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The Water, Food & Energy Nexus: Results of a Mekong Investigation
 

The Water, Food & Energy Nexus: Results of a Mekong Investigation

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Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy. 2012. Presentation from Session 14: The Results of an Exploration into the Water-Food-Energy Nexus in the Mekong

Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy. 2012. Presentation from Session 14: The Results of an Exploration into the Water-Food-Energy Nexus in the Mekong

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  • ALL Mekong countries require more energy, more food and more water because of increasing populations and higher income.But investments to secure such increases in water, food and energy can have side effects. The Mekong region is highly connected because of transboundary migration, investment and natural resources. Decisions in one place can trigger changes somewhere else in the region, which can have unexpected feedbacks for the initial country. The problem is that some of these large scale decisions have consequences beyond the initial area (i.e. Isaan). Side effects can create unexpected feedbacks. Important to understand if people want a solution that is viable in the long-term.
  • The problem is that some of these large scale decisions have consequences beyond the initial area (i.e. Isaan).Side effects can create unexpected feedbacks. Important to understand if people want a solution that is viable in the long-term. This is difficult because multiple decisions are taken in parallel in six countries. To understand these complex interactions we put an expert panel together.
  • Values self interest and right to make individual decisionsSocial concern, fairness, equity and altruismEnvironmental value and responsibilityOpen to change flexibility curiousConservatism, family and traditional values
  • Energy security is a complex and contested concept – IN RECENT YEARS THE CONCEPT HAS BROADENED beyond security of supply and access at affordable prices. Analysts  have called for adding environmental and socio-political attributes to the concept. These eight dimensions and the indicators we associate with them are an attempt to balance comprehensiveness with coherent focus on energy.
  • SokhemALL Mekong countries require more energy, more food and more water because of increasing populations and imperatives of economic growth partly expressed as higher incomes.But investments to secure increases in water, food and energy can have important and unexpected side effects. The Mekong region is highly connected because of transboundary migration, investment and differential endowments and demands of natural resources. Decisions in one place can trigger changes somewhere else in the region, which can have unexpected feedbacks for the initial country. Expert panel looked at these 6 decisions and looked at cumulative outcomes. What if all these changes were realised over the next 10 years?
  • Sokhem
  • Sokhem
  • Lu Xing
  • Lu xing
  • AlexThis diagram shows the variables the assessment considered for hydropower. Similar diagrams for all six decisions. The workshop allowed connecting all variables.
  • AlexFish stocks are largely discussed within the context of mainstream dams. However, it emerges as a critical resource that requires careful management and new governance solutions independent from mainstream dams. Impacts of land use change and irrigation are highly uncertain. If land use change and irrigation are managed primarily as an instrument to alleviate poverty the development of the Wider Mekong Region is likely to experience a more sustainable development. Risks in the Nexus need to be managed carefully with particular attention to monoculture dependencies. Migration dynamics depend on a portfolio of available livelihood options and determine a critical factor influencing political stability.Labour shifts from primary to secondary sector employment, in particular as part of an underpinning urbanisation trend. Investing in the necessary urban infrastructure and in maintaining rural livelihood options will be a key factor in safeguarding social and economic stability.It will be critical to effectively manage energy demand (as opposed to the singular management of power supply).
  • AlexBest to start saying that with this presentation we broaden the scope and look now how the Mekong Delta is linked to the rest of the wider Mekong region. ALL Mekong countries require more energy, more food and more water because of increasing populations and higher income.But investments to secure such increases in water, food and energy can have side effects. The Mekong region is highly connected because of transboundary migration, investment and natural resources. Decisions in one place can trigger changes somewhere else in the region, which can have unexpected feedbacks for the initial country. The problem is that some of these large scale decisions have consequences beyond the initial area (i.e. Isaan).Side effects can create unexpected feedbacks. Important to understand if people want a solution that is viable in the long-term.
  • Drop in profit and increasing weather variability are relatively abstract concepts, so maybe we delete them from this diagram. Let’s discuss.
  • Lu Xing
  • 0= this will have no affect 6= this will affect us for sure
  • 0= this will have no affect 6= this will affect us for sureNB: Likely to occur determinants differ in ranking from expected Household impact Ranking of Determinants different for each country.
