium Development Goal of sustainable development thus needs substantial change by all countries of the world. Unless we make the target of EFP < 1.8 ha plus HDI > 0.8 achievable, the end of poverty is not in sight. Further analysis of the current relationship between HDI and EFP is needed. In the new millennium, agroforestry, the deliberate use of trees in the agricultural landscape, is responding to four different ‘pull’ factors (Figure 4.2): 1. Rural poverty, the provision of local food, fiber, energy, and medicinal sources that reduce dependence on external inputs and provide a safety net; 2. Markets and its opportunities for economic growth, based on processing and sale of non-forest timber products (NTFPs) and nitrogen-fixing tree products (NFTPs) and tree crops; 3. The ecological footprint of human resource use and the potential mitigating effect of trees that provide environmental services; and 4. Governance systems that have rules for ‘forest’ and ‘agriculture,’ but not for the intermediate forms of land use, and that are in various stages of decentralisation, and increase of transparency and devolution of control over resource use.

Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia


Forest Agroforest Tree crops Agriculture

Figure 4.1a A. The forest-agroforest-tree crops-agriculture gradient plays a key role in the causation of climate change (in its expansion mode), and adaptive response and mitigation in stable mode; B. Globally, the areas with highest human sensitivity do not coincide with the areas of greatest biodiversity threat.


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Figure 4.1b C. The concept of ecological footprint compares to the amount of space needed to provide all the production and environmental services needed per capita, with the amount of space available on planet Earth; data for 2003 indicate overshoot; D. The relationship between total national GHG emissions and population density show large variation in per capita emissions

Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia


Figure 4.2 Four pull forces that influence the use of resources and potential trees by rural communities in their management of the landscape

These four ‘pull forces’ on the trees, that people plant and take care of, are setting up four ‘tension’ fields (Figure 4.3): A. The opportunities of poverty reduction, via ‘trees for markets,’ versus the importance of trees for local use; B. Economic growth versus the need to maintain environmental services that do not yet have market value; C. Land-use zoning and rules for resource access, often in the name of ‘forest environmental services,’ that restrict agroforestry; and D. Capacity building of farmers and governance institutions and their access to up-to-date knowledge and skills. The main opportunities to deal with the overshoot, as indicated in Figure 4.1, lie in controlling the further increase of the global population (primarily through an increase in HDI, as schooling of women is a major determinant), reducing the per capita consumption patterns (which tend to increase with HDI), and by primarily reducing the footprint intensity of consumption, while increasing the overall bioproductivity of the land (and countering existing trends of land degradation). A major opportunity that may be missed in current footprint calculations is that of the ‘multifunctionality’ of the land. A hectare of land can contribute to more than one of the consumption patterns.


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Figure 4.3 Four ‘tension fields’ between the four ‘pull forces’ that influence the use of trees by rural communities in their approach to ‘healthy agriculture’ Multifunctionality of land use, as a form of integration of functions, is the traditional basis of land-use practices called agroforestry. In parallel with the analysis of ‘intercropping,’ the combination of functions is efficient if the trade-off curve between the function is convex, while a combination of monocultures (singlefunction solutions) is more efficient if the trade-off curve is convex. Thus, a major question is the degree to which the CO2 re-absorption capacity of the land is compatible with the functions of food production and the production of forest fiber and fuelwood. At the level of annual carbon sequestration, annual crops and pasture are no less than most forest vegetation. However, there is no onsite storage, apart from gradual and generally limited carbon storage in soils. Maintaining the carbon sequestration capacity is thus an issue on the fate of photosynthesis products – with the direct use of crop residues or crop products for biofuel as the obvious approach to the carbon neutrality of energy use. The current use of forest cover and protected area fraction, as indicators for Millennium Development Goal 7, is not directly relevant in this perspective. Rather, we need to keep track of the part of crop products that decomposes onsite and/or through processes that do not substitute for fossil fuel use.

Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia


The main challenge for reducing overshoot, apart from long-term investments on the multifunctionality of the land, is to link consumption patterns to footprint intensity. At the moment, there is at least a four-fold variation between countrylevel ecological footprint per unit economic activity, as measured in GDP. Within countries, there is undoubtedly further substantial variation. Only if the global issue of shortfalls in biocapacity is linked to the individual decisions on consumption pattern can we expect to find creative solutions. Maintaining the resource base, as well as human resourcefulness, for adaptive responses is essential. Current approaches to reduce net anthropogenic emissions of GHGs fall far short of what are needed to stabilise the climate. The relation between HDI and ecological footprint may be used as baseline for setting reachable targets: to reduce net emissions to a globally equitable share (‘birthright’) of the ecological space for the developed countries, to get development compensation from the underutilised space for developing countries that need to

Figure 4.4 The pathway of drivers of emissions, consequences for climate, and consequences for human and natural ecosystems require adjustments in both the fossil fuel/industrial emission pathway (adjustment of lifestyles) and the land-based emissions (adjustment of land-use patterns).


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meet their Millennium Development Goals (1 to 6), and to increase the HDI of these developing countries. Agroforestry is thus presented as a key component of the multifunctionality of landscapes - linking climate change mitigation and adaptation (Verchot et al. 2007).

AGRODIVERSITY: PAST, CURRENTLY FUNCTIONAL, AND FUTURE OPTIONS In general, biodiversity suffers from efforts to increase agricultural productivity. However, forest/agriculture trajectories may lead to a large loss of biodiversity for small gains (or even loss) of productivity – leaving behind degraded lands in which win-win solutions are feasible. This can only bring us back to the overall biodiversityproductivity envelope. It is likely that critical agrobiodiversity thresholds do exist at near-maximum agricultural productivity, and a second degradation stage has wiped out past (agri) cultures (Figure 4.5). The simplification of agroecosystems is only feasible if it is combined with an externalisation of its diversity in the form of ex-situ gene banks. The human factors that govern access to the genetic resources conserved off-farm become major determinants of risk.

Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia


Figure 4.5 A. Relationship between relative agricultural function (RAF) and relative ecological function (REF) of agroecosystems; B. Conceptual diagram of the DIVERSITAS Agrobiodiversity science program


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Figure 4.6 Illustration of the hypothesis that the probability of agroecosystems to cope with the challenges of global change depends on the agrodiversity and complexity of current agroecosystems, based on resilience and technology-based adaptation (A). It is likely that systems of intermediate complexity are most vulnerable, but there is high uncertainty on the shape of the curve, as shown by lines I, II, and III (B)

Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia


SUSTAINAGILITY FOR PEOPLE The high-level definition of ‘sustainable development,’ meeting current needs without compromising the future, is fine. However, when ‘sustainability’ is defined for sub-systems, such as agriculture, a cropping system, or the use of a specific genotype of a crop or domesticated animal, the criteria for sustainability focuses on the persistence of the current system rather than an evaluation of the options for future change. Persistence is measurable, while change is subject to speculation. The concept of ‘sustainagility,’ the ability of the system to support future change, was defined as a complement to ‘sustainability,’ which is to recognise the dynamic dimension in adaptation (Figure 4.10; Verchot et al. 2007). ‘Sustainagility’ is the capacity of a system to sustain the agility of managers to deal with challenges to the sustainability of the status quo. It finds underutilised resources or new ways to use existing resources to reduce critical shortfalls and negative side effects (Verchot et al. 2007). If applied to a nested hierarchy of scales, sustainability at any scale can be achieved by either sustainability of the subsystem, or by sustainagility at the current scale. For example, sustainable livelihoods for rural people can be achieved either by sustainable rural livelihoods, or by options to migrate to better lives in cities. Sustainable rural livelihoods can be based on sustainable agriculture or alternative rural economic activities. Sustainable agriculture can be based on sustainability of current cropping practices, or the availability of alternative productive land use. So far, it is assumed that sustainability of subsystems is a necessary and sufficient condition for sustainability at higher scales. This assumption tends to ignore opportunities for development and associate conservation with conservatism. Linked to ‘sustainagility’ is the idea that “the climate change soup won’t be eaten as hot as it is being served.” In the global change debate, the issue of adaptation and winners in the climate shift issue, has long been seen as a distractor to the efforts of convincing the global community of the urgency of mitigation and emission control action. The concept of ‘sustainagility’ is explicitly multi-scale, and links the global scale climate issue with its regional dimension (‘climate shift’) and local climate change. Coping strategies rely on genetic diversity for ‘de novo’ adaptation, social networks for germplasm and technology exchange, and shifts in global markets and their suppliers (one area’s loss may be another area’s gain).


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Figure 4.7 Sustainability at any scale can be achieved by either sustainability or sustainagility at the subsystem level.

Figure 4.8 Relationship between diversity, provision of goods to support the shop keeping unit (SKU) diversity of urban life, and the provision of environmental services

Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia


ECOSYSTEM PRODUCTS VERSUS SERVICES The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment has popularised the concept of ecosystem services. However, it concluded that the ecological production function for these services is poorly quantified. The trade-offs between economically valued ‘goods’ and ecological ‘services’ cannot be reliably assessed yet. The relationships between planet, people, and profit, therefore, remain in the domain of intentions rather than data-based management. The Millennium Development Goals or MDGs (Millennium Development Project, 2006) have re-energised the global commitment of providing a ‘humane’ minimum set of conditions for all people, wherever they are born. HDI combines life expectancy, educational attainment, and purchasing power and allows comparisons between countries and the monitoring of progress within each country. The dominant paradigm is still economic growth and creating conditions for ‘takeoff’ — thus escaping from multiple poverty traps (Barnett and Swallow 2006). While the goals are commendable, the assumed relationship between macroeconomic growth and local empowerment, which underlies current efforts, remains debated. Sufficiency of the resource base for the global development targets is unclear. The first six MDGs target the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, universal (gender equitable) access to primary education, reduction of child and maternity-related mortality, and combating major diseases. They are translated

Figure 4.9 The ecosystem services concept of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment includes the flow of ‘goods’ as well as ‘environmental services.’


