Risk, Resilience and Human Security in Cross-Border Areas: the Greater Mekong Subregion, the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle

“Risk, Resilience and Human Security in Cross-Border Areas: the Greater Mekong Subregion, the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle” (in the beginning of 2011 the old version of this was published as a working paper by Centre for Non-Traditional Security of S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore). Authors: Fitrian Ardiansyah and Desak Putu Adhityani Putri.

Published as a book chapter (Chapter 8) in an edited book entitled “Human Security and Climate Change in Southeast Asia”. The editors are Prof Lorraine Elliott and Prof Mely Caballero-Anthony. The book is published by Routledge and the offer to buy this book has been put on Amazon.com, Routledge.com and a number of online bookshops.

Human Security and Climate Change in Southeast Asia

Edited by Lorraine Elliott, Mely Caballero-Anthony

Published August 2012 by Routledge – 240 pages

Series: Routledge Security in Asia Pacific Series

Part 1: Setting the context 1. Human security, climate change and social resilience Lorraine Elliott 2. The economics of climate change in Southeast Asia Juzhong Zhuang, Suphachol Suphachalasai and Jindra Nuella Samson Part 2: Conceptual approaches 3. A sociology of risk, vulnerability and resilience Devanathan Parthasarathy 4. Community rights and accessKeokam Kraisoraphong Part 3: Local risk and strategies for local resilience 5. REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation): mitigation, adaptation and the resilience of local livelihoods Enrique Ibarra Gené 6. The challenges for gender-responsive adaptation strategies Bernadette P Resurreccion Part 4: Scaling up to the region 7. Development for climate security Irene Kuntjoro 8. Risk, Resilience and Human Security in Cross-Border Areas: the Greater Mekong Subregion, the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle Fitrian Ardiansyah and Desak Putu Adhityani Putri 9. Regional cooperation: enabling environments for adaptation and social resilience Mely Caballero-Anthony

Original links:

http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415684897/#contents

Abstract of my chapter (Chapter 8):

This chapter investigates the security impacts of climate change in three Southeast Asian cross-border areas– the Greater Mekong Subregion, the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle – through an examination of the ways in which climate change results in human insecurity and possibly social unrest, tension and conflict. The three cross-border areas are significant in that they host unique but threatened large-scale freshwater, terrestrial forest, coastal and marine ecosystems. In addition, they are home to more than 400 million people and provide important ecosystem goods and services to many countries in the region. This paper explores and evaluates regional agreements and actions in each of the three areas, with an emphasis on the mainstreaming of climate adaptation as well as mitigation in the development agenda. The analysis also points to the importance of reaching out to other actors beyond state and intergovernmental ones if adaptation and mitigation efforts were to succeed. There is a need to identify other actors, such as the business sector, local communities and the public, with the aim of getting them involved in these important issues.

Purchasing Options:

  • Hardback: 978-0-415-68489-7: $140.00

Chapter8_Risk_resilience_FA_DPAPutri

 

Rio+20 and the fate of sustainable development

Strategic Review

The Indonesian Journal of Leadership, Policy and World Affairs, by Fitrian Ardiansyah, 18 May 2012

Original link: http://www.sr-indonesia.com/2011-08-09-22-09-10/commentaries/193-rio20-and-the-fate-of-sustainable-development

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), being held in June in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, will undoubtedly raise a critical question about how far countries have advanced sustainable development and mitigated environmental degradation.

Sustainable development, defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, was introduced in the 1987 Brundtland Report and reaffirmed 20 years ago in Rio. This is why this year’s UNCSD is also known as Rio+20, marking the 20th anniversary of one of the famous large-scale gatherings on environmental issues, the 1992 Earth Summit, which was held in the same city.

During the 1992 Earth Summit, world leaders agreed to uphold sustainable development, demonstrated by, among others, the adoption of Agenda 21, the signings of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the issuance of the Declaration of Forest Principles. Agenda 21 is a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection at the global, national and local levels.

The CBD, signed by 150 government leaders, provides a platform to achieve sustainable development since it recognizes crucial functions and services of biodiversity and natural ecosystems that directly and indirectly support people and their needs. The Forest Principles, which focuses particularly on forest ecosystems, is the first global consensus that encourages nations to conserve, restore and manage these already fragile and threatened resources.

