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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

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

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. Wider Mekong region is becoming highly connectedCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. A nexus version specific to the Wider Mekong Region. Food Security ? Water security ? Energy security ?CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures Page 6
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. CSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  13. 13. 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:
  14. 14. Mekong region is highly connectedCSIRO. Exploring Mekong Region Futures
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. 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
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. 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
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. Thank youDr Alex Smajglalex.smajgl@csiro.auDr John Wardj.ward@csiro.auCLIMATE ADAPTATION FLAGSHIP
  24. 24. 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
  25. 25. 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
  26. 26. 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
  27. 27. 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
  28. 28. 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
  29. 29. 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
  30. 30. 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
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. 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
  33. 33. 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
  34. 34. 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
  35. 35. 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
  36. 36. 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
  37. 37. 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

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