Activities: ARCP 2010-2011 Projects

ARCP2010-01CMY-Sthiannopkao, Collaborative Research on Sustainable Urban Water Quality Management in Southeast Asian Countries: Analysis of Current Status (comparative study) and Development of a Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development, Dr. Suthipong STHIANNOPKAO

This project undertakes collaborative research in sustainable urban water quality management in Southeast Asian (SEA) countries and aims to establish a Centre of Excellence in the field of sustainable urban water quality management in the region. It is composed of three (3) main parts: Part I - Scientific research; Part II - Database development; and Part III - Implementation of a strategic plan through capacity building programmes. Part I includes a comparative study in SEA on: 1) current and future of urbanisation expansion; 2) current water management policies; 3) water quality impacts caused by urban activities and climate change, and; 4) development of a strategic plan including capacity building programmes. The main outcome of this project will be elements for a dynamic database system that can be used, maintained and further developed by local and regional stakeholders to create better policies and actions to mitigate, minimise or adapt to current and future manifestations of urbanisation and climate change impacts on surface water quality. This project is endorsed by the International Human Dimensions Programme for Global Change Research (IHDP)’s Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC) Project.

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ARCP2010-02CMY-Phua, Integrated Prediction of Dipterocarp Species Distribution in Borneo for Supporting Sustainable Use and Conservation Policy Adaptation , Dr. Mui How PHUA

Borneo’s lowland rain forest dominated by dipterocarp species has been subject to exploitation under different policy regimes leading to degradation and deforestation. Nevertheless, crucial information on species distribution in both regimes are seriously lacking for sustainable management and conservation efforts. This project aims to fill the gap of missing information regards dipterocarp species distribution and conservation gap at a landscape scale through an integrated approach that combines remote sensing, Geographic Information System (GIS) and field data. The project will also design a hybrid mechanism, which combines incentive and market mechanisms to examine the local people’s willingness to participate in keeping forest carbon. Policy and other various issues related to Reducing Emissions from Forest Degradation and Deforestation (REDD) implementation will be examined. All of the results including modelling, conservation gaps and REDD will be presented at various conferences and in a cross-boundary workshop that will be organised to support policy adaptation to better deal with dipterocarp conservation gaps and REDD.

ARCP2010-03CMY-Marambe, Vulnerability of Home Garden Systems to Climate Change and its Impacts on Food Security in South Asia, Prof. Buddhi MARAMBE

The influence of climate change on food production and food security has not been well established yet. Food production in many developing countries, especially in South Asia, is carried out in home gardens. Home Garden is a complex sustainable land use system that combines multiple farming components, such as annual and perennial crops, livestock and occasionally fish, of the homestead and provides environmental services, household needs, and employment and income generation opportunities to the households. This study assesses the effects of climate change on home garden systems, which are the predominant types of highland farming in South Asia, under changing climate using bio-economic models. The present study will take stock of the trees, crops and farm animals in the home gardens to establish the current status. The extent to which climate shocks influenced the present status of home gardens will be investigated.

ARCP2010-04CMY-Wang, Building Asian Climate Change Scenarios by Multi-Regional Climate Models , Dr. Shuyu WANG

High resolution information about climate change, variability and extremes is required to develop regional climate change scenarios, which are used in impact, vulnerability and adaptation studies. Facing the fact that in most projection studies coarse-resolution Global Climate Models (GCMs) are applied, this project will couple nine (9) Regional Climate Models (RCMs) from five (5) countries with at least one GCM; therefore, high-confidence regional climate change projection with qualified uncertainty range will be provided. Two (2) sets of simulations for both contemporary and future climate will be carried out. The ensemble technique will then be developed and used to estimate the uncertainty and provide more reliable Asian climate change projections. The outputs of the project will contribute to the 5th Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by providing detailed regional climate change projections in Asia.

ARCP2010-05CMY-Luck, The Effects of Climate Change on Pests and Diseases of Major Food Crops in the Asia Pacific Region, Dr. Joanne Elizabeth LUCK

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An understanding of any increased impact from pests and diseases of key food crops under climate change will enable the Asia-Pacific agricultural industries and government agencies to better prepare and adapt to climate change, through changes to existing policy and practices such as time of planting, new resistant varieties, changes to disease management protocols and shift in geographic plantings. The project will investigate the impact of climate change on key pests and diseases of major food crops in the Asia Pacific Region. The influence of increasing temperature, increasing atmospheric CO2 and moisture availability on high threat pests and pathogens will be examined through sharing of data, collaborative workshops, proposal development and a joint scientific publication. Critically, a new link is proposed between the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) National Plant Biosecurity, the Australian Grains Free Air CO2 Enrichment experiment, the Central Research Institute of Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) Network Project on Climate Change (NPCC) and International Crops Research institute for the Semi-Aris Tropics (ICRISAT).

