Assessment of Climate Change Impact
Definition, Impact assessment framework, Adaptation system, Principles of impact analysis, and the Vulnerability of climate change
Impact of climate change in Thailand by sector
Impacts in Thailand by sector: 1. Water management 2. Agriculture and food security 3. Natural resource management 4. Tourism 5. Public health and 6. Human settlement and security
Assessment of Climate Change Impact
Definitions and conceptual framework for assessing the impacts of climate change
- The analysis of impacts, risks and vulnerability from climate change is to identify the target groups, risk areas and impacts to various sectors, including exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity to show the level or order of vulnerability of target groups, areas, and sectors.
- Identification of adaptation options is an analysis of the current adaptation, evaluates adaptation options, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation through economic cost breakdown analysis to determine the appropriate adaptation options; local wisdom, technology, or knowledge that is suitable for the context of society and community.
Principles of analyzing the impact and vulnerability of climate change can be divided into 2 major characteristics (Figure 5-24) as follows:
- Top-down approach (Impact-based) is assessment of future long-term impacts that use scenario climate change in future or high-resolution model data in the area to assess the biophysical, social and economic impacts of each sector under different climate change situations, including adaptation and net impacts (The remaining vulnerability even after the adaptation has been carried out). However, the disadvantage of this approach is, it cannot clearly identify short-term changes and local changes.
- Bottom-up approach (Vulnerability-based) is a short-term qualitative assessment of vulnerabilities that assesses past and present situations to determine future directions, which is a combination of scientific, climatic, and social science knowledge implemented through the participation of community in the analysis of current weakness, the impact and ability to adapt to formulate guidelines or measures the climate change adaptation in the future. This approach is able to identify short-term changes and predict changes that are appropriate for the local context.
In this regard, the formulation of climate change adaptation policy should be considered by both the top-down and bottom-top approaches.
Assessing the vulnerability and risks from climate change is an important step in the process of building adaptive capacity in society and communities, which generally uses the framework of vulnerability set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in relation to 3 variables which are (1) Exposure (2) Sensitivity and (3) Adaptive capacity, which are the main components of the system’s vulnerability framework.
Vulnerability is a condition and process that shows the level of system vulnerability of one or more types of hazards affected by physical, economic, social and environmental factors. In addition, vulnerability also includes response and adaptability, which determine the potential of the system to react and endure threats.
Vulnerability analysis is a conceptual framework used in research in various fields, which is a useful tool to explain the level of sensitivity to danger, damage, loss of ability to respond and adaptation of the physical environment, ecosystems and human societies, as well as able to guide and urgency measures to strengthen the ability of system adaptation by reducing the risk of hazards and disasters.
The IPCC considers the three factors of vulnerability (Figure 5-25) as follows:
- Exposure (exposure to risk / pressures) is a natural feature and the level that the system is experiencing or exposed to pressures and hazards based on the frequency, duration, extent, severity and behavior of dangerous factors. In the context of climate change, these are events that occur from fluctuations and climate change, such as drought, flooding, long-term change in climate variables, etc. Therefore, the result of dangerous factors is the disaster that occurs on human and property, loss of life and economic loss with a social system as a medium to promote or mitigate the effects of such hazards.
- Sensitivity refers to the level of positive and negative effects that system receives from exposure to dangerous factors. The sensitivity of the system to dangerous factors is mainly determined by the characteristics and status of the system.
- Adaptive capacity means the ability of a system to adjust to climate change (including climate variability and extremes) to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with the consequence.
Impact of climate change in Thailand by sector
Water management concepts
Water is an essential for living organisms. “The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015” states that our world is currently developing unsustainably, with the demand for water increasing due to the increase in the world population and the economic growth, including urbanization, industrial development and more consumption. This has resulted in increased demand for water which is predicted to lead to water shortages. The United Nations presents water and sustainable development in 3 of its dimensions (WWAP, 2015). These include (1) Water for economic development by discussing the structural measures and non-structure measure in water allocation for economic development, especially water management; (2) Water for the environment by giving importance to good ecosystems which will help to provide better water services, such as natural surface water sources, which act as monkey cheeks (water storage) during floods or quality groundwater which helps strengthen the water during the dry season and; (3) Water for social equality, with an emphasis on poverty reduction whereby everyone in the society has equal access to safe water sources.
