The project, 'Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping for Southeast Asia', was carried out by the International Development Research Centre's Economy and Environment Program for South-East Asia (EEPSEA) as part of a larger-scale study to map the potential effects of climate change across South-East Asia based on combined historical datasets (from 1980--2005) with climate hazard maps for five climate-related risks and compared these findings with the vulnerability assessment framework of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- based on exposure to multiple hazard risks, human and biological sensitivity, and adaptive capacity to climate change.
The map, which considers the region's risk of exposure to climate hazards as well as its ability to adapt to such threats, found that Cambodia's poor ability to deal with disasters dwarfs its relatively low exposure to the risks.
Some of the most vulnerable areas in South-East Asia were the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and Bangkok, because of their exposure to sea level while the northern part of the Philippines was also particularly vulnerable, being at high risk from tropical cyclones.
But the most vulnerable areas of all, occupying four of the top ten hotspots out of a total of 530, were in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia which lies at the intersection of all but one of five climate-related hazards -- drought, floods, landslides and sea level rise – and is also densely populated; consequently, these risks outweigh its high adaptive capacity.
Philippines senator Loren Legarda, who attended the Manila launch of the map on 6 March 2009 said that policymakers should now devise ways to prepare vulnerable people for the impact of climate change.
Abano, Imelda, “South-East Asian climate map reveals disaster hotspots” dated 9 March 2009 in the SciDev.Net website [downloaded on 13 March 2009], available at http://www.climateark.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=120876
Reuters and AlertNet, “South-East Asian climate map reveals disaster hotspots 11 Mar 2009” in AlertNet [downloaded on 13 March 2009], available athttp://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/scidev/123679082749.htm