Forests
Early Warning & Risk Analysis
Asia
Tim McLaughlin

President U Thein Sein has warned Southeast Asian leaders gathered in Nay Pyi Taw of the growing threat posed by climate change during his opening remarks at the ASEAN Summit and urged the regional bloc to take increased measures to address the issue.

“The science of climate change is complex. But we all are aware that it is really happening and approaching with a faster speed than we may have expected,” he said on May 11.
 U Thein Sein made no direct reference to the current disputes in the South China Sea that were the focus of the first day of the Summit and looked to remain so.

U Thein Sein laid out a three-point framework that he said could stem the impact of climate change on the region. The plan begins by bolstering the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Centre (AHA), which he described as unable to adequately respond to natural disasters in its current form.

The AHA headquarters in Jakarta opened in 2012 but it has relatively little capacity despite being in a region increasingly prone to natural disasters.

U Thein Sein also called for the establishment of a network of research centres to study crops that would be more resilient to climate change and in turn promote regional food security. He also identified the rehabilitation of mangrove forests to protect coastline areas from storm surges as another priority.

The Asian Development Bank has identified Southeast Asia as a region that is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to a number of factors, including its high population concentrations and level of agricultural activity.
“Climate change is already affecting the region, as shown by the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts, floods and tropical cyclones in recent decades,” the group said in a 2009 study assessing the impacts of climate change
in Southeast Asia.

For the compelte article, please see The Myanmar Times.

Cities
Climate Change
Sustainable Transformation
Technology & Innovation
Global Issues
Asia
Kongjiang Yu, Urbanet

With cities continuously more threatened by climate change-induced disasters, urban planning’s reflex response is to protect cities against nature. But what if the solution lies in working with nature instead against it? Architect Kongjiang Yu invites readers to imagine what cities could look like if they took into account ancient wisdom on spatial planning.

Conflict Transformation
Security
South America
Central America & Caribbean
Andrés Bermúdez Liévano, Diálogo Chino

During the past two weeks, Antigua & Barbuda, Nicaragua and Panama ratified the Escazú Agreement, giving a major boost to the unprecedented and innovative Latin American pact that seeks to reduce social conflicts and protect frontline communities in the world’s deadliest region for environmental defenders.

Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
Global Issues
Leila Mead, IISD/SDG Knowledge Hub

UN Secretary-General António Guterres outlined priorities for the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 26) during a briefing at UN Headquarters. The briefing was hosted by the UK, which will be assuming the COP 26 presidency in partnership with Italy. COP 26 is scheduled to convene from 9-20 November 2020, in Glasgow, UK.

Dennis Tänzler, adelphi

Several climate security studies have assessed the risks of climate change to security and examined potential foreign policy responses, but the connection between climate change and foreign policy remains underexplored. The new Climate Diplomacy Report of the German Foreign Office takes up the challenge.