ARCP2010-06CMY-Schaefer, Quantifying the Role of Dead Wood in Carbon Sequestration, Dr. Douglas SCHAEFER

Dead woody debris in the world’s forests contains between 40 and 60 petagrams (Pg; billion metric tons) of carbon, with almost 3 Pg C per year being returned to the atmosphere from this pools as CO2. This return of carbon to the atmosphere is controlled by fungal decomposition of lignin, a particularly resistant bio-polymer. The biology and genomics of fungal lignin decomposition have been extensively studied because of their roles in damaging built (wooden) structures, and their ability to “liberate” cellulose for bio-energy processes. These studies have identified a large number of physical, chemical and biological “control points” with the potential to slow fungal lignolysis. However, no study has previously attempted to alter wood decomposition in forests beyond changing water content and soil contact area. This project will use advanced techniques of respiration monitoring coupled with woody material manipulations to quantify the role of dead wood in carbon sequestration in a variety of Asian forests under a wide range of soil conditions. The resulting respiration rates will complement previous long-term studies of wood dynamics to provide more accurate information for terrestrial carbon modelling. It will further provide policy guidance on which plant species and site conditions are most suitable to maximise carbon sequestration.

ARCP2010-07CMY-Bai, Asian Coastal Ecosystems: An Integrated Database and Information Management System (DIMS) for Assessing Impact of Climate Change and its Appraisal, Dr. V. Ramani BAI

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The Asian coastal region is defined by environmental and economic conditions that transcend state and country boundaries, representing a host of critical integrating and conflicting factors such as mineral resources, fisheries production, ecological habitats for marine life and waterfowl, and human demands with subsequent anthropologic impacts. As more research is being conducted in the region to help understand these conditions and factors, it becomes crucial to make research results, information, and data accessible to all. Understanding the Asian coastal region’s ecosystems and its changes is dependent on the quality of documenting and modelling the interrelationships of physical, chemical, and biological parameters. The project would attempt to develop an Integrated DIMS, an easily accessible information outlet. A holistic and integrated approach will be taken to achieve such goal.

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ARCP2010-08NSY-Freeman, Impact of Climate Change on Food Security and Biosecurity of Crop Production Systems in Small Pacific Nations; Dr. Angela FREEMAN

Climate change will impact food security and biosecurity in the Pacific region by degradation of food production areas (sea level rise, salinity, drought), devastation caused by extreme weather events (cyclones, flooding) and impacts of recovery time such as replacement of lost crop germplasm and the need to import food substitutes. This project will identify the key impacts of climate change on the unique cropping systems in four (4) small Pacific nations and provide solid data to enable development of strategies/policies to minimise these risks and identify training and research opportunities. It will examine key issues including the maintenance of crop genetic resources and the availability of varieties adapted to future climate and the need to assess germplasm in collection or initiate breeding efforts; biosecurity impacts of climate change on food crops (including impacts on endemic pests and diseases and likelihood of incursions of exotic pests and diseases) and implications for international trade; and impacts of recovery rates from natural disasters on both food security and biosecurity.

ARCP2010-09NSY-Patankar, Enhancing Adaptation to Climate Change by Integrating Climate Risk into Long-Term Development Plans and Disaster Management, Dr. Archana M. Patankar

It is now widely accepted that impacts of future climate change will often be observed through changes in the magnitude and frequency of existing climate-related hazards. Therefore, disaster risk reduction and management are important strategies to integrate or mainstream adaptation into decision-making. This project aims to fill the research gap by undertaking a comparative analysis of the immediate to medium-term post-disaster recovery scenario in the aftermath of extreme weather events of flooding faced by vulnerable cities in three (3) Asian developing countries, namely, Mumbai (India), Bangkok (Thailand) and Dhaka (Bangladesh). It also aims to quantify the developmental impacts of flooding with the objective of integrating climate change risk considerations into long-term investment and development plans. The selected Asian cities fall under the densely populated low lying coastal areas described by the IPCC Fourth Assessment (AR4) report as ‘key societal hotspots of coastal vulnerability’. With millions of people residing in these cities, the risk to life and property increases manifold with vulnerability to extreme weather events such as flooding.