  • 1 Tonle Sap 2 Nam Ngum 3 HuaiSai Bart 4 Vietnam delta 5 Xishuangbanna 1 10.5% 19.6% 26.4% 28.9% 5.7% 2 34.2% 7.6% 4.0% 6.8% 2.6% 3 7.5% 36.5% 27.7% 13.5% 22.7% 4 46.5% 31.8% 34.3% 17.4% 62.5% 5 1.4% 4.4% 7.6% 33.4% 6.5%
  • Linstone and Turoff: a process that canbenefit from subjective judgements on a collective basis”Sokhem Pech (Hatfield): water expertDavid Fullbrook: food expertTira Foran (CSIRO): energy expertLilao Bouapao: Livelihood and migration expertKate Lazarus: Mining expertLu Xing (Yunnan University): Land use change expert
  • As a general rule decisions and research remain geographically constrained and focussed on a single sector; although this forum and your participation indicates a transition to a broader perspective that addresses connectivity and inter-dependence. Dynamic and non-linear systems;Uncertainty : there are multiple expected outcomes; No right or wrong solutions, only good approximations;Every solution is unique and novel: limited opportunity to learn from past experience;Each implemented solution will perturb the system: introducing a series of cascades and +/-feedbacks;Therefore there is no stopping rule;No flexibility for decision makers to be wrong: that is in many circumstances novel solutions are subordinate to extreme levels of risk aversion; compromises innovative solutionsFear of the simple; Paranoia of omission (we must include all variables and interactions before implementing solutions)

The Water, Food & Energy Nexus: Results of a Mekong Investigation The Water, Food & Energy Nexus: Results of a Mekong Investigation Presentation Transcript

  • The Water, Food & Energy Nexus: Results of a Mekong investigation CSIRO ECOSYSTEM SCIENCES / CLIMATE ADAPTATION FLAGSHIP Alex Smajgl, Sokhem Pech and John Ward Hanoi, November 2012
  • Wider Mekong region is becoming highly connectedCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Willingness to adapt Well being well being and Potential gains livelihoods Avoiding losses poverty vulnerabilityValues Beliefs Adaptation Capacity to adapt Policy initiatives Livelihood factors •Communication Household characteristics •Trust Assets, entitlements •Equity and fairness Social institutions vulnerabilityExploring Mekong Futures
  • A nexus version specific to the Wider Mekong Region. Food Security ? Water security ? Energy security ?CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures Page 6
  • Greater Mekong Subregion energy security - eight dimensions I Metabolism VIII Environmental II Governance Sustainability Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar VII Resilience Thailand, Vietnam, Yunnan, III Availability 280-317 million people VI Technological Development IV Access & Long Term Sustainability V AffordabilityCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Session 1: The predicted effects of impending decisions on Water Food and Energy security Session 2: The nexus and poverty levelsCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • National pending investments with regional consequences 1. Mekong River mainstream dams 2. Large-scale water diversion (into NE Thailand) 3. Sea level rise 4. More rubber plantations 5. Kunming-Phnom Penh railway 6. Bauxite mining in the Bolaven PlateauCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Nexus Synthesis 1. Food security decrease – Less fish ? More irrigation potential but more energy crops and rubber – Food prices increase with bigger pressure on the poor 2. Water access will see big change ? Flood risks shift from natural to operational risks – Peaks and timing change will erode many livelihoods ? Substantial shift between six countries (possible conflict) 3. Energy + Increasing demand could be satisfied – Higher energy prices 4. Livelihoods and Migration ? Shift from subsistence to paid labour ? More migrationCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Nexus effects – Water 1. Flood Risks change from natural to operational (3-6 meters of daily flow fluctuations 40-50km downstream reservoirs) 2. Up to 70% increase in dry season flow in Northern Laos and Thailand, but only 10% in Delta. 3. Sediment loads drop from 90Mt to 20Mt/year causing erosion of riverbanks and the Delta 4. Irrigation projects & sea-level rise exacerbate water shortage during droughts in Delta. 5. Shorter flood transitions (2-4 weeks) 6. Up to 150,000 ha of garden and agricultural land inundated 7. Less wetlands: i.e. Thailand -18% & Laos -34% 8. Water quality decline: More applied nutrients (85% N & 100% P) & herbicide (75%) & pesticide/fungicide (59%)CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Nexus effects – Food 1. Sharp reduction in fisheries 2. Dependence upon imported food and markets will increase 3. Food prices increase 4. Biodiversity will decline because of increased mono-crops 5. Salinity may be an increasing problem for domestic supply in coastal areas and regions of large-scale intensive irrigation 6. Slower rate of income increase reduces affordability 7. Increasing risks to ecosystems reducing resilience of food production in Mekong countries 8. Mekong Delta my lose a rice crop (April) after dry years (and exacerbated drought)CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Nexus effects – Energy 