Therefore, it can be seen that sustainable development under various risks, especially the risk management of water resources, must be done concurrently. For example,The development plan should be based on water factors or limitations, while water management should not only consider physical dimensions or structural measures, but should consider economic, social, environmental development dimensions and other risks in parallel with the consideration of long-term changes including climate change in order to achieve true sustainable development.
Thailand’s second assessment report on climate change
Climate change within the context of water management
Water, energy, and climate systems are important, complex, and closely linked. Climate change affects the balance of motion and the change in water status between different elements of the world. The IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5), describes the driving forces that influence water resources and adaptation to future water situations consisting of two-dimensional driving forces as follows;
- Non-Climate driving forces includs; changing land use patterns, deforestation Increased water demand from urban and industrial development, creating and managing a water basin, wastewater and treatment, the increase in population in terms of number and distribution, food demand, economic policy (water prices), technology, lifestyle, water use of agricultural communities, watershed areas and ecosystems, and etc.
- Climate driving forces include; temperature rise, sea level rise, change in rain or precipitation patterns resulting in extreme heat;, drought;, coastal erosion, and Landslides. These all affect water resources, water management and related infrastructure. The changes caused by the forces related to climate change have the following observable and measurable effects:
- The increase in atmospheric temperatures leads to a decrease the water budget regarding the reduction of snow or glaciers is measured in many cities throughout the Andes mountains in South America (Ames, 1998; Kaser and Osmaston, 2002) and the possibility of water loss are increased from the evaporation in soil, dry soil, reduction of water runoff and infiltration in groundwater levels.
- The increase in surface water temperatures leads to a decrease in amounts of dissolved oxygen and self-purification capacity and the rapid increase in the number of bilogy species, both visible and invisible to the eye, causing the algal blooms.
- The rise in sea levels leads to an increase in salinity in groundwater near the coast.
- Changing rain patterns cause changes in effective rainfall and the phenomenon of groundwater recharge and plant water usage.
- The increase in annual rainfall makes it increasingly difficult for flood control and water demand-supply management during the rainy season.
- Higher evapotranspiration decreased the water budget and salinity increases in surface water, in addition to lower groundwater levels.
- Extreme events that occur more often and more severely causing flooding, affecting water quality, water structure, erosion and also causing drought that affects water quantity and water quality.
- The 5th The IPCC 5th Assessment Report: AR5
- The Water Cycle and Climate Change, Earth Observatory, NASA
- Thailand’s second assessment report on climate change
Impact of climate change on the water cycle
Considered the observation of climate change on the water system, it can be seen that the impact is entirely related to the entire water cycle. For example, increased atmospheric temperatures cause increased evaporation rates, resulting in higher humidity in the troposphere (approximately 10 kilometers from the ground) causing the frequency and the intensity of rain or precipitation to increase. It will rain on the ground more often than over the ocean surface. And the warmer atmosphere makes the chances of precipitation occurred higher than snow. Other changes to the water cycle are shown in Table 5-19. In addition, the changes also have an effect on water balance and quality causing water disasters such as drought and flooding.
Evaporation and Precipitation
|Water in coastal areas|
|Demand-supply of water|
Drought and flooding
Impact of climate change on water management in Thailand
The water situation in Thailand
Water demand of each sector
- Agriculture has the highest water demand of 75 percent of the total water consumption of about 113,812 million cubic meters by allocating water to agricultural areas in the irrigation area (on average 65,000 million cubic meters per year) and agricultural areas outside the irrigation area (of about 48,812 million cubic meters per year), which mostly use rainwater directly while some use groundwater and nearby water.
- Consumption and tourism require an average annual water demand of 6,490 million cubic meters and demand for water in the next 10 years is expected to increase to an average of around 8,260 million cubic meters per year due to the expansion of the tourism and trade service sectors at the local and regional levels.
