Mekong ARCC - Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study: Natural and Agricultural Systems

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Mekong ARCC Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study for Natural and Agricultural Systems

This presentation from the International Centre for Environmental Management (ICEM) about the Mekong ARCC project was given by ICEM's director Jeremy Carew-Reid at the World Bank-sponsored Second Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, held in Hanoi, Vietnam from 3-7 September 2012.

The presentation focuses on the Mekong ARCC assessments and findings regarding climate change threats to agriculture and subsistence livelihoods. It addresses the significant transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture in the region. Commercial cropping has doubled in the last 20 years, particularly with the growth in production of rubber and cassava. The presentation provides recommendations from the Mekong ARCC assessments focusing on food production, advocating that food production will need to grow by 25% in the next 15 years just to supply local populations. The presentation highlights 'hot spots' in terms of rainfall and temperature changes, and illustrates potential implications for the location of industrial and commercial crops. The presentation focuses on the Se San catchment area, and notes some key changes which have implications for rice cultivation in the context of more extreme flooding and sea level rise.

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  • Agriculture is market driven, linked to the international demand and foreign investment. The boom of rubber and cassava is symptomatic of a very reactive private sector, with increasing cultivated area, private sector concessions and intensification of the production. The production of the major crops has doubled in the last 20 years.Food production will need to grow by 25% in the next 15 years just to supply local populations.
  • Mekong ARCC - Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study: Natural and Agricultural Systems

    1. 1. Mekong ARCC Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study for Natural and Agricultural Systems Jeremy Carew-Reid, ICEM – International Centre for Environmental Management www.icem.com.au September 2012 Hanoi 1a
    2. 2. Climate changes Hydrological changes Agricultural zones Ecological zones Species “zones” Commercial crops Subsistence crops Traditional crops Aqua- culture Crop wild relatives NTFPs Wild fish catch Adaptation options WildlifeLive- stock Assessing climate change threats to agriculture and subsistence livelihoods
    3. 3. Agro-ecological systems and climate change vulnerability continuum 3
    4. 4. 4 Transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture Intermediate Commercial Land consolidation Increased capital intensity Small holdings Labour intensive Low capital intensity Commercial farms and plantations Subsistence Industrialization, rural-urban migration
    5. 5. Climate change shifts Regular climate 1. Geographic shifts – change in area of suitability 2. Elevation shifts (for highly restricted habitats and species) – change in (i) location and (ii) elevation 3. Seasonal shifts – change in (i) yields, (ii) cropping patterns Extreme events 4. Extreme event shifts  Micro – eg flash flooding and soil loss in uplands  Macro – eg saline intrusion in Delta; cyclone landfall
    6. 6. Geographic shift Paddy rice and commercial crops Shift in zone of suitability for habitat and crops Original extent of natural habitat Remaining natural habitat pockets Subsistence crops and NTF collection
    7. 7. Identifying climate change “hot spots” i.e. highly vulnerable areas • High exposure:  significant climate change relative to base conditions  exposure to new climate/hydrological conditions • High sensitivity:  limited temperature and moisture tolerance range  degraded and/or under acute pressure  severely restricted geographic range  rare or threatened • Low adaptive capacity  Poor connectivity  Low diversity and tolerances  Homogenous systems
    8. 8. Climate change hot spot - rainfall
    9. 9. Climate change hot spot - Temperature
    10. 10. Industrial and commercial crops and climate change hotspots
    11. 11. Lowland rice Se San Basin – existing land use suitability
    12. 12. upland rice Se San Basin – existing land use suitability
    13. 13. rubber Se San Basin – existing land use suitability
    14. 14. Coffee (coffea canephora) Se San Basin – existing land use suitability
    15. 15. cassava Se San Basin – existing land use suitability
    16. 16. Maize Se San Basin – existing land use suitability
    17. 17. Climate change (precipitation in 2050) in the Se San catchment
    18. 18. Climate change (temperature in 2050) in the Se San catchment
    19. 19. Optimal growing conditions: Mean annual maximum temperature Sensitivity assessments: climate tolerances
    20. 20. Optimal growing conditions: mean annual precipitation Sensitivity assessments: climate tolerances
    21. 21. Trends in commercial crops with climate change • Rubber: Projected increases in temperature and precipitation would open upland areas for rubber cultivation. • Coffee plantations would suffer from changes in rainfall patterns and/or excess rainfall in the highland areas (especially Arabica). • Cassava: Relatively resistant to drought so would become a substitute in rain fed agricultural systems in drier areas BUT would have reduced suitability in high rainfall areas. • Sweet potato and key root crops not well suited to higher rainfall and soil moisture conditions and higher temperatures • Soybean would suffer from higher temperatures - shift to higher elevation may be required. • Bananas and mangoes: increases in temperature and precipitation would open upland areas for cultivation
    22. 22. RICE: cultivation and extreme flooding • Extreme floods will be more common in rice based production systems in Lowland Cambodia and the Mekong Delta. • Flood would have a larger impact where agriculture is intensified, with high yielding rice varieties less resilient to flood than traditional ones. • Investment in intensive rice cultivation will become more risky • Other commercial crops such as fruit and vegetables are less resilient to flood than rice.
    23. 23. RICE: cultivation and sea level rise • A 30 cm rise by 2050 with increased flood extent, depth and duration will result in a loss of 193,000 ha of rice area in the Mekong Delta. • Agriculture will be severely constrained by increased saline intrusion in the dry season and longer flood in the rainy season. • The double and triple cropping system commonly used in the Mekong Delta might not be possible. • Climate change will change the occurrence of plant disease and pests such as fungus and moulds, viruses, nematodes and a range of insects.
    24. 24. Jeremy Carew-Reid ICEM – International Centre for Environmental Management www.icem.com.au

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