Another major breakthrough in the 1992 Rio Earth Summit was the signing of the UNFCCC. The convention created an umbrella for global efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change, which is perceived as one of the biggest threats to human civilization. With the UNFCCC, nations recognize that the climate system is a shared resource and all governments and people on our planet have the responsibility to ensure its stability.

Two decades have passed since the first UNCSD, yet progress toward the achievement of the objectives of the above conventions and commitments, according to many scholars, has been very slow.

In the 2010 editorial section of Wiley’s Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) of Climate Change—Climate and Development, Daniel Murdiyarso of the Center for International Forestry Research argued that global programs and actions to achieve safe drinking water, improved health and reduced mortality, food security and reduced hunger, and environment sustainability – as also reflected in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – fell very short toward their targets.

When commenting about the MDGs in 2008, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said: “We have made important progress toward all eight goals, but we are not on track to fulfill our commitments.”

With regard to food security and the use of land and water, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, for example, reported in 2011 that although agricultural production has as much as tripled due to significant increases in the yield of major crops, global achievements in production in some regions have been associated with degradation of land and water resources and the deterioration of related ecosystem goods and services.

The report indicated that significant biomass, carbon storage, soil health, water storage and supply, biodiversity and social and cultural services have been negatively affected by the global agriculture production from the use of 11 percent of the world’s land surface and 70 percent of all water withdrawn from aquifers, streams and lakes for crop production. In the same report, agricultural policies are viewed to have primarily benefitted farmers with productive land and access to water, bypassing the majority of small-scale producers who are still locked in a poverty trap of high vulnerability, land degradation and climatic uncertainty.

In Indonesia, a 2008 study written by Sugiyanto and Candra R Samekto of the ministries of Public Works and National Development Planning revealed that the country had already experienced water shortages in some areas during the dry season and flood events during the rainy season.

Specific water issues that Indonesia faces, as described in this study, include in imbalance between supply and demand in a spatial and temporal perspective and degraded river basins. For instance, increasing water demand – the total water needs of the country was 112.3 billion cubic meters in 2003 and approximately 117.7 billion cubic meters in 2009 – combined with limited water availability will certainly aggravate the water scarcity problem and trigger water conflict.

Biodiversity is also under threat. In the 2010 State of the Planet’s Biodiversity, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) provided gloomy facts. Species extinction is a natural part of Earth’s evolution, the reported noted, but during the past 100 years humans have increased the extinction rate by at least 100 times compared to the natural rate.

The report stated that virtually all of Earth’s ecosystems have been dramatically transformed through human actions; for example, 35 percent of mangroves and 20 percent of coral reefs have been lost. The report further argued that important ecosystems continue to be converted for agricultural and other uses at a constant pace during at least the past century.

In the 2010 State of Biodiversity of Asia and the Pacific, UNEP ranked Indonesia second after Australia as having the most threatened plant and animal species in the region. This is due to, among other things, high rates of fragmentation and net loss of forests that have continued in many countries in Southeast Asia between 2000 and 2009.

Still, 20 years after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, it is not all doom and gloom for the Earth and its people. Increasing collaborative works among state and non-state actors or between businesses and nongovernmental organizations have brought about gradual but important changes toward achieving sustainable development.

The development and application of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – a pioneering certification scheme for forest products harvested based on strict environmental, social and economic criteria – is an example of a concrete step forward from the 1992 Forest Principles. Under the FSC, more than 130 million hectares of forest and 8.5 percent of forest products in international trade are now certified, allowing important reforms in the relevant chains of custody and behavioral changes of end consumers. Other forest certification schemes have also been developed.

A similar case can be argued about the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a certification scheme for wild-caught seafood. To date, this scheme has produced more than 100 MSC-certified fisheries and 7,000 certified products available worldwide.

When it comes to the protection of large-scale threatened biodiversity and ecosystems, a multi-partners work that launched a 10-year initiative to preserve 12 percent, or 60 million hectares, of the Brazilian Amazon under the Amazon Region Protected Area can be used as a showcase. The protected area and other similar efforts in the Amazon are the world’s largest in situ conservation schemes, creating more than 30 million hectares of protected areas, ensuring further protection and improved management of 80 percent of the Amazon’s original forest and establishing a $29 million conservation fund.

