Evaluation of adaptations for both food and environment

The effects of climate change on indicators are shown in Table 8.11. Food production in the future will increase due to the increase in rice yield allowed by climate change and the agricultural development of crop intensification. Farm income will increase in proportion with the increase in rice yield by climate change. Reforestation as part of the environmental adaptation strategy reduces the number of people affected by flooding to less than 3%.

Although climate change may cause higher yields at the field level, to satisfy the food demand for the future population in both A2 with high population and B2 with lower population, crop intensification will be the trend of agricultural development in the MRB. At present, farmers have begun crop intensification in many parts of the MRB. In the Delta of Vietnam and Cambodia, three major cropping seasons for rice are currently applied: winter-spring or early season with full irrigation at the end of crop season (November to February), summer-autumn or midseason with supplementary irrigation at the beginning of crop season (June to September), and main rain-fed season (June to December), the long-duration wet season crop. Fifty-two per cent of the rice in the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam is grown in irrigated lowlands, with the remaining 48% grown under rain-fed conditions with supplementary irrigation (Maclean et al., 2002). However, rice crop growing in the dry season in the MRB of Thailand is still limited.

Forestry management has become a highly controversial issue in the LMB because of the benefits from forests, the illegal exploitation and the environmental consequences of forest losses, including potential impacts on hydrological processes, water quality and soil erosion. The annual deforestation rate in the LMB is estimated to be 0.53%. With this rate, the LMB would have only about 20% of forest cover left at the end of 2100 (MRC, 2003a). Hence, stopping (illegal) deforestation in the MRB and afforesting instead is an important activity. Although reforestation may not contribute much to the reduction of flood flow as discussed above, other effects on environment such as reducing watershed degradation and maintaining biodiversity have been noticed. To implement this adaptation strategy, a reforestation plan is required with the support of government authorities from the national to the local level. Community management should be applied, i.e. the key roles should be given to those people who are living in the forest land.

Table 8.10. Impacts on water resources in scenario CC-Agri-For.

1961-1990

2010-2039

2070-2099

Scenario / sub-basin

Indicator

A2/Mekong 3 Hydrology

A2/Delta Hydrology

A2/Mekong 3 Hydrology

A2/Delta Hydrology

B2/Mekong 3 Hydrology

B2/Delta Hydrology

B2/Mekong 3 Hydrology

B2/Delta Hydrology

Min. monthly flow

Max. monthly flow

Ave monthly flow

Min. monthly flow

Max. monthly flow

Ave monthly flow

Max. daily flow

Max. daily flow

Min. monthly flow

Max. monthly flow

Ave monthly flow

Min. monthly flow

Max. monthly flow

Ave monthly flow

Max. daily flow

Max. daily flow

560 40,995 12,894

1,857 45,681 15,459

560 40,995 12,894

1,857 45,681 15,459

54,829

51,161

508 42,376 11,170

1,401 43,190 12,715

-13 12,814

-18 14,109

51,161 49,928

441 44,536 11,221

1,243 41,726 12,743

53,068

48,221

-13 11,596

-18 12,829

Underlined values in 2010-2039 and 2070-2099 are higher than baseline values in 1961-1990. % change is compared to 1961-1990.

Table 8.11. Indicators in scenario CC-Agri and CC-Agri-For.

Future no Environment adaptation adaptation (CC-Agri) (CC-Agri-For)

Measured

Current

2010-

2070-

2010-

2070-

Scenario

Indicator

in

2000

2039

2099

2039

2099

A2 Environment

No. people

number

20.9

3G.6

66.7

29.1

64.G

affected by

flood

Salinity

+ + +/---

intrusion

Food

Tonnes of

number

19.4

22.2

25.4

22.2

25.4

rice per year

Average farm

index

1.0

1.2

1.4

1.2

1.4

income

B2 Environment

No. people

number

20.9

2S.S

4S.9

27.1

46.3

affected by

flood

Salinity

+ + +/---

intrusion

Food

Million tonnes

number

19.4

19.4

21.4

19.4

21.4

of rice per

year

Average farm

index

1.0

1.0

1.1

1.0

1.1

income

italic, good; shaded, decrease; regular, stable; bold, very bad.

italic, good; shaded, decrease; regular, stable; bold, very bad.

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