South Asia has 23.7% of the global population but only 4.6% of the world’s renewable water sources. Countries in the region already face considerable water management challenges due to high population density, poverty, and a high dependence on agriculture as a source of livelihood. Water resources in South Asia are overexploited and depleting fast, and climate change will only exacerbate existing problems through irregular rainfall patterns and increased incidence of floods and droughts.
Four South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan) have successfully applied a new governance framework called “Mainstreaming Adaptation to Climate Change within Governance Systems in South Asia” that allows governments to integrate climate change adaptation into governance systems, policies and plans. This framework identifies barriers and opportunities for climate adaptation mainstreaming.
By 2050, South Asia will need around US$ 500 billion to finance climate change adaptation, and public finances will form a crucial part of that picture. To ensure this, a new framework that helps governments mainstream spending on climate adaptation into domestic budgets, has been successfully implemented in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand.
Dr. Thongchai Roachanakanan works for Thailand’s Ministry of Interior. As director of the Department of Public Works, Town & Country Planning he is responsible for the development of some of the fastest growing cities on earth. It is a level of responsibility that would weigh heavily on most people’s shoulders. But when talking to Dr Thongchai it becomes obvious that climate change and the pressure that it puts on urban areas is a worry that goes beyond the stresses of the traditional workplace.
Sumbawa Besar is the capital of the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. The word “besar” means ‘capital’ but also forms the basis for the island’s slogan: “Bersih, Elok, Sehat, Aman dan, Rapi” or “clean, beautiful, healthy, safe, and proper”.
When Elly Tartati Ratni, speaks of her home town, it is clear that this five-word description is apt. Elly recalls the coastal town as a beautiful to grow up in. She speaks of her childhood there with great fondness, especially her years as a girl scout.