Similar efforts have taken place in the Central Africa and Southeast Asia regions, such as the adoption of the Yaoundé Declaration (resulting in the protection and sustainable management of more than 10 percent of the Congo forest), and the creation of the Heart of Borneo (conservation and sustainable management of 22 million hectares of forest and terrestrial ecosystems).

In marine areas, comparable efforts have been undertaken through the Coral Triangle Initiative, a multilateral partnership of six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste) formed in 2009 to address the urgent threats facing the coastal and marine resources of one of the most biologically diverse and ecologically rich regions on Earth.

Such progress, however, can only be further continued if existing and future threats, particularly from unsustainable land use and marine activities, are mitigated and important enabling conditions are improved, namely good economic policies that create positive incentives, good governance, clear land tenure and environmentally-friendly infrastructure development.

Rio+20, under one of the two themes of its upcoming conference, “Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication,” provides a venue for countries to openly and informally discuss comprehensive approaches using a green economy concept to address such threats and improve enabling conditions and propose solutions.

By using the green economy concept, it is expected that countries can be helped to transform their engines of economic growth, particularly through shifting investments – public and private, domestic and international – towards emerging green sectors and the greening of existing sectors, complemented by changes to unsustainable consumption patterns.

Such transformation is crucial to ensure sustainable development in most countries, especially developing countries including Indonesia. Without significant transformation in countries’ economies, sustainable development is likely to remain an oxymoron concept.

Indonesia, as a large developing country, has a real stake and hence is required to come up with a strong position to negotiate so that countries agree at Rio+20 for a worldwide transition toward a green economy and concrete application of sustainable development.


Fitrian Ardiansyah is a Climate and Sustainability Specialist, doctoral candidate at the Australian National University and the recipient of the Australian Leadership Award and Allison Sudradjat Award.

Risk and resilience in three Southeast Asian cross-border areas: the Greater Mekong Sub-region, the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle

Asia Security Initiative Policy Series: Working Paper No. 11, February 2011

Published by the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore

MacArthur Working Paper_Fitrian_and_Desak

Risk and Resilience in Three Southeast Asian Cross-Border Areas: The Greater Mekong Subregion, the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle

By Fitrian Ardiansyah and Desak Putu Adhityani Putri

Abstract

This paper investigates the security impacts of climate change in three Southeast Asian cross-border areas– the Greater Mekong Subregion, the Heart of Borneo and the Coral Triangle – through an examination of the ways in which climate change results in human insecurity and possibly social unrest, tension and conflict. The three cross-border areas are significant in that they host unique but threatened large-scale freshwater, terrestrial forest, coastal and marine ecosystems. In addition, they are home to more than 400 million people and provide important ecosystem goods and services to many countries in the region. This paper explores and evaluates regional agreements and actions in each of the three areas, with an emphasis on the mainstreaming of climate adaptation as well as mitigation in the development agenda. The analysis also points to the importance of reaching out to other actors beyond state and intergovernmental ones if adaptation and mitigation efforts were to succeed. There is a need to identify other actors, such as the business sector, local communities and the public, with the aim of getting them involved in these important issues.

Read more…

The original link is: http://www.rsis.edu.sg/NTS/resources/research_papers/MacArthur%20Working%20Paper_Fitrian_and_Desak.pdf

Copenhagen deal: The Coral Triangle’s chance to survive

ROAD to COPENHAGEN, Fitrian Ardiansyah and Richard Leck ,  Contributors ,  The Jakarta Post, Jakarta   |  Tue, 11/03/2009 1:06 PM  |  Environment

Water covers almost 71 percent of the surface of our planet Earth, with our five oceans – including the Indian and Pacific – containing 97.2 percent of the Earth’s water.

Unfortunately, scientists report that climate change is rapidly transforming these oceans and may result in devastating impacts on people and marine species.

The Coral Triangle (CT), the world’s center of marine life located along the equator at the confluence of the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, is now under extreme threat from climate change as well as escalating local and regional environmental pressures.

Not only is the region one of the world’s most amazing natural marvels comprising valuable marine environments as well as a much sought-after tourist destination, it also provides a daily income to hundreds of millions of people in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste.

The CT – renowned as the “nursery of the seas” that covers barely one percent of the globe’s surface – is home to 30 percent of the world’s coral reefs and more than 35 percent of its coral reef fish species.