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into 24 indicators of progress that can be monitored and used for mid-course adjustments in policies. In contrast, Goal 7 aims to ensure environmental sustainability. However, the related target is not operational and lacks clarity on ways to interpret the various indicators, e.g. the proportion of land area covered by forest or fraction of the land set aside for protection of biological diversity. Goal 7 monitors the CO2 emissions per capita, but does not set standards for evaluating the change. Targets 10 and 11, halving by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation, and improvement in the lives of 100 M slum dwellers, are operational and clear. However, it is assumed that service delivery to poor people, not environmental service supply, is the limiting factor. The lack of clarity on the concept of ‘environmental sustainability’ is reflected in the absence of direct links with Goal 8: ‘Developing a global partnership for development.’ The targets under this goal refer to open, rule-based, predictable, and non-discriminatory trading and financial systems, and the special needs of landlocked, small-island and other least-developed countries. The targets, however, did not link world trade to the goals of maintaining critical environmental services. Can the environmental targets be expressed and achieved in ways other than segregating forests and protected areas from the land base for development? Can the services be measured in simple indicators for the ‘planet’ part of the triple bottom line that allow feedback loops to develop? Against this background of clear intentions for the environmental, as well as the social and economic aspects of development, is the shortage of operational and realistic targets for managing the trade-offs. The concept of Payments for Environmental Services (PES) has been embraced as a solution. PES has emerged as the primary tool in managing ‘multifunctionality’ because:

y forests without people may serve environmental goals but not social ones; y people without forest and trees may be economical in the short run, but unsustainable in the long run; and

y the trade-off between the short- and the long-terms is thus focused on the interface, where ‘environmental services’ have to gain weight, relative to the tradable goods, as the primary outcome of the rural landscape. This focus on trade-offs puts the provision of environmental services, as well as marketable goods, in the domain of agroforestry in mosaic landscapes.

Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia


Where there is insufficient land to provide all the required environmental services by separating ‘forest’ and ‘agriculture,’ there is a need for the concept of multifunctional agriculture/agroforestry/ forest mosaics, with appropriate incentives for the environmental service functions.

MITIGATION: GAP BETWEEN A/R CDM AND REDD In 1997, the third session of the Conference of Parties (COP3) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) made the Kyoto Protocol effective as of 16 February 2005. The Protocol obliges the participating developed countries (Annex I countries) to collectively reduce their national GHG emissions by 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels, averaged over the period of 20082012. Developing countries (Non-Annex I countries) do not have such obligations. Instead, they are able to participate in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), whereby the developed countries are able to purchase credits for projects aimed at reducing GHG emissions in developing countries. The 7th COP in Marrakech (2001) decided that CDM mechanisms are largely restricted to the energy and industrial sectors. Surrounded by many safeguards, ‘afforestation’ and ‘reforestation’ activities became eligible as A/R CDM. But, these activities have found little application as yet. Emission reduction by ‘avoided deforestation’ was excluded because institutions were not ready to deal with the additionality, leakage, and permanence issues at either the local or national scale. Apart from ambiguities in the definition of a forest (also affecting the A/ R CDM rules), there are difficulties in the accurate monitoring of the carbon stocks that are actually being preserved. Part of forest conversion is due to planned development, part is linked to climatic extreme events, and still another part is beyond the control of national governments. Attribution of emission (reduction) has to assert what would have occurred without intervention (‘additionality’), and how land-use change-related emissions in one place relate to those in other places (‘leakage’). The costs of both applying and verifying rules are more complex than those of A/R CDM rules. The costs were expected to be too high. There was also the uncertainty on the opportunity cost of clearing forests for land uses with higher economic returns. There were fears that ‘avoided deforestation’ credits would ‘flood the market’ and delay the essential transitions to more efficient energy use. Developing countries feared loss of sovereignty.


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Decision by UNFCCC conference of parties (COP) on 12 December 2007 The COP acknowledged the contribution of the emissions from deforestation and forest degradation to global anthropogenic GHG emissions. It recognised that efforts and actions to reduce deforestation, and maintain and conserve forest carbon stocks in developing countries are already being undertaken. It also recognised the complexity of the problem, the different national circumstances, and the multiple drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. Simultaneously, COP also recognised the substantial co-benefits of the aims and objectives of other relevant international conventions and agreements. The COP recognised that the needs of local and indigenous communities should be addressed when action is taken to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. On this basis, the COP: 1.

invited Parties to further strengthen and support ongoing efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation on a voluntary basis;


encouraged all Parties, who are in a position to do so, to support capacity building, provide technical assistance, facilitate the transfer of technology to improve, inter alia, data collection, estimation of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, monitoring and reporting, and to address the institutional needs of developing countries to estimate and reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; and


further encouraged the Parties to explore a range of actions, identify options and undertake efforts, including demonstration activities, to address the drivers of deforestation that are relevant to their national circumstances, with a view to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and thus enhance forest carbon stocks due to the sustainable management of forests.

Indicative guidance and a process for deciding on remaining issues were provided at the COP.

Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia


The 13th Conference of Parties (COP) in the UNFCCC affirmed, on 12 December 2007, the urgent need to take further meaningful action to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (Inset). The slow implementation of existing agreements and the new evidence of climate change impacts and analyses by leading economists (Chomitz 2006; Stern 2007) questioned the wisdom of excluding some 20 per cent of the cause of the problem from international mitigation measures. In 2005, the 11th COP agreed that there should be a two-year period of discussion about Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). The discussion should focus on “relevant scientific, technical and methodological issues, and the exchange of relevant information and experiences, including policy approaches and positive incentives.” Stern (2007) concluded that reducing deforestation is a highly cost-effective way to reduce emissions relatively quickly, as well as provide co-benefits in terms of soil fertility, water availability, climate protection, protection of biodiversity and livelihoods, rights of local communities, and sustainable forest management. He recommended that, with the help of the international community, policies on deforestation could be shaped and led by nations where the forests stand. He also added that compensation from the international community should take account of the opportunity costs of alternative uses of the land, the costs of administering and enforcing protection, and the costs of managing the transition. Either through a special fund, or by linkage to the market for certified emission reduction (CER), countries with large forest areas and/or high rates of deforestation started to see opportunities in deriving economic benefits from active engagement where so far they receive mostly blame. The decoupling of ‘energy’ and ‘land use-related’ emissions proved to be fiction, with biofuel production on one hand and a way to reduce CO2 emissions from developed countries, on the other hand. This situation increases global emissions when deforestation and peat land conversion are considered. Prior to the 13th UNFCCC COP (Bali Dec 2007), the opportunities for reducing emissions from deforestation, and forest and peat land degradation in developing countries were intensively discussed. The discussion concluded that the opportunities for cost-effective emission reduction are indeed substantial, but many of the reasons that made it substantial were deemed ‘not simple’ in Marrakech. At the local scale, the additional concerns of ‘forest people’ revealed that REDD might not serve their interests. Progress, however, was made both on the technical and the institutional sides, while a basic policy commitment was confirmed.


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Figure 4.10a A. The intended scope of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in developing countries is the upper part of the agriculture-forest transition (inverted Kuznetz) curve, while A/R-CDM (afforestation/reforestation Clean Development Mechanism) is restricted to lands deforested before 1990; B. A large share of the actual emissions from the totality of land use and land cover change may be associated with small economic gains (‘abatement cost curve’).

Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia


Figure 4.10b C and D. Abatement cost curves for three provinces of Indonesia show most CO2 losses associated with small economic gains, especially those on peat soils.


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ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE: PLANS OR DIVERSITY APPROACH In the discussion of ‘adaptation’ to climate change, two situations occur: 1. The direction and size of the change could be predicted, and the adjustments that need to be done; and 2. There is uncertainty on the direction and size of local change but greater variability is likely; and there is a need to increase buffering and resilience. The first situation calls for the technical planning of specific interventions, while the latter calls for support of diversity, resilience, and buffering. So far, however, the main attention and financial resource allocation has been for the former, as this appears to be more tangible. The main role of agroforestry in climate change adaptation is probably in the maintenance or enhancement of diversity and buffering. Given the existing uncertainties in markets and climate, this is probably a ‘No regrets’ approach, focusing on what makes sense anyway.

Figure 4.11 Dichotomy in the climate change adaptation debate between situations where plans can be made to address directional change and situations where ‘diversity’ provides the major part of the answer as size and direction of change are uncertain.

Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia


FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY: IS ONE PER GROUP ENOUGH? The functional aspects of actual diversity between and within ‘functional groups’ are still poorly understood. The current hypotheses range between the expectations of proportional increase of function with diversity and a simple plateau where one representative per functional group may be enough. Part of the challenge, of course, is in establishing the exact meaning of a ‘functional’ group (Swift et al. 2004). Experiments with artificial, rather than self-selected species combinations, tend to show a clear relationship between productivity and species richness, if the means are considered. Most often, however, the most productive monoculutres are about as good as the best mixtures. The interpretation of these experiments is still being debated (Swift et al. 2004).

Figure 4.12 The direct experimental approach to test the diversityproductivity hypothesis has not yielded convincing results; some of the monocultures are as productive as the best mixtures.


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SUSTAINAGILITY FOR BIOTA The ‘sustainagility’ concept can also be applied to plant and animal species, and acknowledge the different levels of adaptive responses that are open to natural populations. These responses include life history traits that allow (phenotype) adaptation during an individuals’ life time; genetic diversity as basis of shift in the genetic makeup of populations; dispersal and migration opportunities; and the properties of the landscape mosaic that can (for some organisms) allow response to climate shift at the regional scale. As long as the ‘arrivals’ are not treated as ‘invasive exotics,’ they can survive. Trees, with their long life cycle are restricted in their genetic responses, given the pace of current climate change. They differ substantively in dispersal properties. So far, some evidence suggests that the large-seeded ‘autochorous’ trees, typical of late-succession stages in natural forests, are the least represented in the rubber agroforests of Jambi (Saida Rasnovi 2006).

Figure 4.13 Classification of trees by primary dispersal mode and the differences between natural forest and rubber agroforest species pools (Rasnovi 2006)

Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia



Figure 4.14 A. The Bungo benchmark of the RUPES program in Jambi (Sumatra, Indonesia) and the potential role of rubber agroforests along the rivers to act as the ecological corridor connecting the protected areas; B. Hypothesis of the local and external appreciation of environmental services change with the agriculture-forest transition.


