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Risks and adaptation to climate change in the Mekong region

Murray, F. (2008) Risks and adaptation to climate change in the Mekong region. In: EEPSEA Climate Change Conference, 13 - 15 February, Bali, Indonesia.


Human-induced climate change is a serious development issue with major implications for agriculture, water supplies, rural livelihoods and other sectors of the economy. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007a) states that warming of the planet in unequivocal observed changes in climate are already affecting ecological, social, and economic systems, and sustainable development is threatened by climate change. Climate change may have serious consequences for the livelihoods of rural populations in the Mekong region. For rural economies in the Mekong region, the additional stresses imposed by climate change could threaten goals related to poverty alleviation. The challenges to agriculture and water supply may be further aggravated by changes in rainfall regimes, hydrology and the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events, leading to threats to economic development. Furthermore, climate change may also affect the viability of infrastructure investments such as hydropower plants. Little research has been conducted in the Mekong sub-region to understand impacts, risks, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change here. This paper considers some of the issues being investigated by a research project funded by the Asian Development Bank under the Greater Mekong Sub-region Core Environmental Program, especially focused on risks and potential adaptation measures. The project will conduct policy-relevant assessments to be discussed during workshops of government decision-makers. Some of the outcomes of this study are likely to be relevant for many countries in Southeast Asia outside of the Mekong sub-region.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
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