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Title: Impact of Climate Change on ASEAN International Affairs:Risk and Opportunity Multiplier
Date of publication: 06 November 2017
Description/subject: Executive summary: "• Failure to move away from fossil fuels, especially coal, may damage the international reputation of the ASEAN countries. Counter to the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) which the ASEAN countries themselves have formulated under the Paris Agreement, the region’s coal-based electricity generation capacity has been expanding rapidly. This may also lead to a large number of stranded coal assets in the future. • All the ASEAN member states have ratified the Kyoto Protocol and signed the Paris Agreement, and nine out of ten have also ratified the Paris Agreement. At least half of the ASEAN member states reacted publicly to President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, criticizing it and/or reiterating their own country’s commitment to climate action. ASEAN has identified climate change as a priority issue since the 2007 ASEAN Summit in Singapore. This declared commitment of ASEAN and its member states to international climate policy can provide a good foundation for joint regional climate policy formulation and action. • However, despite their positive stances on climate change, most ASEAN countries have not taken on prominent roles in international climate policy. As a result, they remain takers rather than makers in international climate politics. ASEAN as an organization stands to gain or lose status by following up or not following up its member states on climate issues, and by member states succeeding or failing to meet their NDCs. The ASEAN Secretariat can fulfill an important function by promoting a team spirit around this status drive. • ASEAN could formulate a regionally determined contribution (RDC) for ASEAN by adding up the nationally determined contributions of the ASEAN member states. This could help create a team spirit related to the NDCs, as well as possible peer review/pressure. • ASEAN could implement several other concrete measures to energize its work on climate change: maintain a focus on the NDCs of its member states under the Paris Agreement; ensure that current and future initiatives under the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) are ambitious and detailed as to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; highlight the vulnerability of Southeast Asia to climate change by publishing and sharing relevant analysis; advocate improved disclosure and reporting of the financial risks of climate change to governments and investors; put climate change high on the agenda of every ASEAN summit; involve and connect relevant civil society and academic organizations across Southeast Asia; facilitate regional electricity trade through the expansion of the ASEAN Power Grid for better handling of the intermittency of renewable energy; promote the accelerated phase- out of fossil-fuel subsidies—which is also a prerequisite for developing trans-border electricity trade in Southeast Asia. • To be successful, climate-related initiatives will need to consider the ASEAN way of conducting business, with its emphasis on national sovereignty, non-interference and consensus in decision-making. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has set an example of common but differentiated capabilities and responsibilities, further developed with the Paris Agreement’s concept of nationally determined contributions, which are precisely that—nationally determined. This approach is highly compatible with the traditional ASEAN approach to interstate cooperation. • ASEAN may be experiencing a problem of collective action on international climate policy: the member states are looking to ASEAN to adopt a stronger role, whereas the ASEAN Secretariat looks to the member states to take the lead and give clear signals. A first step towards solving this conundrum could be for the ASEAN Secretariat to further expand and strengthen its climate policy staffing—which will require funding and capacity enhancement."
Author/creator: Indra Overland et al
Language: English
Source/publisher: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies
Format/size: pdf (3.85MB)
Alternate URLs: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320622312_Impact_of_Climate_Change_on_ASEAN_International_...
Date of entry/update: 09 March 2018

Title: The impact of swidden decline on livelihoods and ecosystem services in Southeast Asia: A review of the evidence from 1990 to 2015
Date of publication: 01 October 2016
Description/subject: Abstract: "Global economic change and policy interventions are driving transitions from long-fallow swidden (LFS) systems to alternative land uses in Southeast Asia’s uplands. This study presents a systematic review of how these transitions impact upon livelihoods and ecosystem services in the region. Over 17 000 studies published between 1950 and 2015 were narrowed, based on relevance and quality, to 93 studies for further analysis. Our analysis of land-use transitions from swidden to intensified cropping systems showed several outcomes: more households had increased overall income, but these benefits came at significant cost such as reductions of customary practice, socio-economic wellbeing, livelihood options, and staple yields. Examining the effects of transitions on soil properties revealed negative impacts on soil organic carbon, cation-exchange capacity, and aboveground carbon. Taken together, the proximate and underlying drivers of the transitions from LFS to alternative land uses, especially intensified perennial and annual cash cropping, led to significant declines in pre-existing livelihood security and the ecosystem services supporting this security. Our results suggest that policies imposing landuse transitions on upland farmers so as to improve livelihoods and environments have been misguided; in the context of varied land uses, swidden agriculture can support livelihoods and ecosystem services that will help buffer the impacts of climate change in Southeast Asia." Keywords: *Alternative land uses *Ecosystem services * Livelihood security *Shifting cultivation *Southeast Asia
Author/creator: Wolfram H. Dressler, David Wilson, Jessica Clendenning, Rob Cramb, Rodney Keenan, Sango Mahanty, Thilde Bech Bruun, Ole Mertz
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Royal Swedish Acadamy of Sciences, Crossmark
Format/size: pdf (1.8MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs23/2016-Dressler_et_al-swidden_review.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 November 2016