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Figure 4.15 The curvature of the ‘baseline’ is linked to the ‘efficiency-fairness’ trade-off in using financial incentives for emission reduction; maximising efficiency (tons of CO2e reduced per US$ invested) will lead to perverse incentives and perceptions of unfairness elsewhere. With the acceptance, in principle, of ‘avoided deforestation,’ measures to reduce GHG emissions, and considering the absence of clear rules that allow for market parties to invest, the coming two years are crucial in exploring and demonstrating that mechanisms are effective, fair and supportive of transitions to sustainability. There are basically three time scales in this debate: A. Showing emission reduction, relative to baseline, in a single commitment period: Effectiveness - nested baselines, leakage, greenhouse gas accounting; B. Guarding against ‘perverse incentives’ or rewarding of ‘threats’ to forests that would affect subsequent commitment periods: Fairness - respecting rights and resources; and C. Supporting real transitions to sustainability: existing ‘poverty reduction strategies’ and new ‘climate change adaptation strategies’ may include some vision on the roles of forests and the rural sector and their livelihoods, although the real trade-offs of multifunctionality in the rural landscape is seldom addressed.

Climate Change, Biodiversity, Livelihoods, and Sustainagility in Southeast Asia


There is a huge opportunity, but there are also substantial risks and potential deal breakers. The biggest issues may well be: 1. ‘Who owns the carbon’ or ‘how can the value chain of creditable reductions of emissions from deforestation (which might become known as CRED’s or CRED’s ) be managed,’ with forests becoming more strongly contested with increased expectations of REDD funding? 2. How will local, sub-national, and national scale institutions compete and complement each other? Broad-based capacity building will be needed along with awareness of the game-theoretical aspects and psychology of cooperation. 3. How can the efficiency-fairness tradeoff be managed to provide long-term benefits and guard against perverse incentives? Objective: Realistic, conditional, voluntary, and pro-poor incentive systems to reduce emissions from deforestation, forest and peat land degradation, and agriculture in Indonesia as basis for broad-based rewards for environmental services.





1. National AFOLU C-stock & GHG-flux monitoring system at Tier-3 2. Abatement cost analysis => cost effectiveness of REDD/REP

Optimized LUT legend and database Time-averaged C stock per LUT Abatement cost curves per province and forest zone

3. National Local baseline nesting 4. Fair and efficient (RED valued chains)

Validated BioEconomic Spatial Scenario models Indicators for local monitoring Guidelines for benefit allocation


5. Differentiated policy instruments for various forest-rights regimes 6. Shared criteria and indicators for pilot choice 7. Viable set of RED-DemoActivA

Analysis of legal aspects for Adat and Community forest lans Principles => criteria => verifiable indicators Assist stakeholder negotiations


8. Recognition of indigenous rights

Rights-based conflict reduction in forest margins Equitable policy implementation Support sustainable development pathways


9. Gender-sensitive implementation 10. Attractive systainable livelihood

Figure 4.16 Priority issues and next steps to link global financial transfers for emission reduction to sustainable local benefits


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CONCLUSIONS The following conclusions are thus formulated for the ongoing international negotiations: • • • •

Mitigation requires comprehensive carbon accounting rather than piecemeal arrangement; Arguments for generic agrobiodiversity, as part of climate change adaptation, are still conceptual rather than empirically supported; Planned diversity may have to focus on enhanced complementation between and within groups, based on the current understanding of the agroecosystem function; and Diversity of plans may be the safest strategy so far as it avoids the trap of early prioritisation and the attempt to balance efficiency and fairness.

REFERENCES Barrett, C.B. and B.M. Swallow. 2006. Fractal poverty traps. World Development 34,1-15. Beukema, H.J. and M. Van Noordwijk. 2004. Terrestrial pteridophytes as indicators of a forest-like environment in rubber production systems in the lowlands of Jambi, Sumatra. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 104: 63-73. Broad, R. and J. Cavanagh. 2006. The Hijacking of the development debate: how Friedman and Sachs got it wrong. World Policy Journal, 2006(Summer): 21-30. Carpenter, S.R. R. DeFries, T. Dietz, H.A .Mooney, S Polasky, W.V. Reid, and R.J. Scholes. 2006. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: Research Needs. Science 314: 257-258. Chomitz, K.M. 2007. At loggerheads? Agricultural expansion, poverty reduction and environment in the tropical forests. World Bank Policy Research Report, the World Bank, Washington (DC), USA . IPCC. 2007. Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. ML Parry, OF Canziani, JP Palutikof, PJ van der Linden and CE Hanson. (Eds.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

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Joshi, L., G. Wibawa, H.J. Beukema, S.E. Williams,and M. Van-Noordwijk. 2003. In: JH Vandermeer (Ed.) Tropical Agroecosystems: New Directions for Research. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fl (USA) pp 133- 157. Kusters, K., H. de Foresta, A. Ekadinata, M. Van Noordwijk. 2007. Towards solutions for state vs. local community conflicts over forestland: the impact of formal recognition of user rights in Krui, Sumatra, Indonesia. Human Ecology 10.1007/s10745-006-9103-4. Lee, E., B. Leimona, M. Van Noordwijk, C. Agarwal, and S. Mahanty. 2007. Payments for Environmental Services: Introduction to feasibility, supplier characteristics and poverty issues. Insight: Notes from the Field, Issue 2.2007 pp 5-17. Mather, A.S. 2007. Recent Asian forest transitions in relation to forest transition theory. International Forestry Review .9: 491-502. Michon G., H. de Foresta, P. Levang and F. Verdeaux. 2007. Domestic forests: a new paradigm for integrating local communities’ forestry into tropical forest science. Ecology and Society 12(2): 1. [online] URL: http:// (retrieved on February 1 2008) Millennium Development Project, 2006. Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals. URL: http:// (retrieved on February 1 2008). Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems and human well-being: synthesis. Island Press, Washington, DC, (USA). Rasnovi, S., 2006. Ekologi regenerasi tumbuhan berkayu pada sistem agroforest karet. Sekolah Pasca Sarjana, Institut Pertanian Bogor. Bogor, Indonesia. (unpublished Thesis). Rees, W.E. 1992. Ecological footprints and appropriated carrying capacity: what urban economics leaves out. Environment and Urbanization 4: 121-130. Rees, W.E. 2002. An ecological economics perspective on sustainability and prospects for ending poverty. Population and Environment 24 (1), pp. 15-46. Sachs, J.D., 2005. The End of Poverty, The end of poverty: economic possibilities for our time. New York, Penguin Press. Swallow, B., M. Kallesoe, U. Iftikhar, M. Van Noordwijk, C Bracer, S Scherr, KV Raju, S Poats, A Duraiappah, B Ochieng, H Mallee, and R Rumley. 2007. Compensation and rewards for environmental services in the developing world: framing pan-tropical analysis and comparison. Working Paper 32. Nairobi: World Agroforestry Centre. Swallow, B.M. and M. Van Noordwijk. 2007. Avoided deforestation with sustainable benefits: a simple way to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and degradation. Nairobi, Kenya. World Agroforestry Centre - ICRAF. URL: searchpub.asp?publishid=1766 (Retrieved: 30/09/2008).


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Swallow, B., M. Van Noordwijk, S Dewi, D Murdiyarso, D White, J Gockowski, H Hyman, S Budidarsono, V Robiglio, V Meadu, A Ekadinata, F Agus, K Hairiah, P Mbile, DJ Sonwa, and S Weise. 2007. Opportunities for avoided deforestation with sustainable benefits: an interim report of the ASB partnership for the tropical forest margins. Nairobi, Kenya. Swift, M.J., A.M.N. Izac, and M Van Noordwijk. 2004. Biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes: are we asking the right questions? Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 104: 113-134. Tomich, T.P., M. Van Noordwijk, S. Vosti, and J. Whitcover. 1998. Agricultural development with rainforest conservation: methods for seeking best bet alternatives to slash-and-burn, with applications to Brazil and Indonesia. Agricultural Economics 19: 159-174. Tomich, T.P., M. van Noordwijk, E. David, and D.E. Thomas. 2004. Environmental services and land use change in Southeast Asia: from recognition to regulation or reward? Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 104: 229-244. Tomich, T.P., D.W. Timmer, S.J. Velarde, J. Alegre, V. Areskoug, D.W. Cash, A. Cattaneo, J. Cornelius, P. Ericksen, L. Joshi, J. Kasyoki, C. Legg, M. Locatelli, D. Murdiyarso, C. Palm, R. Porro, A. R. Perazzo, A. Salazar-Vega, M. van Noordwijk, S.Weise, and D. White. 2007. Integrative science in practice: process perspectives from ASB, the partnership for the tropical forest margins. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment, 9: 269-286. Tomich T.P., D. Timmer, S.J. Velarde, C.A. Palm, M. Van-Noordwijk, and A.N. Gillison. 2007. Research partnerships. In: Sara J. Scherr and Jeffrey A. McNeely (eds.). Farming with Nature: The Science and Practice of Ecoagriculture. Island Press, Washington DC. Pp 322-343. UN Millennium Development Project. 2006 URL: http:// (retrieved February 1 2008) UNFCC. 2007. URL: cp_redd.pdf (retrieved February 1 2008). Vandermeer, J., M. Van Noordwijk, C. Ong, J. Anderson, and Y. Perfecto. 1998. Global change and multi-species agroecosystems: concepts and issues. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 67: 1-22. Van Noordwijk, M., P. Martikainen, P. Bottner, E. Cuevas, C. Rouland, S.S. Dhillion. 1998 Global change and root function. Global Change Biology 4: 759-772. Van Noordwijk, M., G. Cadisch, and C.K. Ong. (Eds.). 2004. Belowground interactions in tropical agroecosystems. CAB International, Wallingford (UK), 580 pp. Van Noordwijk,M, J Poulsen, P Ericksen. 2004. Filters, flows and fallacies: quantifying off-site effects of land use change. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 104: 19-34.