- The industry requires an average of 4,206 million cubic meters of water per year. And it is expected in the next 10 years that water demand will increase to an average of approximately 7,515 million cubic meters per year. The main water demand areas are areas with factories and industrial groups, namely Bangkok and nearby provinces and the eastern region, which is the main industrial area of the country.
- Water in the ecosystem has the amount of water needed for preserving the ecosystem during the dry season throughout the country with approximately 27,242 million cubic meters per year.
Changes in Thai water situation
Future fluctuations in climate factors that have challenges in managing water resources in Thailand linked to the area and time period are as follows:
- Study data from 3 Regional Climate Models (RCMs) which are MRI – AGCM 3.1S, PRECIS and CCCMA3 with the model A1B, A2 and A1B respectively and modify data bias with rescaling techniques to get more reliable models. From the results of the study of rainfall in the near future (2015-2039) and distant future (2075-2099) when compared with the current period 1979 – 2006 found that the amount of rain tends to increase and decrease in different regions of Thailand in all models, most of which are north, central and north-east. For the southern region on the west side, the amount of rainfall will decrease in the near future, while other areas such as the western region, southern region, and eastern region will have more rainfall. As for the distant future, there is a tendency to increase in all regions except for the result of the CCCMA3 model which has reduced rain in the south (Sucharit Koontanakulvong and Winai Chaowiwat, 2009).
- The weather in the future is changing and fluctuating, while the demand for water is likely to increase as the economic and social growth makes water management necessary to adapt to the demand conditions and new potential (The Development of Water Resources Engineering Department, Chulalongkorn University, 2010).
- The results of data analysis both from the direct model (Raw) by using the method of proportion comparison with the measurement data (Ratio) and analyzing the statistical high resolution obtained from the ASD model shows differences in both the model and the A2 and B2 hypotheses and found that the temperature tends to increase in the future and the amount of rain tends to decrease (Sucharit Koontanakulvong, et al., 2010).
- During the rainy season, the amount of rain will decrease, but on the other hand, the amount of rain in the dry season will increase, affecting groundwater by considering the long-term yearly period of 25 years. Both in the near future and in the distant future, it was found that the groundwater level in the future will be lower than 10 meters from the surface level in the dry season because the amount of groundwater storage tends to decrease and the rainy season will not change much. For the distant future, groundwater levels are not affected by both the rainy season and the dry season, as the groundwater levels are recovering due to changes in storage volumes in the distant future, with increasing tendency for both the rainy season and the dry season ( Sucharit Koontanakulvong, et al., 2010).
- Analysis of global climate adaptation to agricultural areas, irrigation systems and groundwater conditions, groundwater impacts during the past drought by using groundwater models to assess the impact of changes in the amount of rain and temperature on underground water use in Wang Bua Irrigation Project area. This, and analysis of the water flowing into the basin and releasing water from the dam, estimating the demand of irrigation water for the future conditions. It was found that the pumping of groundwater will be more volatile since the rainfall pattern, which will decrease in rainy season and increase during the dry season (Sucharit Koontanakulvong, et al, 2010).
- Analysis of the condition of the area shows it will experience less rain in the near future but more rain (compared to historical averages) in the distant future, but there will be more extreme events in the Chao Phraya River Basin with an average depth of rain rising from 1,079 millimeters per year to 1,121 millimeters per year in the near future and 1,140 millimeters per year in the distant future which will increase the risk of flooding. In addition, the temperature rise of 0.047 °C per year for the foreseeable future and an increase of 0.015 °C per year for the distant future results in increased demand for water, which makes them more vulnerable to drought (Sucharit Koontanakulvong, et al., 2010).
- The impact of global climate change on the reservoir management, water release criteria must be adjusted to dddddddddd accommodate the fluctuating amount of water entering the reservoir (Sucharit Koontanakulvong, et a;., 2010).