1. Increased power generation capacity 2. Increase in national and regional GDP 3. Higher energy and materials prices 4. Hydropower makes nuclear energy less urgent 5. Hydropower can reduce greenhouse gas emissions 6. Possible increase in bio-mass for power generationCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Cumulative evaluation: sustaining the nexus balance • Fish stocks require new governance solutions independent of mainstream dams. • Land use change, tenure and irrigation managed as an instrument to alleviate poverty = sustainable development . • Risks managed with particular attention to monoculture dependencies. • Migration dynamics are a critical factor influencing political stability. • Labour shifts from the primary to secondary sector as part of an underpinning urbanisation trend. • It will be critical to effectively manage energy demand (as opposed to the singular management of power supply).CSIRO Exploring Mekong Futures:
  • Mekong region is highly connectedCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Hua Sai Baht, Isaan, Thailand Irrigation is unlikely to reduce poverty Large irrigation schemes in Isaan • Irrigation has • large impacts on average income • Low impacts on poverty Average household income - Mahasarakham New manufacturing industries 50% • Industry employment has 40% • Low impacts on average income 30% • Large impacts on poverty Irrigation infrastructure 20% Industry employment 10% 0% 2553 2570 2554 2555 2556 2557 2558 2559 2560 2561 2562 2563 2564 2565 2566 2567 2568 2569 2571 2572 -10%CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures Page 17
  • Nam Ngum, Lao PDR Irrigation is unlikely to reduce povertyNew irrigation schemes in the Nam Ngum catchment •increases average income in most provinces by 20-30%, only in Louang Phrabang and Xiang Khoang much less (3%) •does not reduce poverty rate mostly (<1%)Industry employment •has lower effects on income (~4%); only in Xaysomboun high effects (~14%) •Has large effects on poverty (-3-4 %points); effective in Xaysomboun (10% points)CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Xishuanbanna, Yunnan, China Payments for green rubber could extend rubber Yunnan government makes payments for “green” rubber •increases area under rubber (green or not green by 15%) •Does not reduce rubber production substantially (-0.4%) •Nearly no impact on povertyCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Xishuangbanna: Government payment toreplace rubber has limited potential Area under Rubber 2012 2019 2010 2011 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 % 30% Green rubber 20% 10% 0%-10% Government Payments-20%-30% Regulation-40%-50%-60% Monoculture rubber-70%CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures Page 20
  • Xishuangbanna: Regulation comes at a cost Average household income 1% 2023 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029-4%-9% Government Payments-14% Tourism employment Regulation-19%-24%-29%-34% CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures Page 21
  • Tonle Sap, Cambodia Fish: highly vulnerable, industry no panacea • Improving trade access • low impact on household income (except Kampong Thom 10%) • no impact on poverty (except Kampong Thom: 13% to 9%) • Industry employment • unlikely to increase income (<3%) • could reduce poverty in a few areas (only in Battembang & Pursat)CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Mekong Delta, Vietnam High vulnerability demands active management • Sealevel rise, salinity, profits drop 50% or more • Very low adaptive capacity (less floods, less nutrients, less profits) • Adaptation strategies would replace less than 5% of possible income loss • Very high risk of increasing poverty if not actively managed • Industry employment • doesn’t find much uptake • unlikely to reduce povertyCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Synthesis• No generalisations possible as Mekong region very diverse• Irrigation no silver bullet for poverty alleviation• Industry employment could be effective in some areas but not all• Some areas highly vulnerable due to behavioural impediments• Large potential for unintended side effects CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures Page 24
  • Thank youDr Alex Smajglalex.smajgl@csiro.auDr John Wardj.ward@csiro.auCLIMATE ADAPTATION FLAGSHIP
  • Hua Sai Baht, Isaan, Thailand Irrigation is unlikely to reduce poverty Large irrigation schemes in Isaan • Irrigation has • large impacts on average income • Low impacts on poverty New manufacturing industries • Industry employment has • Low impacts on average income • Large impacts on povertyCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures Page 26
  • Nexus effects – Livelihoods 1. Reduced income from fish in all LMB countries 2. Increased migration from Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia into Thailand 3. More employment in commercial farming, while decrease in both small and subsistence farming households 4. Less income from riverside gardens 5. Maybe higher income from rice (potential productivity increase) 6. Increase wage employment in NE ThailandCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Main dissatisfaction with factors of wellbeing •Income •Family health Similar to all case studies except •Family relations Nam Ngum •Roads •Work security0and 20 40quality water 60 0 20 40 60 Roads and Public Income transport Domestic water supplyPersonal/family health Electricity Family relations Work availability and Roads and Public… security Family relations Work availability and… Food availability and Water quality security Health servicesDomestic water supply 28 | Exploring Mekong Futures