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Van Noordwijk et al., 2007: ADSB Indonesia policy briefs: Avoiding or reducing emissions at the tropical forest margins: urgent, cost-effective but not easy ; Deforestation: will agroforests fall through the cracks?; Sustainable, efficient and fair: can REDD be all three?; Benefits, but not everybody will win. http:/ / (retrieved February 1 2008). Van Noordwijk, M., D.A. Suyamto, B. Lusiana, A. Ekadinata, K. Hairiah. 2008. Facilitating agroforestation of landscapes for sustainable benefits: trade-offs between carbon stocks and local development benefits in Indonesia according to the FALLOW model. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment, in press. Van Noordwijk, M., F. Agus, B. Verbist, K. Hairiah, T.P. Tomich. 2007. Managing watershed services in ecoagriculture landscapes. In: Sara J. Scherr and Jeffrey A. McNeely (eds.). Farming with Nature: The Science and Practice of Ecoagriculture. Island Press, Washington DC. pp 191 - 212. Van Noordwijk, M., B. Leimona, L. Emerton, T.P. Tomich, S. Velarde, M. Kallesoe, M. Sekher, and B. Swallow. 2007. Criteria and indicators for ecosystem service reward and compensation mechanisms: realistic, voluntary, conditional and pro-poor. Working Paper 37. Nairobi: World Agroforestry Centre. Verchot, L.V., M. Van Noordwijk, S. Kandji, T.P. Tomich, C.K. Ong, A. Albrecht, J. Mackensen, C Bantilan, KV Anupama, CA Palm. 2007. Climate change: linking adaptation and mitigation through agroforestry. Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Change 12: 901-918. Verchot, L., B. Swallow, and M. Van Noordwijk. 2008. A role for LULUCF in flexible mechanisms for meeting future emissions reductions targets by Annex B countries. A Submission to the Ad Hoc Working Group on Future Commitments SBBSTA UNFCCC. International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), Nairobi. World Wildlife Fund. 2006. Humanity’s Ecological Footprint. URL: http:// (Retrieved February 1 2008).


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Animal Genetic Resource Conservation and Climate Change in Cambodia



Animal Genetic Resource Conservation and Climate Change in Cambodia: Reducing Livestock to Decrease GHG Emission? Vathana Sann and Bunthan Ngo

To meet the demand for staple food in the next 40 years, developing countries focus on the growth of agriculture. However, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) intensified their campaigns to increase the awareness of policy makers and scientists on the need to consider the impact of agricultural production on the environment. The development of strategies to meet the increased demand for food should, therefore, be based on a sound understanding of the impacts of different types of production systems. The objectives of increasing food production while conserving the functional production system and the environment must be combined. Conserving and increasing farm animal production may affect the current fragile environment at a considerable level. Technically, microbial degradation of feed in the rumen is characterised by the formation of shortchain fatty acids (SCFA), mainly acetate, propionate and butyrate; gasses, mainly CO2 and CH4; and microbial biomass (MB). In proportion to the amount of feed degraded, less gas is produced if there is high feed conversion into microbial biomass (i.e., high efficiency of microbial production) than under proportionally high SCFA production (Leng 1993., Van Soest 1994). Methane is produced with acetate and butyrate, but not with propionate. Methane is an important GHG. Its atmospheric abundance is being related to anthropogenic sources including rice paddies, biomass burning, ruminants, land fills, coal mining, natural gas systems, and storage of livestock wastes (Hogan et al. 1991). Any reduction in CH4 emission would be 20–60fold more effective in reducing global warming than a similar reduction of CO2 emission (Shine et al. 1990). Recent inventories have suggested that livestock


Vathana Sann and Bunthan Ngo

manure significantly contributes to global CH4 emissions. An increase in both the farm animal population and the use of liquid-based manure management systems was seen as the cause (Safley and Westerman 1992; Husted 1993).

PROBLEM Animal genetic resources are important assets in the agricultural production system of rural areas. Appropriate uses of these resources in the production system are critical requirements for sustainability. In Cambodia, however, animal genetic resources are characterised by an undefined conservation scheme, a lack of a specific breeding goal, together with very limited information, and a decline in the number of local breeds that favour the increased use of exotic animal breeds. From the production point of view, these animals are kept in rural areas where low-quality feed, including straw, home refuse, and by-products are used as feed. Researches found that this feeding method leads to the huge production of GHG gasses (CO2 and CH4) as compared to the high-grain or concentrated feed used in intensive livestock production. These results raised critical questions. Should local animals be eliminated from the production system to minimize GHGs? How can the scheme of conservation and climate change measurement be implemented at the same time?

OBJECTIVES This paper: (1) identifies the reason why local animals, in the framework of indigenous animal genetic resource conservation, is a subject of discussion in the context of climate change; (2) describes how livestock production can influence the global warming phenomenon and the pathway of CH4 emission from cattle, and how it can be reduced; and (3) assesses the current situation of climate change in Cambodia in association with the agricultural sector.

Animal Genetic Resource Conservation and Climate Change in Cambodia


PRIOR COMMENTS Before discussing in detail the conceptual comments on the relationship between animal genetic resource conservation and GHG emission, some information needs to be explained. It was estimated that about 40 g of CH4 are generated in producing beef for a quarter-pound hamburger (Byers 1990). A person, who drives to and from a 5-mile shop to buy a hamburger, using a car that gets good gas mileage, generates about 100 times the amount of GHGs (mainly CO2) emitted in producing beef. This is an example of how our society gets worked up on a minor matter (CH4 from beef production) while ignoring the major problem in which individuals could actually do something meaningful (i.e. the pollution and resource-depleting effects of excessive and unnecessary use of automobiles). This is like getting all worked up about pesticide residues on vegetables (with minimal or lack of health hazards) while puffing away on cigarettes (extreme health hazard over which an individual has total control). It is easier to be upset about something that people are responsible for than those that might require some will power (e.g. eliminating tobacco use, alcohol and illicit drug use, reducing the use of automobiles, reducing obesity, and engaging in exercises, etc.).

CLIMATE CHANGE AND LIVESTOCK DIVERSITIES The increase in GHGs is mainly a result of human activities. Since the Industrial Revolution, huge quantities of carbon have been extracted from the earth and burned, thereby releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. The worsening environmental degradation and climate change have put breeds of indigenous animals and increasing number of species at risk of extinction, further weakening the already fragile ecosystems. Biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate. This, in turn, is seriously eroding the capacity of our planet to sustain life on earth (FAO 2000). Despite efforts by international bodies, the production and productivity of the agricultural sub-sector have been left to depend on the scarce and declining marginal and commonly used lands. About 30 per cent of some known 4,500 breeds of domestic animals, which contribute to food and agriculture, are known to be at risk of extinction. About one breed of animal disappears every


Vathana Sann and Bunthan Ngo

month. As a result of climate change, the area suitable for agriculture, the length of growing seasons, and yield potential are expected to decrease. This situation will further adversely affect food production in the continent and consequently food production and malnutrition. On the other hand, livestock production is also one of the major factors influencing the emission of CO2 and CH4 into the atmosphere. One of the major reasons for the destruction of tropical rainforests is the conversion of jungle to livestock production. Thus, cattle ranching may be an incentive for tropical deforestation, resulting in a net increase of CO2 when forests are burned. Global deforestation is continuous with the destruction of tropical rainforests. In many cases, the trees are simply burned as the land is cleared for farming and ranching. The destruction of large areas of forest lands, through burning, has contributed to a marked net increase in atmospheric CO2. With these activities, the atmospheric CO2 level has increased from about 270 to 350 ppm during the past 200 years (Post et al. 1990).

CURRENT SITUATION OF GHGs IN CAMBODIA The First Cambodia National Greenhouse Gas Inventory was established in 1994 using the revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. The base year of the Inventory was 1994. It covered three mandatory GHGs: CO2, CH4, and nitrous oxide (N2O) for five major sectors: (i) energy, (ii) industrial process, (iii) agriculture, (iv) waste, and (iv) land-use change and forestry or LUCF (CCEAP 2001). Carbon dioxide accounted for 74 per cent of all the GHGs emitted in 1994, while CH4 and N2O contributed approximately 18 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively. By sector, LUCF was responsible for approximately 79 per cent of the GHG emissions, while agriculture and energy contributed to approximately 18 per cent and 3 per cent of GHG emissions, respectively. The main source of CO2 emissions was LUCF (97%), followed by the energy sector (3%). The capacity of LUCF to uptake CO2 was 43 per cent higher than the CO2 emissions from LUCF. Thus, LUCF could offset all other GHG emissions from the other sectors. The CO2 emissions from LUCF, energy, and industry were approximately 45,214 Gg, 1,272 Gg, and 50 Gg, respectively. Meanwhile, CO2 removal by LUCF was 64,850 Gg. The CH4 emissions were approximately 445 Gg, of

Animal Genetic Resource Conservation and Climate Change in Cambodia


which 76 per cent was from agriculture, 17 per cent from LUCF, 5 per cent from energy, and 2 per cent from waste. The agricultural emissions of CH4 refer mainly to domestic livestock (54%) and rice cultivation (44%). The total N2O emissions of 12 Gg were mainly from agricultural soils (64%) and livestock (35%) under the agricultural sector. By converting CH4 and N2O into the Global Warming Potential (GWP), expressed in tonnes of CO2- equivalent, CO2 contributed 74 per cent of the total GHG emissions, while CH4 and N2O contributed 18 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively. The GHG contribution from agricultural activities comprises a significant portion of the annual GHG emissions as expected in a country where agriculture is the major livelihood for 85 per cent of the population. In 1994, excluding the LUCF sector, which has a high CO2 uptake by the forestry sub-sector, Cambodian agriculture was estimated to produce over 80 per cent of the overall national equivalent of CO2 emissions (10,560 Gg of the total 12,764.74 Gg of CO2- equivalent). Domestic livestock contributed 48 per cent to the total emissions of the agriculture sector, followed by rice cultivation and agricultural soils (Table 5.1). Trace amounts of CH4, N2O, and precursors are emitted from grassland and agricultural burning. Table 5.1 Summary of GHG and precursor emissions from agriculture (Gg) Emission Type CH4 Domestic livestock



Rice cultivation Grassland burning Agr. Residue burning Agricultural soil Total Total CO2 equiv. (Source: CCEAP, 2001)