- The study of forecasted the maximum change in rainfall at the watershed levels of Thailand and China. Based on the review and collection of simulation and prediction results from the Global Climate Model AR4 and AR5, data were collected daily from rain stations in Thailand from the Meteorological Department and the Royal Irrigation Department and analysis done on the downscaled products from the models, Global Climate AR4 and AR5 study the maximum change in rainfall in Thailand’s watershed and assessed the flooding conditions with the highest change of rainfall in the river basin which found that the distribution of precipitation in the near future and in the distant future in the Yom Basin study area has changed markedly. It is found that the peak flow of rain in the near future and distant future in the main river at all water monitoring stations has decreased compared to the maximum amount of rain at present. Because the amount of rain has changed in a decreasing direction, the area at the top of the river and in the lower area of the river will also decrease in the near and distant future. Although the central area of the river basin tends to increase the amount of rainfall, it is only in certain areas, resulting in the overall water in the mainstream decreasing in almost every station. However, the amount of water expected from the rain in the near future and the distant future will likely decrease. Nevertheless, the change in rainfall can cause extreme flooding, especially in some areas in Phrae, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok and Phichit provinces, because the peak flow is higher than the bank level (From the current flood protection system design).
Problems in Thai water management
- Drought Problems: In the past 40 years, 10 droughts have occurred. Severe droughts occurred in 1979, 1994 and 1999 over a wide area in almost every region of the country. During the past 10 years (2005-2013), there has been an increasing number of repetitive drought areas due to less rain than usual or irregular seasonal rainfall. The drought risk areas at various levels depend on the topography, soil conditions, and the amount of rain. The risky areas have high levels of risk (occurring more than 6 times per 10 years) and moderate levels (occurring 4-5 times per 10 years). Out of 26.8 million Rai and 70,372 villages in Thailand (2013), there were 7,490 villages without water supply systems in 2005, with water shortage damage worth 7,565 million baht each and affecting a population of 11 million people.
- Flood problems: In the past 30 years, there were 13 floods in almost every province of the country, with 8 floods in the Chao Phraya River Basin in 1975, 1983, 1995, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2011 which caused enormous damage to life, property and the country’s economy. For example, in 2011, the economic damage was worth 1.44 trillion baht, affecting a population of approximately 12.8 million people with 813 deaths. Repeated flooding areas across the whole country of medium level happened 4-5 times over 9 years and high level occurrences more than 5 times in 9 years, causing a total of 10 million rai in damage including risk areas for mudslides for a total of more than 6,042 villages from heavy rain in the watershed area and from the physical condition of the steep mountain watershed and the upper watershed forest being destroyed.
- Surface water and groundwater quality problems (underground water): Thailand has good water quality of 29%, fair 49% and degraded 22% of the country’s primary water sources (with total of 52 water sources). During the past 10 years (2005-2014 years), it was found that saltwater intrusion occurs in the lower parts of the Chao Phraya River, Tha Chin, Bang Pakong and Mae Klong, causing impacts on crop cultivation, water supply, fishery, industry, as well as water use of the people along the river. Water allocation for pushing salty water is the allocation of water from reservoirs in the upper part of the basin, such as from Bhumibol Dam, Sirikit Dam, Pa Sak Dam, Khun Dan Prakan Chon Dam, including Srinakarin dam and the Vachiralongkorn dam in the dry season, more than 2,800 million cubic meters per year in order to control the salinity of water at the control points not to exceed the standards of agriculture and waterworks.
Examples of vulnerability assessment and adaptation guidelines on water management
The process of planning for integrated water resource management
- Stakeholders’ consideration on a regular basis to support the exchange of knowledge and discussion concepts. The involvement of all stakeholders and strong leaders are factors in this area of work. Stakeholders and policymakers should discuss co-design for co-benefit in order to set a joint picture of the future and take it to the next step.
- Assessing new systems under different strategies and projections, determining uncertain and credible projections – climate change is only one part of the uncertainty that affects water resources. The consideration of combining various uncertainties in order to design a possible projection, combining the projection with a possible future climate range, future climate data can be obtained from the results of the model which is calibrated to suit the local conditions, by considering the critical conditions in both the small and medium variable range.
- Analyse the vulnerability from the results under various strategies and projections, determine the main vulnerability values, both related to climatic and other variables. This information will be important information in the development of adaptation strategies.
- Risk management under vulnerability – the result is a durable and sustainable development plan.