Much of the tuna eaten around the world comes from the CT, an important contribution to the economies of Indonesia and our neighbors with whom we share this precious area. The region’s cultural significance cannot be overstated, nor its importance for rare species, such as the six species of marine turtles swimming its waters.

Fast-forward a few years into the future. As a result of climate change, seas will warm up and large areas of once iridescent coral will be bleached and rendered lifeless.

A massive breakdown of the ecosystem will limit the Coral Triangle’s ability to support the people living on its coasts, and the effects will be felt wherever people make a living from the sea – from small coastal settlements to mega cities.

The truly frightening part is that many people are already witnessing these changes – such as more intense storm surges, or tropical cyclones, shifts in weather patterns and changes in the behavior of marine species. These observations are backed by solid science.

According to a panel of scientists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), climate change is increasing the temperature and acidity of seawater – leading to coral bleaching – and altering atmospheric and oceanic circulation.

At the May 2009 World Oceans Conference in the North Sulawesi capital of Manado, the WWF released a report about the impact of climate change on the Coral Triangle. The report showed more intense cyclones and typhoons, increased acidity of oceans, rising sea levels and the destruction of coral reefs were likely to occur if the world continued to emit greenhouse gases at its current rate.

If we don’t halt this growth rate, the cost our children will have to bear will be massive. By 2050, the Coral Triangle will provide 50 percent less protein than it does now and 80 percent less by the end of the century.

In other words, we’re talking about a massive threat to food security. In Indonesia alone, where fish account for more than 60 percent of the animal protein consumed, the impacts on people’s livelihoods will be catastrophic.

However, there are reasons to be optimistic. The impact climate change has on the CT and its people has finally begun to receive the attention it needs. Regional and international measures are gradually emerging to avoid an ecological and human catastrophe in this region.

The leaders of the six countries that make up the Coral Triangle – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands – have identified the urgent need to shield some of poorer communities living along the coast from the devastating impacts of climate change.

Some of these impacts are unavoidable but we can reduce their scale and severity by introducing and mainstreaming climate change adaptation, which will lead to an increase in the resilience and resistance of people and ecosystems.

For instance, working as part of the Coral Triangle Initiative, the WWF is in the process of identifying pockets of marine diversity that are more naturally resistant to coral bleaching.

By establishing a solid network of well-managed and sustainably financed marine protected areas through partnerships with governments, communities and businesses, we can help defend these vital areas against a changing climate.

World leaders must support Coral Triangle countries in their efforts to protect their most vulnerable communities from rising sea levels, loss of food and livelihoods.

This help must come in the form of improved stewardship of marine resources to reduce stresses on the local environmental caused by over-fishing, pollution and declining coastal water quality and health.

Without a global agreement at the UN Climate Conference at Copenhagen in December to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, efforts to sustainably manage the Coral Triangle’s marine resources for the millions of people that depend on them will be in vain.

Moreover, it is crucial to recognize ocean- and coastal-related dimensions – promoted in the Manado Ocean Declaration – as part of the negotiation text and eventually as elements of the outcomes derived from the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December.

The ocean and coastal dimensions cover issues of vulnerable coastal communities, subsistence fishing, capacity-building enhancement, the importance of marine and fisheries research to support policy implementation and adaptation as well as mitigation strategies.

In one month’s time, negotiators and world leaders at Copenhagen will have the opportunity to give some of the most vulnerable areas on Earth a chance to survive.

It is time our leaders endorsed tough but crucial decisions to safeguard the Coral Triangle, so that we can survive in the long term.

Fitrian is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia, and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id. Richard is the WWF’s climate change strategy leader – Coral Triangle. He can be reached at richard.leck@wwf.org.au.

Original Link:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/11/03/copenhagen-deal-the-coral-triangle039s-chance-survive.html

Dealing with climate change dangerous impacts

ROAD to COPENHAGEN, The Jakarta Post, Fitrian Ardiansyah and Ari Muhammad ,  Jakarta   |  Tue, 10/13/2009 12:11 PM  |  Environment

Climate change is a grave threat to the economies, societies and natural environment of all countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Indonesia.

Unless action is taken today to begin to stabilize and then reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – action including achieving an ambitious global climate agreement at Copenhagen – the impacts of climate change will become increasingly severe and irreversible.