3.9 150.4

CO2 Equivalent

Percentage Share












0.1 7.1



59 2,209

0.6 20.9








Vathana Sann and Bunthan Ngo

Results from the projection analysis revealed that Cambodia was already a net emitter of GHGs in 2000. The net emissions were approximately 6,244 Gg of CO 2- equivalent. In 2020, the net emissions would increase to approximately 43,848 Gg of CO2- equivalent. Among the sectors, LUCF will be the main source of GHG emissions (63.0%), followed by agriculture (27.5%). Energy will only contribute to approximately 9 per cent of the total national emissions (Table 5.2). Table 5.2 Projection of GHG emissions and removals by sector (Gg) Source Energy Industry Agriculture

Year 1994


1,881 (2.8%)


2,622 (3.6%)


4,780 (5.9%)

8,761 (9.0%)





10,560 (15.5%)

12,030 (16.4%)

17,789 (22.1%)

26,821 (27.5%)


273 (0.4%)

331 (0.4%)

425 (0.5%)

523 (0.5%)


55,216 (81.2%)

58,379 (79.6%)

57,627 (71.5%)

61,512 (63.0%)






(Source: CCEAP, 2001)

The results of the projection showed that GHG emissions from agriculture would increase quite significantly. In 2020, CH4 emissions would be about three times higher than the 1994 emissions, while N2O emissions would approximately double. The rate of increase in CH4 emissions for livestock would be slightly higher than the emissions from rice paddies. In total, GHG emissions from agriculture in 2000, 2010, and 2020 would be approximately 12,030, 17,789, and 26,821 Gg of CO2- equivalent, respectively. PATHWAY OF CH4 EMISSION FROM CATTLE Modern intensive ruminant production systems, with high-energy diets and feed additives, minimise CH4 generation and the consequent effects of cattle raising on global warming. In contrast, forage-based systems maximise CH4 production. While there may be many valid reasons for encouraging forage-

Animal Genetic Resource Conservation and Climate Change in Cambodia


based feeding systems for ruminants, reducing global warming is not one of them. Methane is a by-product of anaerobic fermentation in wetlands (marshes, swamps, rice paddies), land fills, and in various animals, notably ruminants and termites. In the rumen, CH4 represents a ‘hydrogen sink.’ The biochemistry of CH4 in the rumen and the hydrogen sink concept are discussed by Van Soest (1994) and Fahey and Berger (1988). In terms of global warming, some of the major sources of CH4 emissions to the atmosphere were rice paddies, wetlands, biomass burning, and the oil and natural gas industries (Table 5.3). Table 5.3 Estimates of global CH4 sources Source Energy Industry Agriculture

Year 1994


1,881 (2.8%)


2,622 (3.6%)


4,780 (5.9%)

8,761 (9.0%)





10,560 (15.5%)

12,030 (16.4%)

17,789 (22.1%)

26,821 (27.5%)


273 (0.4%)

331 (0.4%)

425 (0.5%)

523 (0.5%)


55,216 (81.2%)

58,379 (79.6%)

57,627 (71.5%)

61,512 (63.0%)






(Source: CCEAP, 2001)

Byers (1990) estimated that cattle production accounts for 7 per cent of the total annual CH4 emissions worldwide. Johnson and Johnson (1995) estimated that about 17 per cent of total CH4 emissions arise from livestock, in agreement with the 15-20 per cent estimates of Leng (1992). Methane production by ruminants is nutritionally significant. Methane, also known as a natural gas, represents a major loss of energy in rumen metabolism. There is a 4–10 per cent gross energy intake lost to the animal because of rumen CH4 (McAllister et al. 1996). Developing ways to reduce ruminal CH4 would increase the efficiency of ruminant production. The amount of CH4 produced in ruminants is determined mainly by diet. There are two major types of rumen fermentation: cellulolytic and amylolytic. Cellulolytic bacteria produce mainly acetic acid as their end-product


Vathana Sann and Bunthan Ngo

of fermentation, while amylolytic (starch-digesting) bacteria produce propionic acid as the major volatile fatty acid end-product. The stoichiometry of acetate and propionate production is indicated by the following equations: Equation 1 (amylolytic bacteria)

Equation 2 (cellulolytic bacteria)

Equation 3 3 Glucose 2 Acetate + 2 Propionate + Butyrate + 3 CO2 + CH4 + 2 H2O In contrast, a high-forage diet might give an acetate: propionate ratio of 3:1.

Equation 4 5 Glucose

6 Acetate + 2 Propionate + Butyrate + 5 CO2 + 3 CH4 + 6 H2O

Thus, per mole of glucose, Equation 3 would yield 1/3 mole of CH4; whereas Equation 4 would yield 3/5 mole of CH4 per mole of glucose. For each mole of glucose, the high-forage diet yielded almost twice as much CH4 as the high-concentrate diet (Fahey and Berger 1988). It is estimated that a five-year old steer in the tropics, which has finally reached slaughter weight, can eructate much more CH4 in its lifetime than a U.S. feedlot steer in its shorter lifetime. Ruminants in the tropics are generally

Animal Genetic Resource Conservation and Climate Change in Cambodia


fed with low-quality roughages and by-products or allowed to graze on poorquality tropical pastures. These dietary situations result to inefficient rumen fermentation and maximisation of CH4 production. ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES AND CLIMATE CHANGE Methane is a normal by-product of ruminant digestion. Because it represents a loss of potentially productive energy from the animal, CH4 has been studied for decades (e.g. Blaxter and Clapperton 1965). Methane emissions per unit product, when plotted against productivity, typically show a curvilinear relationship (e.g. Figure 5.1). This curve arises from non-linear relationships between intake and live weight gain (e.g. Minson and McDonald 1987). However, linear relationships are found between CH4 emissions and feed intake of about 27 g CH4/kg feed and 34 g CH4e/kg feed dry matter for animals on high-grain diets and tropical forage, respectively (Kurihara et al. 1998). The curvilinear response occurs because of the existence of a maintenance requirement for food intake (i.e. feed needed just to maintain weight). When an animal is eating instead of producing saleable products (e.g. holy cattle in India), there is logically an infinite amount of CH4 per unit product. Increasing the intake by a small amount, over the maintenance threshold, will increase CH4 emissions proportionally but will also increase the amount of product to a much greater extent. This results in a curved relationship as shown in Figure 5.1. At the farm gate level, the emission intensities, measured in terms of emissions per unit income, vary considerably across livestock industries. Howden et al. (1994) modelled the effect of changes in stocking rates on emissions from tropical beef cattle grazing systems. They found a general optimum 2-kg live weight gain per kilogram CH4 emitted from the whole system. This amount equates to about 7 kg of CO2 equivalents per dollar of live weight gain at current prices. Similar estimates were calculated by Hunter and McCrabb (1999) for other beef production systems. The ratio of emissions per dollar gross margin or farm cash income will be substantially greater but highly dependent on individual farm management. In a simulation study of a Victorian sheep farm, there were 16–19 kg CO2 equivalents of CH4 emitted per dollar gross margin (Howden et al. 1995). From the preceding analysis, dairy cattle in Queensland thereby produces 1.5–


Vathana Sann and Bunthan Ngo

Figure 5.1 Change in the efficiency of live weight gain (LWG), in terms of methane emissions, with increasing rate of LWG of Bos indicus eating grain diets (—) and tropical forage (—) (Source: Minson and McDonald 1987)

3 kg CO2 equivalents per dollar at the farm gate for market milk and manufacturing milk, respectively, at current prices. Although the above examples necessarily use different units, as they are drawn from different studies, they demonstrate why livestock products embody significant amounts of emissions.

RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS The sustainable way to conserve animal genetic resources and climate change protection at the farm level is to ensure that they remain functional parts of production systems. Scenarios, therefore, should be defined using different approaches: short- (farm level), medium- (national level) and long-term (international level). At present, the dietary situation result to inefficient rumen fermentation and maximisation of CH4 production. Modern intensive ruminant production, with high-energy diets and feed additives, minimize CH 4 generation. Confinement systems, using improved local feed resources (sugar cane, tree

Animal Genetic Resource Conservation and Climate Change in Cambodia


foliage), can be the alternative system. The manure produced by livestock, while confined, can be more effectively managed and utilised in crop production. At the farm level, relatively inexpensive and simple supplementation programs with by-pass proteins, for example, have the potential of greatly increasing the efficiency of tropical cattle production and reducing CH4 emissions (Leng 1993). Deep-rooted perennial grasses, such as Andropogon gayanus and Brachiaria humidicola, which are planted for cattle pasture on cleared tropical forest lands, may sequester large amounts of carbon in their roots, thereby counteracting the effects of released CO2 when forests are burned (Fisher et al. 1994). At the national level, an alternative to the continued surplus of animal products are the economic policies that promote the balance of demand and supply of agricultural consumptions. Agricultural product supply should be more evenly matched with demand. In this case, encouraging intensive farming results to maximised output per unit of land and the efficient use of resources. Intensive livestock production allows surplus agricultural lands to retire or transform into forests or native grasslands. Even though further discussions are needed, it is conceptualised that the intensification of livestock and forage production reduce CO2 emissions from deforestation and pasture degradation. On the animal production point of view, animal nutrition and manure management are improved, thereby reducing the emissions of CH4 and nitrogen (N). The ratification of the CBD in 1993 represented an international consensus to conserve biodiversity including that of farm animals and plant genetic resources. These provisions are prerequisites for food security and the improvement of agricultural productivity (Laing et al. 1998). Rural areas and tropical regions that are active in agriculture host the functional domestic animal diversity conservation in traditional farming and pastoral communities. Livestock are being managed according to the indigenous knowledge of people and in line with ecological constraints. In unfavoured environments, local livestock breeds are crucial for sustaining rural livelihoods. This is done by producing a wide range of products while requiring relatively low levels of input with regard to fodder, management, and health care. Thus, livestock maintenance is ecologically more sustainable, and they entail a lower workload for women as compared to improved breeds (Köhler-Rollefson 2000).


