Mekong Protected Areas Resilience to Climate Change

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Mekong Protected Areas Resilience to Climate Change and key drivers of change to protected areas in the Mekong Delta was presented in the the workshop on Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study in Vientiane, Lao PDR during May 7 - 11, 2012.

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  • Agriculture, biodiversity conservation and protected areas are linked both to sustaniable agriculture and productivity.
  • Mekong Protected Areas Resilience to Climate Change

    1. 1. Mekong Protected Areas Resilience to Climate Change May 2012
    2. 2. Protected area safeguard natural resilience toclimate change in agro-ecological systems“natural resilience” represents the capacity for species and natural habitats to maintain viable populations and avoid significant extinction risk despite climate change.Bio-diverse systems are naturally resilient. Protected areas:• maintain viable populations of species;• conserve blocks of natural habitat large enough to resist large-scale disturbances and long-term changes• provide refuges and migration corridors (ie room to move when conditions change);Other pressures constraint movement of species, habitat and genes.
    3. 3. Protected area are an essential economic developmentstrategy for the agriculture sector with climate changePA development footprintZones of economic influence
    4. 4. Protected area development footprintProducts and services
    5. 5. Protected areas, agriculture and livelihoodsProtected areas and sustainable agriculture Food security  Genetic biodiversity of crops and animals (wild species, pollinators, and crop wild relatives)  Food and livelihood products (fish, NTFPs, timber etc)  Safety net for livelihoods and subsistence during extreme events and seasons. Ecosystem services  Water supply and regulation  Microclimate maintenance and regulation  Habitat for crop pollinators and crop pest predators  Maintenance of soil biodiversity  Natural buffer for extreme events • Reducing vulnerability to floods, droughts and other weather-induced problems;
    6. 6. Protected areas in theLower Mekong BasinKey issues for resilience:SizeConnectionsRepresentativeness
    7. 7. LMB PA trendsDuring the 1990’s:• The number of PAs increased rapidly• The total PA coverage as a % of national land area increased rapidlyAnd since then• The increases in nationally established PAs halted• The number and coverage of locally established and management PAs continues to increase• The national natural forest estate is shrinking - increasing % of remaining natural forest falls within PAs• Relatively few PAs and little coverage in floodplains, deltas and aquatic systems (fresh and marine)
    8. 8. Growth in Pas (% of national land area) Proposed additions
    9. 9. Protected areas in the LMB Cambodi Lao PDR Thailand Vietnam aPas as a % of land 21% 21% 19% 8%area% of national PA 1% 100% 2% 94%system managed atlocal levelsForests in existing 40% 39% 65% 26%and proposed PAsas a % of total forestarea
    10. 10. KEY DRIVERS OF CHANGE TO PROTECTED AREAS REDUCING NATURAL RESILIENCE
    11. 11. Forces reducing natural resilienceDrivers of change are:• Population pressures (land use activities, primarily livestock grazing, hunting, logging, subsistence activities and encroachment)• Development pressures (roads, land conversion, irrigation, hydropower, logging and fringe agriculture)Threats to natural resilience in the Mekong region include:• Land clearing and fragmentation of core habitats and migration corridors;• Livestock grazing, hunting and logging;• Changed hydrology and extraction of water• Invasive weeds and animals;• Inappropriate fire regimes (intensities, frequencies and timings).
    12. 12. Population/agriculture - natural systems use cycle
    13. 13. % losses in area of original forest, wetlands and marine systems Cambodia Lao PDR Thailand VietnamForest 48% 46% 71% 75%Wetlands 45% 30% 96% 99%Mangroves 15% NA 84% 37%Coral 100% NA 77% 96%reefs** Severely threatened by human activitiesOnly 2-10% of remaining original forests is relatively undisturbed
    14. 14. Protected areas and demographics• Protected areas tend to fall in the least populated and less accessible locations (with roads and hyrdo-power this is changing rapidly)• 80% of protected areas are situated in regions of medium to high poverty incidence;• There is increasing migration towards protected areas and regions of biodiversity wealth;• Populations within and around PAs are increasing along with natural resource demand and,• There is a direct correlation between population density and the level of community pressure on protected areas.
    15. 15. Population perprovince –LowerMekongBasin 15
    16. 16. Forestsandwetlands– LowerMekongBasin 16
    17. 17. Povertyincidence– LowerMekongBasin 17
    18. 18. PROTECTED AREASIMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE
    19. 19. Protected areasand sea level rise
    20. 20. PAs and sea level rise
    21. 21. Potential effects of climate changeBiological effects (ecosystems, species dynamics): Increased or decreased growth related to temperature, CO2 and moisture tolerances of individual species Change in ecosystem composition and local food webs Changes in biological processes – flowering times, reproductive cycles, migration routes, Shifts in species distribution Opportunities for invasive species and pests to flourish Extinctions Disruption to ecosystem services such as pollination, soil conservation, water supply and regulation, micro climate
    22. 22. TASK 2 APPROACH
    23. 23. Task 2 assessment steps1. Document importance of protected areas to agro- ecological systems2. Overlay climate change on LMB protected areas system3. Identify protected areas most exposed4. Assess impact of climate change on PA ecology (habitat and framework species?)5. Assess impact on linked agro-ecological systems6. Propose adaptation options
    24. 24. BUFFERING AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    25. 25. Buffering against climate change• Identify and protect climate refugia;• Conserve large-scale migration corridors;• Maintain viable populations• Reduce threatening processes at the landscape scale;• Conserve natural processes and connectivity at the landscape scale; and – Increase PA size to ensure populations can absorb higher levels of disturbance; and – Enhance conservation outside PAs.• Special interventions to avert extinctions.
    26. 26. Protected areassafeguardrepresentativeexamples ofbiodiversity1. Zone of originalhabitat
    27. 27. 2. Zones ofremaininghabitat
    28. 28. 3. Critical areas

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