- Develop a strategy that is durable, sustainable and adaptable – should cover the uncertainty range of future climate variables and other variables. A good strategic plan should be able to achieve its goals despite the uncertainty phase, rather than considering achieving one set of projections or one hypothesis. Assessment methods may use simple methods such as benefit/cost analysis or more sophisticated methods such as multi criteria decision analysis.
Examples of vulnerability assessment and adaptation guidelines for water management
Many agencies have presented the concept of vulnerability assessment and water resource adaptation guidelines from the effects of climate change. Here is a brief example as follows:
(1) Example of vulnerability assessment from final report of a study on formulation of Thailand's climate change adaptation plan project : Phase 2
Risk and sensitive areas from flooding
- During the next 20 years, the impacts of climate change will make the area at risk for flooding throughout the country (only the highest level, very high and medium risk areas are considered), a total of 24,163,544 rai, representing 7.53 percent of the country.
- Areas in the lowlands and related in the same direction as the area that has been studied as prone to a highly recurring flooding, which covers an area of 3,183 sub-districts, 497 districts in 69 provinces.
- Provinces that have been found to have no risk of flooding or a low risk of climate change in the future such as Bangkok, Phuket, Mukdahan, Loei, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Chanthaburi, Trat and Rayong.
- Provinces that are at risk of flooding in the overview with the 10 highest risk areas, are Nakhon Sawan, representing the highest area of 1,780,478 rai, followed by Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Surat Thani, Suphanburi, Phitsanulok, Phichit, Sukhothai, Roi Et, Nakhon Ratchasima and Si Sa Ket.
- If considering only the areas that are at the highest risk of flooding, the provinces with the highest risk are Suphan Buri, with an area of 554,738 rai, followed by Nakhon Sawan 485,005 Rai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 420,321 Rai, Phichit 358,524 Rai, Phitsanulok 286,734 Rai and Sukhothai 280,792 Rai.
Risk and sensitive area from drought
Using data from climate change predictions for the next 20 years to analyse flood risk areas by using the SWAT hydrological model, together with technical data of flood and drought risk areas and the repetitive floods and droughts of the Department of Land Development found that;
- In the next 20 years, the impacts of climate change will make the area vulnerable to drought throughout the country (only the highest level, very high and medium risk areas are considered) a total of 120,622,544 Rai, representing 37.61% of the country, which covers an area of 6,163 sub-districts, 818 districts in 76 provinces.
- Provinces that in the future will not have the risk of drought or low risk from climate change to areas in the southern provinces such as Krabi, Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Prachuap Khirikhan, Pattani, Phang Nga, Phatthalung, Phuket, Yala, Ranong and Satun.
- Provinces that are at risk of drought in the overview with the 10 highest risk areas, namely Nakhon Sawan, representing the highest area of 5,485,864 Rai, followed by Phetchabun, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phitsanulok, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai, Kamphaeng Phet, Sa Kaeo, Lampang and Chaiyaphum. If considering only the areas that are at the highest risk of drought, the provinces with the highest risk are Nakhon Sawan 3,480,672 Rai, followed by Kamphaeng Phet Province 3,135,270 Rai, Sukhothai 2,229,374 Rai, Phichit 2,152,045 Rai and Phitsanulok 2,115,905 Rai
2) Climate Vulnerability Assessment an Annex to the USAID Climate-Resilient Development Framework
|Adaptation options for exposure and sensitivity|
|Policy to reduce exposure||
|Apply good examples in each region to other areas.||
|Structure that is resistant to change||Increasing resistance to impacts from changes through the design process for raw materials, the level of the structure|
|Adjustment to increase adaptive capacity|
|Promote economic development and quality of life||Higher incomes and a better quality of life distribution make each family capable of adapting to floods, droughts and crisis situations.|
|Strengthen the ability to manage natural disaster risks||Help villagers better respond to floods, droughts, and critical events, with reduced mortality, injuries and faster recovery.|
|Improve the management of government services||Improved management of water supply and demand may reduce the impact of natural disasters.|
|Early warning system||Monitoring and support systems for decision-making in floods, droughts, outbreaks of contagious disease, plant diseases, animals, insects|
|Create an integrated help system that is linked together.||Integration systems such as water delivery, electrical systems, transportation, communication and food reservation.|
|Preserving the complete ecosystem||A complete ecosystem will help reduce water impacts and control sediment, which can reduce the effects of floods, droughts, and crises.|
Recommendations for climate change adaptation option in Thailand’s water management
For Thailand, the guidelines for climate change adaptation for water, flood and drought management have been presented as follows (Sucharit Koontanakulvong et al. (2015) compiled and synthesized by Pongsak Suttinon and Phayom Saraphirom (2016), Thailand’s second assessment report on climate change)
- Development of database systems, knowledge, technology, policies, management tools, and laws that are comprehensive and appropriate in both normal and critical conditions.