Vathana Sann and Bunthan Ngo

REFERENCES Blaxter, K.L and Clapperton, J.L. “Prediction of the amount of methane produced by ruminants”. British Journal of Nutrition 19 (1965): 511-22. Byers, F.M. “Beef production and the greenhouse effect - the role of methane from beef production in global warming”. Proc. West. Sect. Am. Soc. Anim. Sci. 41 (1990):144-47. Climate Change Enabling Activity Project (CCEAP). National greenhouse gas inventory for 1994. Phnom Penh: Ministry of Environment, Cambodia, 2001. Fahey, G.C., and Berger, L.L. “Carbohydrate nutrition of ruminants”. In: The ruminant animal, edited by Church, D.C. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1988. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). “The global strategy for the management of farm animal genetic resources”. Rome: FAO, Italy. 1999. Fisher, M.J., Rao, I.M., Ayarza, M.A., Lascano, C.E., Sanz, J.I., Thomas, R.J. and Vera, R.R. “Carbon storage by introduced deep-rooted grass in the South America savannas”. Nature 371 (1994): 236-238. Hogan, K.B., Hoffman, J.S., and Thompson, A.M. “Methane on the greenhouse agenda”. Nature 354, (1991): 181–182. Howden, S.M., White, D.H., and Bowman, P.J. “Methods for exploring management options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from temperate sheep-grazed pastures”. Ecological Modelling 86 (1995): 201–206. Howden, S.M., White, D.H., McKeon, G.M., Scanlan, J.C., and Carter, J.O. Methods for exploring management options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from tropical pastures. Climatic Change 30 (1994): 49–70. Hunter, R.A., and McCrabb, G.J. “Methane emissions from cattle finished for different beef markets”. In Meeting the Kyoto Target—Implications for the Australian Livestock Industries, edited by Reyenga, P.J., and Howden, S.M. Canberra: Bureau of Rural Sciences, 1999. Husted, S. “An open chamber technique for determination of methane emission from stored livestock manure”. Atmospheric Environment 27 (1993): 1635– 1642. Johnson, K.A and Johnson, D.E. “Methane emissions from cattle”. J. Anim. Sci. 73 (1995): 2483-2492.

Animal Genetic Resource Conservation and Climate Change in Cambodia


Köhler-Rollefson, I. Management of animal genetic diversity at community level. Eschborn: German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) GmbH, Germany, 2000. Kurihara, M., Terada, F., Hunter, R.A., Nishida, T., and McCrabb, G.J. “The effect of diet and live weight gain on methane production in temperate and tropical beef cattle”. Proceedings of the 8th World Conference on Animal Production’. Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, Vol. 1. (1988): 364– 365. Laing, R., Fall, A., Han, G.J., and Martynik, E. “The convention on biological diversity and farm animal genetic resources: implications, issues and opportunities”. Proc. 6th World Congr. Genet. Appl. Livestock Prod., 28 (1998): 51 – 58. Leng, R.A. “Ruminant production and greenhouse gas emission”. Proc. N.Z. Anim. Prod. 52 (1992): Supplement 15-23. Leng, R.A. “Quantitative ruminant nutrition - a green science”. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 44 (1993): 363-380. McAllister, T.A., Okine, E.K., Mathison, G.W., and Cheng, K.J. “Dietary, environmental and microbiological aspects of methane production in ruminants”. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 76 (1996): 231-243. Minson, D.J., and McDonald, C.K. “Estimating forage intake from the growth of beef cattle”. Tropical Grasslands 21 (1987): 116–122. Post, W.M., Peng, T.H., Emanuel, W.R., King, A.W., Dale, V.H., and Deangelis, D.L. “The global carbon cycle”. Amer. Scientist 78 (1990): 310-326. Safley, L.M. and Westerman, P.W. “Performance of a low-temperature lagoon digester”. Bioresource Technology 41 (1992): 167-175. Shine, K.P., Derwent, R.G., Weubbles, D.J., and Morcrette, J.J. Climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. London: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Van Soest, PJ. Nutritional ecology of the ruminant. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994.

Malaysia’s Current Policy and Research Initiatives Toward Climate Change



Malaysia’s Current Policy and Research Initiatives Toward Climate Change: Impacts to Biodiversity Alona C. Linatoc, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Maryati Mohamed

Malaysia is an equatorial country lying between 1.0°-7°N latitude and 99.5°120°E longitude. It is a coastal nation, rich in biodiversity and natural resources. Malaysia covers an area of 329,996 km2 and is divided into two land masses separated by the South China Sea. There is Peninsular Malaysia in the west, with an area of 131,927 km2. It is composed of 11 states, the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (Legislative Capital), and the Federal Territory of Putrajaya (Administrative Capital) (Figure 6.1 and Table 6.1). Peninsular Malaysia is bordered in the north by Thailand, and in the south by Singapore. In the east, in the island of Borneo, are the states of Sabah and Sarawak. These states occupy an aggregated area of 198,069 km2. The Federal Territory of Labuan, is located in the northwest coast of Borneo island. Between Sabah and Sarawak is the nation of Brunei Darussalam. Indonesia borders the south of Sabah and the rest of Sarawak. The nation is endowed with tracts of rich and highly diverse natural tropical forests that cover about 60 per cent of the country’s total area or about 198,000 km2. The dominant habitats include lowland and hill dipterocarp forests, peat swamps, and mangroves. Over 90 per cent of the country’s terrestrial biological species occur in natural forests. These valuable renewable assets have helped sustain the nation’s rapid growing economy and development. About 20 per cent of the country’s land area is categorized as agriculture, which includes plantations of oil palm, cocoa, and rubber tree, among others. The remaining 20 per cent is designated for development.

Alona C. Linatoc, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Maryati Mohamed

Figure 6.1 Map of Malaysia


Malaysia’s Current Policy and Research Initiatives Toward Climate Change


Table 6.1 States of Malaysia States A. Peninsula Malaysia 1. Selangor 2. Johor 3. Perak 4. Kedah 5. Penang 6. Kelantan 7. Pahang 8. Terengganu 9. Negeri Sembilan 10. Malacca 11. Perlis B. East Malaysian, on Borneo 12. Sabah 13. Sarawak C. Federal Territories 1. Putrajaya 2. Kuala Lumpur 3. Labuan

Land Area 2 (km ) 7,960 18,987 21,005 9,425 1,031 15,024 35,965 12,955 6,644 1,652 795

73,619 124,450

148 243 93

The country’s current population is estimated at 25 M – 80 per cent of which have settled in Peninsular Malaysia, while the remaining 20 per cent have dispersed in Sabah and Sarawak.

MALAYSIA’S FORESTRY SECTOR The forestry sector continues to play a significant role in the socioeconomic development of Malaysia. Export earnings contribute at least US$4.4 B annually. Logging in Malaysia has gone far beyond the level of sustainability. Today, most of its forests are seriously degraded.


Alona C. Linatoc, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Maryati Mohamed

This critical role of forests has persuaded the government to understand its contributions to the protection of soil and water resources, the conservation of biological diversity, and the stabilisation of local and global climate conditions. Thus, it is towards Malaysia’s own interest that forest resources are managed on a sustainable basis to ensure the continuous myriad of benefits. Subsequently, Malaysia has taken a great step in conserving and managing the forests by improving its management practices, skills and capacities, research and development, and cooperation and participation in regional and global efforts, including multilateral environmental agreements. Malaysian forests harbor more than 15,000 species of flowering plants, 1,500 species of terrestrial vertebrates, and 150,000 of invertebrates. Moreover, the nation also enjoys a high rate of endemism in terms of flora and fauna. From latest assessments, 746 species of flowering plants, 27 species of mammals, 11 species of birds, 69 species of reptiles, and 47 species of amphibians were found endemic to Malaysian forests. Malaysia recognises that forests play an important role in the climate system. Forests have been acknowledged as a major reservoir of carbon, containing some 80 per cent of all the carbon stored in land vegetation, and about 40 per cent of the carbon residing in soils. Forests contain vast quantities of carbon and act as sinks by absorbing carbon from the air. However, forests can also emit large quantities of carbon back into the atmosphere through deforestation, degradation, and forest fires. Since the 1970s, Malaysia has implemented regulatory and nonregulatory measures to restore balance to the goals of socioeconomic development and the maintenance of sustainable environmental conditions. This objective, instigated by the Third Malaysian Development Plan (1976-1980), has been reaffirmed in subsequent development plans, and is being carried out at the current 9 th Malaysia Plan (2006-2010). Some of the strategies that are continuously being adopted and promoted for natural resources management are the prevention and control of pollution and other forms of environmental degradation; land-use planning, which is based on land suitability and carrying capacity; and integrated planning and implementation, whereby environmental considerations are given heightened emphasis. Recently, incorporating strategies that address issues concerning global warming and climate change are also being promoted. Malaysia is a party to various environmental international agreements that focus on biodiversity, climate change, the Kyoto Protocol, desertification, endangered species, hazardous wastes, laws of the sea, marine

Malaysia’s Current Policy and Research Initiatives Toward Climate Change


life conservation, ozone layer protection, ship pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, and the wetlands. Malaysia signed the UNFCCC on 9 June 1993, and ratified it on 17 July 1994. The country also ratified the Kyoto Protocol on 4 September 2002. Albeit, being a non-Annex 1 or a developing country, Malaysia is totally committed to fulfill its obligations with the Kyoto Protocol by implementing projects that could help mitigate climate change, i.e. through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

POLICY-RELATED INITIATIVES TOWARDS BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE Clean Development Mechanism The Government of Malaysia has put in place various institutional arrangements to address the issues of global warming and climate change. From the three flexible mechanisms stipulated by the Kyoto Protocol, i.e. Joint Implementation (JI), Emission Trading (ET), and CDM, it is the latter that proffers option for developing countries to participate in climate change mitigation, while assisting the developed countries in their emission reductions. Through CDM, Malaysia recognises the opportunities of investing on GHG emission reduction projects that will contribute to both the economic and environmental well-being of the country. It is in this strong view that a National Strategy on CDM was formed. After the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, the government established the National Climate Center (NCC) under the former Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment or MOSTE. This office is now under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment or MONRE. MONRE serves as the Chair, with representatives from relevant sectors as members, to help meet the country’s obligations under UNFCCC. There are two technical committees under the NCC – the Technical Committee for Energy, facilitated by the National Energy Commission, and the Technical Committee for Forestry, facilitated by the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (Figure 6.2).


