Does Adaptive Management of Natural Resources Enhance Resilience to Climate Change?

Emerging insights from adaptive and community-based resource management suggest that building resilience into both human and ecological systems is an effective way to cope with environmental change characterized by future surprises or unknowable risks. In this paper, originally published in Ecology and Society, authors Emma Tompkins argue that these emerging insights have implications for policies and strategies for responding to climate change. The authors review perspectives on collective action for natural resource management to inform understanding of climate response capacity. They demonstrate the importance of social learning, specifically in relation to the acceptance of strategies that build social and ecological resilience. Societies and communities dependent on natural resources need to enhance their capacity to adapt to the impacts of future climate change, particularly when such impacts could lie outside their experienced coping range. This argument is illustrated by an example of present-day collective action for community-based coastal management in Trinidad and Tobago.

Climate Change 'Grave Threat' to Security and Health

submitted by Nguyen Huu Ninh

by Richard Black - BBC News - October 17, 2011


Food security was interwoven with the climate issue, speakers told the conference

Climate change poses "an immediate, growing and grave threat" to health and security around the world, according to an expert conference in London.

Officers in the UK military warned that the price of goods such as fuel is likely to rise as conflict provoked by climate change increases.

A statement from the meeting adds that humanitarian disasters will put more and more strain on military resources.

It asks governments to adopt ambitious targets for curbing greenhouse gases.

The annual UN climate conference opens in about six weeks' time, and the doctors, academics and military experts represented at the meeting (held in the British Medical Association's (BMA) headquarters) argue that developed and developing countries alike need to raise their game.

FAO Warns of Bird Flu Varient Strain In Vietnam

Increased preparedness and surveillance urged against variant strain

29 August 2011, Rome - FAO today urged heightened readiness and surveillance against a possible major resurgence of the H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza amid signs that a mutant strain of the deadly Bird Flu virus is spreading in Asia and beyond, with unpredictable risks to human health. 

Worries of water wars along the Mekong

“We are strongly concerned that there may be widespread conflicts or, in the worst scenario, wars, over water resource management, because we are now facing both security and economic risks in our region,”

Say Mony, VOA Khmer | Siem Reap

The race for hydropower development among Mekong countries could lead to conflicts or even war over water, regional security experts say.

Hydroelectric projects have begun to spring up across the Mekong River, with some already under way and other already creating tensions between Southeast Asian neighbors.

Central region flood warning system now on-line

Vietnam's first regional flood warning system is now operating in the five most flood-prone provinces of central Vietnam. The system in the provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai had taken three years to develop.

VIETNAM: Sea-level rise could "displace millions"

can tho tidal flooding
Tidal flooding at the edge of shops and homes in Can Tho, Vietnam. Photo Cristina Rumbatis del Rio

Vietnam Flood Mapping Needs Support

Dispite the impact of floods upon Vietnam, there are very few up to date flood maps to support disaster risk reduction and management efforts. Technology is available for flood-mapping in Vietnam but little progress has been made due to lack of funding, observes Professor Nguyen Dinh Duong, head of the Institute of Geography's Department of Environmental Information Study and Analysis, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST).


As a result of climate change, experts say storms likely to get worse and more erratic.

The Mekong Delta floods each year and small children travel to school by boat. Typhoons and tropical storms blow across the South China Sea to the central coast, often on course from the Philippines. Rains flood the cities and thousands of motorbike exhaust pipes choke on the murky water. But the floods that hit the north-central coast of Vietnam in October 2010 were outside the normal pattern.

(video 1): Living with Floods in Rural Vietnam - Preparing

Part 1 of 2 videos providing an example of disaster preparedness and response that may be experienced in flood prone rural regions of Vietnam.

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(video 2): Living with Floods - Community Response

Second video in a two part Disaster Risk Reduction and Response series providing examples to individuals and communities in preparing for and responding to floods and associated risks in rural Vietnam communities.

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China and Mekong Dams

China and the Cascading Geopolitics of Lower Mekong Dams

Much has been written on the downstream impact of China’s dams on the Lancang-Mekong River, which flows through or along the borders of five other countries after exiting China.   Most of the discussion relates to the hydrological impact of impounding water in the eight dams along the mainstream Lancang Jiang in Yunnan Province.  Particular concern surrounds the recently completed Xiaowan Dam and the recently approved construction of the Nuozhadu Dam, each of which is of a scale to impound quantities of water that can affect river hydrology throughout the basin.  The Lancang Cascade, as it is termed, has caused considerable controversy in downstream countries, most notably during the 2008 floods and the 2010 drought.  Both the floods and the droughts were blamed by many in Thailand, and some in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, on China’s actions.  Recent articles on the downstream implications of altered river hydrology and the need for China to be less disingenuous in its public relations over the issue show the confluence of river hydrology and geopolitics in an international river basin such as the Lancang-Mekong.


Early warning systems offer best hope for disaster prevention

The earthquake and tsunami that struck the north-eastern coast of Japan on 11 March, was a tragedy for the thousands of people who lost their lives and livelihoods. From the photos and videos documenting the devastation, it would have been difficult to imagine a worse outcome. Yet, just after the disaster, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat (UNISDR) said it could have been worse had it not been for the country’s long history of disaster preparedness and planning dating back to 1896.

FP: The New Geopolitics of Food by Lester Brown

In the United States, when world wheat prices rise by 75 percent, as they have over the last year, it means the difference between a $2 loaf of bread and a loaf costing maybe $2.10. If, however, you live in New Delhi, those skyrocketing costs really matter: A doubling in the world price of wheat actually means that the wheat you carry home from the market to hand-grind into flour for chapatis costs twice as much. And the same is true with rice. If the world price of rice doubles, so does the price of rice in your neighborhood market in Jakarta.


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