ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Framework On Climate Change: Agriculture And Forestry Towards Food Security

The issue

Climate change already affects Southeast Asia, amongst others through the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather such as droughts, floods and tropical cyclones .

“Southeast Asia is one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change, due to its long coastlines, high concentration of population and economic activity in coastal areas, and heavy reliance on agriculture, fisheries, forestry and other natural resources” . Consequences will be, amongst others, health risks, including spreading of pests and diseases and higher incidence of invasive species, water shortages, forest fires, loss of biodiversity, coastal degradation and loss of land, and constrained agricultural production. Climate change will thus threaten  food security  in the region with its dimensions food availability, food accessibility, food utilization and stability, and thus impact the economic development , as also recognized by Heads of State and Governments of ASEAN, Australia, People’s Republic of China, Republic of India, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand. in their Singapore Declaration on Climate Change, Energy and Environment on the occasion of the Third East Asia Summit (EAS) in Singapore on November 21, 2007. The threat of climate change to environment and economic development was also noted with concern by the ASEAN Heads of State in their ASEAN Declaration on Environmental Sustainability on November 20, 2007 in Singapore.  This threat will be further exacerbated by additional food and energy requirements of an increased population. Natural disasters will have trans-boundary effects, and disease vectors may also move between countries. Possible impacts of climate change on agriculture and food security at local and national levels will not only hinder sustainable development, but may also lead to conflicts over the use of land and water resources to internal and regional migration of people, with possible threats to the regional security.

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