Alona C. Linatoc, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Maryati Mohamed

Figure 6.2 National institutional arrangement for CDM implementation in Malaysia

CDM potential in Malaysia and the national criteria: Malaysia has identified two sectors where CDM is plausible - energy and forestry. Listed below are the general categories of potential CDM projects in Malaysia: a.

Renewable energy projects, that include photovoltaic, hydropower and biomass; b. Industrial energy efficiency; c. Supply and demand side energy efficiency in the domestic and commercial sectors;

Malaysia’s Current Policy and Research Initiatives Toward Climate Change


d. Land fill management (flaring or land fill gas to energy); e. Fuel switch to less carbon-intensive fuels (e.g. from coal to gas or biomass); f. Biogas to energy (from palm oil mill effluent or other sources); g. Reduced flaring and venting in the oil and gas sectors; and h. Land use and LUCF projects, such as afforestation, reforestation, forest management, cropland management, grazing land management, etc. Obviously, majority of potential CDM projects for Malaysia have been identified with the energy sector, albeit projects under the forestry sector are equally important. In accordance with the sustainable development policies of the government, CDM projects must fulfill the conditions underlined by the CDM Executive Board. The proposed CDM projects must: (i) involve voluntary participation; (ii) real, measurable, and long-term benefits that are related to climate change mitigation; and (iii) reductions in emissions that are additional to any emission that will occur in the absence of the certified project activity. Moreover, the implementation of CDM projects should involve the participation of at least two parties: Malaysia and an Annex 1 Party/Parties or a developed country. The project should very well provide technology transfer and/or improved technologies, and must bring direct benefits toward achieving sustainable development. In view of this, a National Criteria, approved by the National Committee on CDM (NCCDM) on 18 August 2005, carried the following guidelines: Criterion 1 – The project must support the sustainable development policies of Malaysia and bring direct benefits toward achieving sustainable development. This is simplified by Figure 6.3. Criterion 2 – The implementation of CDM projects must involve the participation of an Annex 1 Party/Parties or developed countries. An Annex 1 Party includes: y The Annex Party 1 (being the national government); and/or y Authorized private and/or public entities from an Annex 1 Party.

Figure 6.3 Simplified diagram illustrating CDM projects that provide support to sustainable development policies in Malaysia

108 Alona C. Linatoc, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Maryati Mohamed

Malaysia’s Current Policy and Research Initiatives Toward Climate Change


An Annex 1 Party is considered to participate in a project as: y Buyer and provider of equity and technology; y Buyer and provider of equity; and y Buyer and technology provider. Criterion 3 – The CDM project must provide technology transfer benefits and/or improvement in technologies. These benefits and/or improvements are the following: y Technology transfer and/or improvement in technology must include both soft and hard elements of technology; y CDM projects should lead to the transfer of environmentally sound technologies and know-how (not necessarily from Annex-1 Party/ Parties); y Improvement in technology implies that the project applies a technology that is more efficient and less carbon intensive; y Technology transfer and/or improvement in technology should support the sustainable development objectives in Malaysia; and y Technology transfer and/or improvement in technology should enhance the indigenous capacity of Malaysians to apply, develop, and implement environmentally sound technologies. Criterion 4 – The CDM project must fulfill all conditions that are underlined by the CDM Executive Board. These conditions include the following: y Voluntary participation; y Real, measurable, and long-term benefits that are related to the mitigation of climate change; and y Reductions in emissions that are additional to any emission that would occur in the absence of a certified project activity. Criterion 5 – The project proponent should justify the ability to implement the proposed CDM project activity. The project proponent of a proposed CDM project can justify their ability to implement the proposed project based on the following guidelines: y The implementing agency should be a locally incorporated company; y There should be a minimum paid-up capital of RM100,000.00 (US$29,000.00); and y There should be likely sources of funding for the project.


Alona C. Linatoc, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Maryati Mohamed

CDM in the forestry sector: Since the 1970s, Malaysia has endeavored to restore balance to the goals of socioeconomic development, and the maintenance of sustainable environmental conditions by introducing a variety of regulatory and non-regulatory measures. These objectives emanated from the 3rd Malaysian Development Plan (1976-1980). They have been reaffirmed in subsequent development plans particularly the 8th Malaysian Plan and the Malaysian Vision 2020, and carried out in the current 9th Malaysian Development Plan (2006-2010). Despite these efforts, Malaysia still has a significant amount of degraded and burnt land largely due to the drought and subsequent forest fires that have occurred over time. As a result, the full potential of these lands is not being utilised. However, this is set to change as massive reforestation and plantationreplanting programs are underway. This program will change logged-over and degraded areas into production forests. These areas can be utilised if investments are made on plantations and silvicultural activities, especially the enrichment planting of fast-growing indigenous species. Silvicultural treatments are considered, even if the results might be slower. Enrichment planting in appropriate areas will ensure higher productivity. This form of intense natural forest management is encouraged in logged-over and burnt forests. The potentials of the forestry sector have been recognised through CDM projects. The projects would capitalize on the potential of degraded areas and their carbon capacities. The Forestry CDM Secretariat had been formally established on 28 April 2005. Since then, Malaysia has been actively preparing to host CDM forestry projects to accelerate global climate change mitigation efforts. Although lagging behind the CDM-energy-sector, the Forestry Secretariat is working hard at lobbying the potential of CDM forestry in Malaysia and in the international markets. Malaysia is being promoted as the potential host country for various afforestation and reforestation CDM projects. In the CDM Energy Sector, Malaysia has successfully marketed 320,000 t of certified GHG emission reductions (CERs), equivalent to about RM10 M (US$3.1 M) as of March 2007. The country is poised to increase trades until 2012. Revenues are expected at RM 4.8 B (US$.5 B). Similarly, CDM forestry projects in Malaysia have strong potentials for success as institutional policies and regulations are properly in place to support such endeavors.

Malaysia’s Current Policy and Research Initiatives Toward Climate Change


Marketing of Biodiversity Credits Initiated by the Sabah State Government, in collaboration with an Australianbased forestry investment firm, New Forests Pty Ltd, an agreement was formulated to protect the 34,000 ha of forests in the Malua Forest Reserve on a commercial basis. The Malua Forest Reserve is an integral part of the Ulu Segama-Malua Forest Reserve, one of the largest and most ecologically diverse blocks of natural forests in Sabah. It is home to critical wildlife, such as orangutans, Sumatran rhino, and clouded leopards. Signed on October 2007, the agreement was the first of its kind that the Malaysian government has entered into to deliver wildlife conservation on a commercial basis. Similar to carbon credits, which create financial incentives to reduce GHGs, biodiversity credits are tradable securities that reward activities supporting the conservation and sustainable use of natural ecosystems. This project is designed to allow the sale and purchase of endangered species credits to offset the negative impacts on those species and their habitats due to certain activities. Biodiversity credits would be primarily marketed to oil palm companies/producers, energy companies, and other businesses involved in the production of biodiesel – a clean burning fuel derived from renewable sources such as palm oil.

AVOIDED DEFORESTATION STRATEGIES IN SABAH Sabah is known for its rich biodiversity. Species richness per square kilometer in East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak, which consists of 1.2/103 km2, land mammals) is significantly higher than the average richness in the whole of Malaysia (0.87/103 km2). To date, the state still retains some 60 per cent or about 40,000 km2 of its land surface under natural forest cover despite rapid land development, since obtaining independence in 1963. These areas include forest reserves, parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and water catchments that are devoted to forestry and conservation purposes. The major protected areas in Sabah are listed in Table 6.2. Discussed below are some of the avoided deforestation scenarios in Sabah, which biodiversity have direct impacts on when it comes to mitigating climate change.


Alona C. Linatoc, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Maryati Mohamed

Table 6.2 Major protected areas in Sabah Protected Areas Class 1 - Protection Forest Reserve Including: Danum Valley Conservation Area Maliau Basin Conservation Area Gomantong Forest Reserve Klias Forest Reserve Binsulok Forest Reserve Imbak Canyon Conservation Area

Size (ha) 342,216 43,800 58,840 3,297 3,630 12,106 30,000

Class VI - Virgin Jungle Reserve Including Kabili Forest Reserve Rafflesia

90,386 4,294 356

Class VII - Wildlife Reserve Including Tabin Wildlife Reserve Kulamba

132,653 111,971 20,682

Sabah Parks Including: Kinabalu Park Crocker Range National Park Tawau Hills Park Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Pulau Tiga Park Turtle Islands Park

265,794 75,370 139,919 27,972 4,929 15,864 1,740

Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary


Sipadan Bird Sanctuary


Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary


Total area


Malaysia’s Current Policy and Research Initiatives Toward Climate Change


Designation of Conservation Areas and Carbon Sequestration Programmes within the Concession Areas of Sabah In addition to the gazettement of protected areas, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and forest reserves, Malaysia is committed to protect its important biodiversity by identifying critical sites and designating such as conservation areas within timber concessions (Figure 6.4). The Danum Valley Conservation Area (438 km2), Maliau Basin Conservation Area (588.4 km2), and Imbak Canyon Conservation Area (300 km2) are all part of the 10,000 km2 timber concession belonging to Yayasan Sabah (Sabah Foundation), a government subsidiary. These conservation areas are home to rare and endangered species such as the Sumatran rhino, banteng, Asian pygmy elephant, clouded leopard, orangutan, proboscis monkey, sun bear, bearded pig, slow loris, Bulwer’s pheasant, crimson-headed partridge, peregrine falcon, and many more. Realising the immense value of Sabah’s biodiversity, the Sabah Foundation voluntarily designated the three conservation areas for research, education, and training in the 1980s. Thereafter, in the late 1990s, the conservation areas have been upgraded by the Sabah State Government to a Class 1 Protection Forest Reserve. This category disallows commercial interests in the area except for limited ecotourism. According to the Sabah Forest Enactment, an area under this classification cannot be granted timber concession rights. Furthermore, the Maliau Basin has also been gazetted under the Cultural Heritage (Conservation) Enactment of 1998. This provides for the preservation, conservation and enhancement of the cultural heritage of Sabah. Each of these conservation areas has its own committee, composed of universities, government agencies, and non-government organisations, to oversee its management. Apparently, only the Danum Valley Conservation Area has so far been extensively studied, while the other two conservation areas have yet to be fully explored. Since 1992, Danum Valley has been hosting the Innoprise-Face Foundation Rainforest Rehabilitation Project (INFAPRO). This initiative is a joint venture between Sabah Foundation’s Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd and the Face Foundation of the Netherlands to help abate the enhanced greenhouse effect by planting and protecting forests. The project aims to rehabilitate 25,000 ha of degraded forests, through enrichment planting, to increase the carbon sequestration capacity of formerly logged-over forests. Enrichment planting is