  • What households expect to happen over the next 10 yearsclimate changing, more water but more polluted, resources decline, newtechnology 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Weather becomes more variable Water will become more polluted More water available all year round to grow crops Soil fertility declines Farm technology takes over and less traditional farm systems Fish, aquatic animals and plants decline 0= this will not occur 6= this will occur for sure Exploring Mekong Futures
  • What will impact households wellbeing most over the next 10 years? New technology, new markets, continue with rice, resources decline and climate changing 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Farm technology takes over and less traditional farm systemsLikely to occur•climate changing Access to traders and markets•more water becomes much easier•more polluted You will continue to grow rice because• resources of food securitydecline•new technology Fish, aquatic animals and plants decline Weather becomes more variable 0= this will have no affect 6= this will affect us for sure Exploring Mekong Futures
  • Five main human values guide people’s lives and underpin behaviourCombinations or clusters of values influence decisions to adapt or not adapt: env aware Importance of nature Biocentric 1.20 Open to change 0.80 social concern resistant to change 0.40 0.00 Social concern open to change -0.40 Family priority -0.80 Open toto Open Change Altruistic in Interest -1.20 change others welfare -1.60 -2.00 Conservative Family, tradition Egocentric Self interest respect for elders 31 | Exploring Mekong Futures
  • Diversity of value clusters across the Mekong Region Value typology of case studies Tonle Nam Hua Sai Vietnam Xishuangbanna Sap Ngum Bart DeltaEnvironmental concern 10.5% 19.6% 26.4% 28.9% 5.7%Open to change 34.2% 7.6% 4.0% 6.8% 2.6%Social concern and 7.5% 36.5% 27.7% 13.5% 22.7%resistantSocial concern and 46.5% 31.8% 34.3% 17.4% 62.5%adaptiveFamily priority 1.4% 4.4% 7.6% 33.4% 6.5%32 | Exploring Mekong Futures
  • Profit down by 50% for Tonle Sap Nam Ngum Hua Sai Bart Vietnam Yunnan5 years DeltaEnvironmental concern highFarm size largeEducation (<primary) <primaryProfits occur (low) lowSocial concern x highValue typology x xMigration/pop change Low highFamily priorityFuture resource decline Low high lowGender male maleAge <30Open to change high 33 | Exploring Mekong Futures
  • Increased employment Vietnam Tonle Sap Nam Ngum Hua Sai Bart Yunnanand out migration DeltaRoads and infrastructure highFarm size <19000m2 Small medFarm/off farm income low IncomeProfits occur high lowSocial concern high low Open toValue typology change, Self interest familyMigration/pop change highHome ownership yesGender maleAge <35Peaceful world high 34 | Exploring Mekong Futures
  • Key conclusions1. Intended adaptation strategies are country specific and depend on the characteristics of change: e.g. economic crisis or industry employment and migration1. Different sets of values, expectations and motivations explain intended adaptation responses (65-70% correct)1. Simpler explanatory sets can be identified and measured but a single regional solution does not exist1. Better to know these before policy implementation and to update through time1. Policies can be designed and tailored to account for the factors of change, vulnerable segments of the community and communities who adaptExploring Mekong Futures
  • Understanding adaptation Profit reduced by 50%: same and stay No = adapt Decreasing importance Yes = not adapt in decision making Unity with nature Individual wealth Growing rice A peaceful world36 | Exploring Mekong Futures
  • Results Integration – Complex systems modelling Government Markets (i.e. approval for dams, mining, (trans-boundary water, plantations, railway) commodities, labour) Climate Households (rain, sea-level rise) (livelihoods, location, income)Landscape Flora (rice, food crops, Fauna(land cover, soil, slopes) energy crops, (i.e. fish) rubber, trees, )CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  • Expert panel: a method for structuring a groupcommunication process to deal with a complexproblem • 1st step: sectoral assessment of each decision • 2nd step: sectoral assessment of cumulative impacts • 3rd step: workshop to identify cross sectoral assessment of each decision and cumulative impacts • Book in final stage of editing CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures Page 39
  • Understanding adaptation in response to changes in livelihoods requires a comprehensive set of explanatory variables: • Livelihood determinants • Factors of wellbeing and dissatisfaction • Values that guide people’s lives • Demographics, social institutions and economic data 42 |Exploring Mekong Futures