- Development and improvement of key water resource management organizations (network, institutional arrangement, overall management).
- Integration of water resources management from all sectors (data center, law, direction, efficiency). The water management project must bring benefits to society after considering the impact on every group of people, including the impact to environment.
- Promoting public participation in water and disaster management, public organization and learning, participation, self-reliance (opportunity for stakeholders to consider the benefits and options of the project from the beginning and various impacts).
- Assistance, compensation and natural disaster insurance, insurance systems, damage maps, fair compensation systems for all affected groups, and those who benefit from the project should participate in the compensation burden to the injured person.
Agriculture and Food Security
Conceptual framework of agriculture and food security
The impact of climate change on agriculture and food security
Rising sea levels
Quantity and quality of water and water resources
Extreme weather events
Climate change on agriculture and food security in Thailand
Agriculture is important to Thailand’s economic development and is the foundation of food security in countries, regions and the world. The Thai agricultural sector plays an important role in many dimensions of national development, as agricultural exports can generate high incomes in foreign currencies each year. When considering the proportion of gross agricultural product value to gross domestic product, it is found that the trend is continuously increasing. In addition, the agricultural sector is also a source of raw materials or the upstream level of various industries such as the rubber product, food processing and animal feed industries etc. (Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, 2016)
According to the Office of Agricultural Economics, the major economic crops in Thailand are rice, maize, palm oil, cassava, rubber and sugarcane. As for livestock, the economic animals of Thailand include chickens, pigs and beef cattle. For agricultural products and important export products, these include natural rubber, rice, cassava, fish, fruit, which can generate income into the country with enormous value. In 2016, Thailand exported natural rubber worth 193,938 million-baht, rice and its products worth 172,778 million-baht, cassava and its products worth 115,889 million-baht, fish and its products worth 109,792 million baht, including fruits and fruit products worth 106,184 million baht.
Climate change on agriculture in Thailand
- Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (2016)
- Bank of Thailand (2019)
- Irrigation information (2018)
- Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and Buddhaboon (2014)
- Office of the Cane and Sugar Board
- Ministry of Industry (2018)
- Krirk Pannangpetch and Others (2009)
- Rice Research and Development Office (2009)
- Yuthasart Anuluxtipun (2017)
- Sayan Sdoodee and Atsamon Limsakul (2011)
- Jariwan Chankong and Others (2019)
- Sayan Sdoodee and Others (2010)
- Chanin Tirawattanawanich (2005)
- Siriwat Suadsong and Junpen Suwimonteerabutr (2005)
- Patcharawalai Sriyasak and Others (2014)
- Kannika Thampanishvong and others (2015)
Reference: Irrigation information (2018)
Reference: Source: Bank of Thailand (2019)
Agricultural areas are more affected by water shortages or drought than other types of areas. Drought in Thailand is mainly caused by lack of rain or drought during the rainy season and intermittent rain from June to July. The drought-affected area is the center of the northeast region, because it is inaccessible to the south-west monsoon and if there is no tropical cyclone in the year, it will cause severe drought. Drought has damage to agriculture such as lack of moisture in the ground, dehydrated plants, crop growth stagnation, low-quality products, and decreased in productivity, affecting other sectors in the economy such as reduced land prices, lack of raw materials to feed into factories and higher unemployment rates etc.
