Policy Briefs

Policy Briefs

SEARCA’s Policy Brief Series discusses a comprehensive analysis of climate change-related issues and provides policy and research recommendations towards sustainable agriculture and natural resource management.

by Nguyen Thi Huyen

330 2016-2Background

Soil and water resources in the world are currently under severe pressure due to human intervention and the changing of runoff patterns caused by climate and land use changes. Population growth and human activities have accelerated the speed of land use change, that in turn  affect hydrological processes. In addition, climate change may affect many aspects of natural  ecosystems. Hence, understanding of impacts of climate change and land use change on hydrological  conditions is essential to enable more efficient soil and water resources development. In the same light, Srepok catchment, whichis situated in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, is presently being challenged by many critical  issues for soil and water resources management in the Srepok river basin (Government of Vietnam 2006). However, non-linear relationships, multiple causation, lack of mechanistic understanding, and lag effects, together, limit the ability to diagnose causes. As this information is important for land use planning and water resources management, it is necessary to quantify the extent to which land use change and climate variability influence the hydrological conditions.

Read more: Assessing the Impacts of Land Use and Climate Change on Soil and Water Resources in the Srepok...

Knowledge Showcases

Agricultural Innovation: Options for Appropriate Technologies in Responding to Climate Change
SEARCA-APAN Policy Brief

Agriculture is a key sector providing economic and social development in Southeast Asian countries, where a majority of the region’s population depend on agricultural production as a main source of household income. The implication of global environmental change has extended the agricultural agenda to respond to the drivers of climate change—in the context where agriculture is both a contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a possible mitigating factor through the adjustment of practices and the adoption of new technologies.

The role of agriculture in climate change is better appreciated in relation to the value agriculture contributes to the global economy. The 2010 World Development Report, drawing on analysis from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, calculates that agriculture directly accounts for 14 percent of global GHG emissions in CO2 equivalent and indirectly accounts for another 17 percent of emissions from land use and conversion for crops and pasture. In contrast, the contribution of agriculture to the global GDP at four percent suggests that worldwide agricultural activity is highly GHG intensive (Lybbert and Sumner 2010).

Read more: Agricultural Innovation: Options for Appropriate Technologies in Responding to Climate Change

Knowledge Showcases

by Rex Victor O. Cruz

Any system that is robust or healthy can adapt to climate change. For a watershed to be resilient to climate change, it should thus be properly managed. The ecosystems and resources in the watershed must be conserved, the forests restored, and proper land uses implemented.

Hence, attaining sustainability and resilience in a watershed requires effective governance. Decision support systems should be in place, and policies should be effective. Moreover, there should be capable actors and players. Planning, implementation, and monitoring must likewise be improved.

Read more: Strategies for Attaining Sustainability and Resilience in Watersheds

Knowledge Showcases

by Rex Victor O. Cruz

Watersheds are a landscape of interconnected ecosystems, and it is in the abundance of ecosystems that watersheds derive its importance due to the vast array of ecosystem services that it provides to humanity.

A sustainable watershed is a resilient watershed. In a sustainable watershed, the mechanisms involved to sustain the ecosystems within it are working properly. These mechanisms include soil conservation, water conservation, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation.

Humanity benefits from sustainable watersheds in many ways. A sustainable watershed minimizes flooding; enables water and power sufficiency; and provides vibrant business and industry, healthy population, and productive farmlands. All of these benefits translate to income and welfare gains for society. Ironically, it is also those who benefit from watersheds—the people—who contribute immensely to the degradation of watersheds.

Read more: Watersheds in a Changing Climate: Issues and Challenges

Knowledge Showcases

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