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ARCP2010-10NMY-Koike, River Management System Development in Asia Based on Data Integration and Analysis System (DIAS) under the GEOSS, Prof. Toshio KOIKE

Based on the successful achievements in planning, data policy and data archiving which have been supported by APN, the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) Asian Water Cycle Initiative (AWCI), consisting of 19 countries in Asia, forms a well-coordinated regional challenge to support integrated water resources management (IWRM) in each country. This project will develop a prototype of the IWRM system, which can also be used for climate change adaptation in each GEOSS/AWCI demonstration river basin, by integrating in-situ and satellite data, numerical weather prediction (NWP) model outputs, and climate prediction model outputs archived on DIAS, which has been developed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan.

ARCP2010-11NMY-Asanuma, Intercomparison of Landsurface Process Modelling in Asian Drylands, Dr. Jun ASANUMA

Dryland accounts for 40% of the Earth’s land surface and a similar fraction of Asian land surface. Characterised by dry climate, low vegetation cover and low nutrients, its ecosystem and the society that depends thereon, have inherently large vulnerability to external perturbations such as climate change and land use change. This study aims to assess uncertainties pertained to the prediction of landsurface environment with these models and improve prediction accuracies. Prediction of landsurface environment of drylands can be made with landsurface models (LSMs) and terrestrial ecosystem models (TEMs). Since these models have different process representations and display large differences in their predictive capabilities, these aims are expected to be achieved through an intercomparison study with a suite of models and data from a selected set of well-documented study sites from the Asian dryland region.

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ARCP2010-12NMY-Uprety, Community Based Forestry and Livelihoods in the Context of Climate Change Adaptation, Dr. Dharam Raj UPRETY

Community-based forestry (CF) has received wide attention for its potential roles in reducing Emissions from Forest Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) and sustaining rural livelihoods in developing countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Recent studies demonstrate that rural populations dependent on agriculture and forest ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to both direct and indirect impacts of climate change. Increasing temperature, erratic rainfall patterns, and rising sea level are major threats to sustainable livelihoods posed by climate change. The effects of climate change are expected to deepen poverty and adversely affect livelihoods, assets, infrastructure, environmental resources and economic growth. Developing countries have lesser capacity to adapt and are more vulnerable to climate change. Therefore, adaptation is now acknowledged as necessary for responding effectively and equitably to the impacts of both climate change and climate variability. Local communities possess relevant knowledge and experience in coping with climate change. This knowledge needs to be documented and disseminated in order to be used effectively. The present research aims to investigate how climate change is affecting forest-dependent communities in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions and the actual and potential adaptation measures that enable households, communities and networks to remain resilient in the changing contexts.

ARCP2010-13NMY-Bae, Climate Change Impact Assessment on the Asia-Pacific Water Resources under AWCI/GEOSS, Prof. Deg-Hyo BAE

The Asia Monsoon plays an important role on global water circulation and provides substantial precipitation and water resources to the people living within the domain. It provides many benefits such as power generation and transportation facilities, but also causes serious flood and drought problems. There are various reasons and causes for these water-related disasters but the current impacts of climate change complicates the situation and makes it more difficult to manage disasters. As a part of GEOSS/AWCI research activities, the objectives of this study are to evaluate climate change impact assessments on water resources over the Asia-Pacific regions joining the GEOSS/AWCI and to promote capacity development for climate change impact assessment technology. Two (2) basic approaches will be undertaken in this study: The first is the analysis of past historical observation data to detect some climate change trends over more than 18 countries; the second is to simulate climate and water resources under future greenhouse gas emission (GHG) scenarios. A non-parametric Mann-Kendall’s test and regression analysis are to be used for the former, while GCM outputs with downscaling schemes and hydrologic models are to be used for the latter.

