Climate and Security in Asia and the Pacific (Food, Water and Energy)

Lance Heath, Michael J Salinger, A. Falkland, James Hansen, Kejun Jiange, Yasuko Kameyama, Michio Kishi, Louis Lebel, Holger Meinke, Katherine Morton, Elena Nikitina, P.R. Shukla, Ian White

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The impacts of increasing natural climate disasters are threatening food security in the Asia-Pacific region. Rice is Asia’s most important staple food. Climate variability and change directly impact rice production, through changes in rainfall, temperature and CO2 concentrations. The key for sustainable rice crop is water management. Adaptation can occur through shifts of cropping to higher latitudes and can profit from river systems (via irrigation) so far not considered. New opportunities arise to produce more than one crop per year in cooler areas. Asian wheat production in 2005 represents about 43 % of the global total. Changes in agronomic practices, such as earlier plant dates and cultivar substitution will be required. Fisheries play a crucial role in providing food security with the contribution of fish to dietary animal protein being very high in the region – up to 90 % in small island developing states (SIDS). With the warming of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and increased acidification, marine ecosystems are presently under stress. Despite these trends, maintaining or enhancing food production from the sea is critical. However, future sustainability must be maintained whilst also securing biodiversity conservation. Improved fisheries management to address the existing non-climate threats remains paramount in the Indian and Pacific Oceans with sustainable management regimes being established. Climate-related impacts are expected to increase in magnitude over the coming decades, thus preliminary adaptation to climate change is valuable. Water security has become a defining issue of the twenty-first century for Asia and the Pacific. In the case of the Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau (HTP) region, cross-border conflicts over international water rights have also led to increased geopolitical tensions. For the Pacific, the main sources of freshwater for island communities is very limited being constrained to rainwater, surface water and groundwater. There is a need for a range of effective water management strategies for dealing with water security issues ranging from more effective water governance through to enhanced community participation. Flood disasters are the most frequent and devastating and their impacts have grown in the region. For longer term disaster risk reduction planning procedures are required as integral elements for ‘good governance’ of floods. Energy security in three major energy-consuming economies in Asia; namely China, India and Japan is crucial, and requires climate change mitigation policies. Both energy efficiency and renewable energy are important factors in solutions to the energy conundrum. Technological innovation and diffusion is an important component for improving energy efficiency, with the promotion of renewable energy requiring financial investment and innovation. However, costs of new technologies are likely to decrease as they become more widely adopted. Demand side management is also need to provide key solutions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationClimate in Asia and the Pacific: Security, Society and Sustainability
    Editors Michael J. Manton and Linda Anne Stevenson
    Place of PublicationDordrecht, Heidelberg, New York, London
    ISBN (Print)9789400773370
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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