Climate change can lead to damage to natural, communal and business assets. Some studies typically place damage in the range 1-1.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) per year for developed countries, and 2-9 percent for developing countries, if the average temperature increases between 1.5 and 4.0 degrees Celsius.

In his 2006 review, Nicholas Stern extended this estimation by stating that unabated climate change could cost the world at least 5 percent of GDP each year; if more dramatic predictions come to pass, the cost could be more than 20 percent of GDP.

Overall in Indonesia, the observed and projected impacts of climate change include an increase in the severity of droughts, flooding, fires, coral bleaching, the gradual rise of sea levels, and the increase in frequency of extreme weather conditions including storms, which will be destroying natural and human-made systems in the area.

Increased rainfall during the wet seasons may lead to high floods, such as the Jakarta flood in February 2007 that inundated 70,000 houses, displaced 420,440 people and killed 69 with losses of US$450 million, according to the World Health Organization.

Hundreds of millions of people live in Indonesia, most of who depend on resources, goods and services for their livelihood. However, climate change will profoundly affect biodiversity, water resources and the economy in the country, all of which in turn will impact its people.

One study reveals that millions of people are at risk from flooding and sea-water intrusion caused by rising sea levels and declining dry-season precipitation; these phenomena will negatively impact the aquaculture industry (e.g., fish and prawn industries) and infrastructure along the coasts of South and Southeast Asia.

The impacts of climate change will increase the pressure on forest, coastal and marine ecosystems caused by illegal and destructive logging, overfishing and overexploitation of natural resources.

Hence, the challenge that the government faces is finding ways to devise climate-smart development strategies that ensure the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation in the country’s development agenda.

Adapting to climate change means adjusting natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.

This demands not only the improvement of national policies – which includes devising climate-smart strategies and mainstreaming these in the development agenda – but also the increase in workforce capacity from national to local levels. To begin with, this requires significant amounts of adequate, sufficient and sustainable financing.

To protect natural and business assets from climate change impacts, the World Bank estimates that $9-41 billion a year will be needed globally. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) calculates the need for $49-171 billion a year – to adapt to climate change alone until 2030 – in which $28-67 billion is required to help efforts in developing countries.

Unfortunately, the current provision of funds to cope with these impacts is yet to be at a level sufficient to meet these requirements. The Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) have allocated only $114 million, and the Adaptation Fund, established last year, can accumulate and provide only around $200 million. Some even predict that in reality only $500 million can be gathered for climate change adaptation.

With this dismal figure, Indonesia also needs to seriously prepare its regional and domestic plans to adapt to climate change. Vulnerable sectors – agriculture, marine and coastal, forestry and infrastructure – and areas need to be assessed and prioritized.

Cooperation among countries at the regional level is essential and coordination among sectors and different levels of government is pivotal for successful adaptation initiatives.

At the regional level, for instance, the creation of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) by six countries in the Asia Pacific is a good starting point for addressing climate adaptation in marine and coastal areas.

This initiative and its Regional Action Plan can complement individual countries’ actions to reduce the social, economic and biological impacts of climate change by developing adaptation policies and providing funding, especially for establishing and managing networks of marine protected areas and promotion of sustainable coastal livelihood.

Effective management of coastal resources through a range of options including locally managed regional networks of marine protected areas, protection of mangrove and seagrass beds and effective management of fisheries would contribute to a slower decline in coastal and marine resources as well as an increase in the resilience of coastal communities and the marine sector overall.

At the local level, encouraging news is coming out of Lombok. The provincial government of Nusa Tenggara Barat has carried out initial vulnerability assessment, predicting climate impacts and identifying areas and sectors most vulnerable to climate change.

It is a pioneering work because many climate predictions and assessments have been carried out at a global or regional level. The most important thing is that the results of this assessment were endorsed by the governor, and key elements of the findings are planned to be inserted in the mid-term development planning document of the province.

Reducing and coping with climate change impacts may be an endless struggle. However, some actions taken at the local, national and regional levels can further keep our hope alive to win this battle.

Fitrian is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id. Ari is adaptation policy coordinator at WWF-Indonesia. He can be reached at amuhammad@wwf.or.id.

Original Link:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/10/13/dealing-with-climate-change-dangerous-impacts.html