ARCP2010-14NMY-Li, Analysis on Urban Land-Use Changes and its Impacts on Food Security in Different Asian Cities of four Developing Countries using Modified Cellular Automata (CA), Prof. Jianlong LI

Urbanisation, as a significant cause of global change, has led to conflicts between peoples’ needs and sustainable development in the agriculturally important precincts of large Asian cities. Under this background, ecological problems in urban areas were predicted to become more important. Arable land reduction and food shortages will lead to decreased agricultural production, food security instability and ecological degradations. The Cellular Automata (CA) model will be used to assess changes in urban expansion, land use and food security in three (3) core cities of three (3) developing countries and to analyse different urban land use patterns and mechanisms leading to food shortages. The focus of this study is to build and enhance scientific capacity in three (3) developing countries and explore the quantifying urbanisation level from the aspect of land use and connecting land use patterns with urbanisation processes. This project will be realised to provide an integrated technical report of the land use/land cover change and urban landscape pattern for farmers, policy-makers and the international community.

ARCP2010-15NMY-Han, The Impact of Spatial Parameters on Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Comparative Study between Cities in China and India, Dr. Sun Sheng HAN

This project aims to examine the role of urban spatial restructuring in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by assessing the impacts of urban spatial parameters in China and India. Xi’an and Bangalore will be used as study areas. By analysing geo-coded primary data at the household level, this study will produce findings that: 1) propose alternative methodologies in urban land use planning and management to GHG emissions control; 2) address a cross-country dimension in GHG emissions associated with urban land use; and 3) tackle carbon emissions problems in two (2) fast growing economies. Statistical and simulation models will be developed to inform planning and design actions aimed at realising low carbon urban development.

ARCP2010-16NMY-Huda, Food Security and Climate Change in the Asia-Pacific Region: Evaluating Mismatch between Crop Development and Water Availability, Prof. Samsul HUDA

Phenological development is the single most important attribute of crop adaptation to shifting environments. The project will focus on crops of local importance including rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, chickpea and cotton on key sites in India, China and Australia. Four (4) questions will be addressed: a) What are the expected temporal shifts in crop phenology under future climates? b) What are the likely shifts in the pattern of rain and water availability? c) To what extent climate change will contribute to any mismatch between crop phenology and water availability? and d) What are the expected consequences of this mismatch for food security? Research outputs will allow appropriate adaptation to build the resilience of communities and the natural resources. This project has evolved out of and expands on the former APN project ‘Climate and Crop Disease Risk Management’ (ARCP2007-06CMY).

ARCP2010-17NMY-Towprayoon, Strategic Rice Cultivation for Sustainable Low Carbon Society Development in Southeast Asia, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sirintornthep TOWPRAYOON

This project addresses strategic rice cultivation to solve both climate and energy security issues by rotating rice with energy crops, e.g. corn or cassava in order to fully utilise the rice plantation fallow period to optimise rice and energy feedstock. The proposed cultivation practice aims at reducing GHG emissions while increasing potential long-term soil carbon stock by optimising land use change and cultivation practice. Sustainable development will be considered in terms of enhancing economic and social benefits while developing low carbon society to reduce net GHG emissions. The overall goal of the project is to identify strategic rice cultivation practices enabling Southeast Asia (SEA) to develop towards a sustainable low carbon society while enhancing adaptive capacity in the agriculture sector. The specific objectives of this project are: 1) To develop sustainable low carbon agriculture in SEA through improved cultivation practices of rice and energy crops (crop rotation); 2) To develop long-term field studies to measure, monitor and evaluate the impacts of various cultivation practices on climate change and identify potential adaptive measures and mitigation options; and 3) To enhance regional capacity of scientists and policy-makers in SEA to contribute to sustainable low carbon development for society.

ARCP2010-18NMY-Lutaenko, Coastal Marine Biodiversity of Viet Nam: Regional and Local Challenges and Coastal Zone Management for Sustainable Development, Dr. Konstantin LUTAENKO

Coral reefs and related tropical ecosystems are the most productive among coastal marine areas contributing essentially to the Viet Nam economy. Biodiversity and biological resources of coral reefs show the reduction/decline in light of global environmental and climatic changes throughout the world. The survey of the biodiversity of healthy and depressed coral reef/tropical ecosystems based on corals, mollusks, crustaceans and echinoderms and development of methods for monitoring their status would allow finding common patterns, understanding temporal changes and their causes, and predicting future modifications of the ecosystems/environments. These studies are highly important for practical purposes of coastal ecosystems management, coral reefs restoration and marine farming. The data obtained and interpretations of the coastal/ecosystem changes will be useful for local/regional/national decision- and policy-makers and will contribute to the current understanding of tropical ecosystems in the South China Sea, the largest in the world.

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