Climate Change and Human Insecurity in South Asia 15th Sustainable Development Conference organized by SDPI, Islamabad Naeem Akram
“Human security means, first, safety fromsuch chronic threats as hunger, disease andrepression. And second, it means protectionfrom sudden and hurtful disruptions in thepatterns of daily life” (UNDP 1994; Page 23)In the context of South Asian countries, thereare at least two components of human securitythat are likely to be affected severely by climatechange ---- food security and health security
Climate Change and South Asia• Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2010, computed by Maple-croft, out of 170 Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan were ranked as 1st, 2nd, 4th and 16th most vulnerable countries in the planet• In Asia, temperatures are expected to increase by 0.5-2.0oC by 2030 and by 1-7oC by 2070• Global Sea level is expected to rise by 3-16 cm by 2030 and 7-50 cm by 2070 (IPCC, 2007)
----• South Asian economies have a low capacity for disaster management.• During flood 2010 in Pakistan, around 2,000 people were reported to have died and an equal number of people injured; a figure that is extremely high compared to only 20 that died in the worst flooding of Australia (Asian Development Bank, 2010).
Food Security and Climate Change“food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” World Food Summit, FAO (1996)
Continued….• Almost all the South Asian countries, except India, are net food importers and food insecurity exists in many South Asian countries.• It is estimated that around 40 percent of the world’s hungry population lives in South Asia (IFPRI, 2010)
Continued….• Over the years many developing countries have made significant progress regarding hunger reduction• South Asian countries still lag far behind in food security.• Armenia and Chile are able to achieve MDG 1; i.e. halving extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. Peru, Ethiopia, and many other developing countries are on track. But, South Asian countries like Bangladesh, India and Pakistan lag far behind in comparison to the rest of the world (FAO, 2010).
Continued….• Changes in temperature, precipitation and frequency and severity of extreme events like droughts, floods, and wind storms negatively affect the crop and livestock yields.• However, carbon dioxide is essential for plant production; it’s rising concentrations due to climate change (greenhouse gas emission) may be helpful in enhancing the agricultural productivity (Adams et al, 1998).
Continued….• Climate change affect the food security through the dimension of food availability, the reduction in production and supply of food items has an inflationary impact, it results in affecting their accessibility to food markets• Heat waves across the Indian Sub- Continent during 2005 resulted in reducing the agricultural yields by 10 to 40 percent of the harvests for that year (Mahmood, 2008).
Health Security and Climate Change• Climate Change is expected to affect at least two basic requirements for maintaining good health: clean air and water
Continued….• Heat waves are likely to increase the risk of heat related morbidity and mortality• WHO estimated that approximately 140,000 annual excess deaths will be caused due to increase in temperature during 1970-2044.• In India, during 1980-98, eighteen heat waves were reported, out of which heat wave of 1998 has affected ten states and caused 1,300 deaths (Confalonieri 2007).
Continued….• Rising temperatures and humidity levels will increase the transmission of vector- borne diseases such as Malaria, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever etc.• Studies predict that an increase of 3-4 oC in average temperatures may double the reproduction rate of Dengue virus (World Bank, 2010)
Continued….• Flooding increases the risk of drowning and physical injury in addition to water-borne infectious diseases such as diarrhea, Hepatitis and cholera• Climate change may also result in droughts in some regions it result in food insecurity and increase in malnutrition rates particularly in low income countries.• As health is directly associated with income and livelihood of people, so any shock to the income through extreme weather events is
Empirical Analysis• Panel data spanning over 1972-2009 for the selected South Asian Countries i.e. Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka has been used• To estimate the model Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) has been used• Three different specifications are applied
Empirical ModelName of Variable Data Source CommentPer Capita GDP (y) WDI Per Capita GDP in US$Inflation (inf) WDI Consumer Price index as percentageOpenness (op) WDI (Exports +Imports) as percentage of GDPFoods Security Indicator (FI) FAO Cereal productionHealth Indicator (Hi) UNDP Life ExpectancyPrecipitation (Pr) Terrestrial Air Temperature Annual precipitation has been calculated by and Precipitation data base, averaging the monthly precipitationTemperature (Tmp) Gridded Monthly Time Series Annual temperature was calculated by taking average of the monthly temperature
• Inflation by reducing the people capacity to purchasing health services and food items negatively affects the health and food security• Per capita GDP has a positive impact on food and health indicators• Openness by creating awareness and increased availability of food across the borders has significant and positive impact on food and health security.
• Food security is most badly affected by a reduction in precipitation in comparison to a rise in temperature• However, for the health indicators both raise in temperature as well as a rise in precipitation negatively affect the health security. It is also noteworthy here that climate change has more severe effects on the food security as compared to health security.
Conclusions• Study asserts that if climate change is not controlled then food and health security of the South Asia will be reduced.• However, South Asian countries alone can do very little in controlling the climate change as their share is limited in GHGs emission in comparison to developed countries.• Hence there is a need for a joint and comprehensive policy regarding the adoption of mitigation strategies to control the climate