Figure 6.4 Map of Sabah showing the areas where avoided deforestations are initiated

114 Alona C. Linatoc, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Maryati Mohamed

Malaysia’s Current Policy and Research Initiatives Toward Climate Change


supported by a large nursery that is capable of producing more than a million seedlings of more than 30 dipterocarp and other indigenous tree species. Also in Danum Valley, the Sabah Foundation started implementing the Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) Project in collaboration with the United States-based New England Power. This initiative has set the reduced-impact logging guidelines in the Sabah Foundation concession area by reducing the incidental damage to soil and other vegetation by 50 per cent, otherwise caused by conventional logging practices. This project has helped absorb an estimated 147,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2000, and is projected to sequester 379,000 tonnes of CO2 in a 40-year period. The Sabah Biodiversity Project The United Kingdom’s Royal Society Southeast Asia Rainforest Research Programme (SEARRP) has established a 500-ha biodiversity experimental area within the Yayasan Sabah Forest Management Area in the Malua Forest Reserve. This project was undertaken in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Natural Environment Research Council Centre for Population Biology (NERC CPB), the Institute of Environmental Sciences, University of Zürich, the Malaysian forestry company Innoprise Corporation, and the Universiti Malaysia Sabah. The Sabah Biodiversity Project was established in 2000 to incorporate biodiversity issues in the planning of future rainforest rehabilitation programs. This experiment is designed to examine how the diversity of replanted tropical forest affects timber production, carbon storage, and other ecosystem processes. The experiment likewise illustrates how research on biodiversity can be expanded to larger spatial and temporal scales. It is one of a number of new biodiversity experiments in tropical and temperate forests, ranging from Panama to Finland and Germany. In fact, this experiment has once received a two-year grant from the then ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (now the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity). The forest rehabilitation experiment includes the planting of 16 species of dipterocarps in different combinations (i.e. single species, 2-genera, 4-genera, and all 16 species), while leaving some plots untouched. Dipterocarp species are selected because they are the most important canopy trees in the rainforest of Southeast Asia, particularly in the island of Borneo where the family of dipterocarps reaches its center of diversity. Dipterocarps account for 90 per


Alona C. Linatoc, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Maryati Mohamed

cent of the canopy and emergent trees in the lowland rainforests in Sabah. Of the 284 dipterocarps that are occurring in Borneo, 180 of which are found in Sabah. Almost all of the dipterocarps have high commercial value. In fact, the rainforests of Southeast Asia have been exploited for their timber in the past decades. This situation is particularly true for Sabah where logging industries continue to serve as the main source of the state’s revenue. From the 1970s to the late 1990s, highly damaging felling and extraction methods were used – even in areas that have been selectively logged within the commercial forest reserve. These methods left significant areas of Sabah’s forests in an extremely degraded condition with almost no hope for regeneration for the dipterocarps. To support future timber extraction and provide the environmental services associated with natural forests (such as maintenance of biodiversity, carbon sequestration, soil stabilisation, water protection, among others), much of the commercial forest reserve, which totals to more than 3 M ha in Sabah alone, would require some form of rehabilitation. This experiment provided an understanding on the efficient enrichment planting techniques that could be employed in logged-over/degraded rainforests in Sabah.

The Bornean Biodiversity and Ecosystem Conservation Programme The Bornean Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conservation (BBEC) Programme has been implemented with the overall goal of conserving the endangered and precious biodiversity and ecosystems in Sabah. This five-year programme (20022007) was a joint endeavor of the State Government of Sabah, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, and the Japanese Government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The programme’s five target sites included Crocker Range Park, Tabin and Kulamba Wildlife Reserves, Lower Segama Wildlife Conservation Area, Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Maliau Basin Forest Reserve, which covers a total area of about 2,735 km2 or 5 per cent of Sabah’s land area. Owing to its success, the BBEC program is running for another five years (2007 to 2012). A distinguished characteristic of this technical cooperation is the use of the programme approach - encompassing multiple sectors which embrace the elements of research and education, park management, habitat management, and public awareness. By carefully applying all means to cover all aspects, it is

Malaysia’s Current Policy and Research Initiatives Toward Climate Change


expected that an integrated programme, like BBEC, will efficiently contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem in Sabah. Moreover, such comprehensive approach will also help strengthen institutional linkages, integration, and coordination among the various organisations in charge of or related to conservation.

RESEARCH ON BIOGENIC VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (BVOCs) In the last 20 years, the complexity between biosphere-climate interactions has gone from a nascent discipline to a central area of modern climate change research. The development of terrestrial biosphere models that predict the responses of ecosystems to climate and increasing CO2 levels have highlighted several mechanisms by which changes in ecosystem composition and function might alter regional and global climate. The discussions below presents the responses of plants to varying environmental factors (i.e. physical and biological), and how these factors trigger biochemical responses in plants. The responses, in turn, affect the biosphere-atmosphere interaction in general, in a non-conventional aspect – i.e. plants’ emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds.

Roles of BVOCs in Atmospheric Chemistry The global exchange of carbon between terrestrial surfaces and the atmosphere is dominated by emission and deposition of CO2 from anthropogenic sources. However, there are other carbon-containing compounds that comprise several per cent of the total flow of carbon between landscapes and atmosphere. About 2.5 Pg (1 Pg = 1015) of carbon is emitted annually into the atmosphere as reactive compounds. Most of it is eventually oxidized to CO2. One major source of carbon in the atmosphere is volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Emissions of VOCs can be divided into two sources: anthropogenic and biogenic. Major anthropogenic sources include the combustion of fossil fuels and the industrial processing of chemicals, and wastes. The fluxes from biological processes in both marine and terrestrial environments, meanwhile, contribute to biogenic hydrocarbon sources.


Alona C. Linatoc, Mohd. Noh Dalimin and Maryati Mohamed

Interestingly, in terms of global emission, biogenic VOCs exceed anthropogenic VOCs with an estimate of 1.2 x 1015 g C per year and 1.0 x 1014 g C per year, respectively. Isoprene has the single largest contribution to the global vegetation reactive carbon compound emission and is the dominant emission from many landscapes. On the other hand, less than 20 of the more than 1,000 monoterpene compounds found in the plants are responsible for nearly all monoterpene emissions into the atmosphere. The release of these carbon-based compounds had been demonstrated to affect the chemical and physical properties of the atmosphere. Surface fluxes of BVOCs are gaining interest from scientists because of their active role in tropospheric chemistry and the global carbon cycle. In the presence of nitrogen oxides (NOx), produced by combustion of fuels and other natural processes, BVOCs react in the atmosphere to form tropospheric ozone (O3), an important pollutant. Moreover, fluxes of these gaseous compounds affect the physical and chemical properties of the atmosphere by primarily influencing the atmospheric concentrations of CH4 and carbon monoxide. These reactions may also cause a decrease in the concentrations of hydroxyl radical, and thus lead to the accumulation of CH4 and other GHGs. The 15 per cent increase in the tropospheric lifetime of CH4 is due to the presence of BVOCs. Moreover, BVOCs, together with CO2, largely influence the atmospheric radiative balance, temperature, and precipitation patterns.

Role of BVOCs in Plants BVOCs are non-ubiquitous defense strategies adapted by plants against certain biotic and abiotic factors. Not all plants are found to be emitting BVOCs. Production of BVOCs can be induced, meaning they are only produced after (i.e.) herbivory or facultative functions. BVOCs are thus always expressed. BVOCs are also referred to as terpenes (or terpenoids, as others may call it). This is a widespread and chemically diverse group of natural products. Considered a unique group of unsaturated hydrocarbon-based natural products, terpenes have structures that may be derived from isoprene. These structures give rise to other structures which may be divided into isopentane (2-methylbutane) units. All terpenoids are synthesised through the condensation of isopentenyl diphosphate and its allylic isomer dimethylallyl diphosphate The process is done by the catalysis of farnesyl diphosphate synthase via the

Malaysia’s Current Policy and Research Initiatives Toward Climate Change


mevalonate pathway (cytosol/endoplasmic reticulum), or geranyl diphosphate and geranylgeranyl diphosphate via the methyl-D-erythritol-1-phosphate pathway in plastids. There are about 5,000 structurally determined VOCs that have been identified. However, it is isoprene (C5), monoterpenes (C15), and sesquiterpenes (C15) that have sufficient vapor pressure. They are released by plants in sufficient quantities, thus playing a significant role in oxidant phytochemistry (Tables 6.3 and 6.4). BVOCs are synthesised in different plant tissues and in diverse physiological processes. Numerous studies have been conducted to examine the role of BVOCs in plants. To date, however, BVOCs have no definite role that is considered common to all plant species. Instead, there are various reports on the important roles of these compounds and the factors that drive their production and emission. For example, BVOCs can play a role in the stabilisation and protection of plant membranes against high temperatures in Quercus ilex. Light dependency of monoterpene production in Myrica cerifera has been observed, while both temperature and light dependence of BVOC emission have been observed for Pinus sylvestris L. and Citrus sinensis L. Elevated CO2, to a certain extent, has affected isoprene emission from the young seedlings of poplars and could be a tool in predicting isoprenoid emission in trees of

Table 6.3 Classification of terpene based on 5-carbon units Group

Number of Carbon Units

Hemiterpenes (Isoprene)














2-3 hrs


1 day