For the flooding, it will affect a wide area of agricultural land, livestock and fishery, which will be damaged in different forms, such as crops being flooded and destroyed. Cattle or other domestic animals, as well as stockpiled products or seeds, will be damaged. The flood risk areas in Thailand tend to occur in the central region and the drought risk areas, most of which appear in the northeast region (Figure 5-62). In this section, we will give examples of two main economic crops of the country, namely rice and sugarcane, making preliminary comparisons between rice planting areas (Figure 5-63) and flood risk areas and drought, found that rice plantations in Thailand are at risk of drought in the northeast, while the central region is at risk of flooding. In the same direction, sugarcane planting areas (Figure 5-64) may be at risk of being affected by flooding in some parts of the central region but may be affected by drought in a wide area in the northeast.
Reference: Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and Buddhaboon (2014)
Reference: Geo-Informatic and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organization) and Rice Department (2016)
Reference: Office of the Cane and Sugar Board, Ministry of Industry (2018)
Krirk Pannangpetch, et al.(2009) have used DSSAT4: agricultural production model and scenario climate data from ECHAM4 GCM A2 and B2 calculated with local climate models: PRECIS and found that major economic crops such as rice, corn, sugarcane, cassava and oil palm, are likely to be slightly affected by climate change in the next 20 years (during the 2017-2027 decade). It is summarized as follows: (1) The production of rice paddies that rely on rainwater tends to slightly decrease and there is a difference between the major basins of the country, rainfall rice production in the Chao Phraya Basin will be slightly affected, but climate change will affect rice cultivation in the northeast region; (2) The off-season rice production that relies on irrigation water is not much affected by climate change under the assumption that there is sufficient water in the irrigation system; (3) Cassava production tends to be stable; (4) Sugarcane production in general has a tendency to improve, especially in the north, central and eastern regions. However, some areas in the sugarcane plantations in the northeast region, especially in Kalasin province, have a tendency to decrease, maize production tends to increase but has a high fluctuation during the year and; (5) Palm oil production tends to be relatively stable. Although the results show only a small change in trend, it points out that the Thai agriculture sector has to think about adaptation to be in line with the future situation – that is, the weather under climate change in the future will result in higher variability of agricultural products than present.
Rice Research and Development Office (2009) has provided information that the effects of climate change in terms of temperature increases will make brown planthopper the number one rice pest of Thai farmers. Both the larvae and the adults of the brown planthopper will destroy the rice plant by inserting the mouth that is sucked into the rice tissue and sucking water from the food pipe of the rice plant at the base of the stem just above the water level. When many brown planthoppers suck on the water to feed the rice plant, it will cause the yellow leaves to look like scalded water, either in clumps or patches in the rice field. The destruction of brown planthopper causes severe damage to rice stalks, causing the rice plant to wilt, a symptom called “hopper burn”. In addition, the brown planthopper is the carrier of Grassy Stunt Disease and the Rice Ragged Stunt Virus to the rice plants as well causing severe damage to rice production in each outbreak.
Yuthasart Anuluxtipun (2017) conducted a study of climate change affecting rice and corn production in the lower Mekong River Basin in order to predict future rice and corn production in 2030 and 2060 with the AquaCrop 5 model. The results show that the production of rice and corn in the northern and northeastern regions of Thailand may increase, rather than decrease, if not directly affected by drought, floods, landslides, insect pests, influence of temperature change and land use change.
Examples of vulnerability assessment and adaptation guidelines on agriculture and food security
(1) Example of vulnerability assessment
1.1 Examples of vulnerability assessment for rice, off-season rice, cassava, sugarcane and maize
Thailand’s first assessment report on climate change has reviewed various research papers related to the risk of economic crops to current and future climate factors which states that each plant is sensitive to different climatic factors depending on the physiological processes of that plant, which will cause each plant to be at risk of being affected by different climatic factors. Exposure to climate factors in agriculture such as the beginning of the rainy season, the highest and the lowest temperature during the day , and the storm struck, etc. The exposure factor is in line with the data from the Agricultural Economics Research Office. However, the exposure factor sensitivity and countermeasures in the 5 main economic plants are shown in Table 5-22.
|1. Rice||Beginning of the rainy season Total Rain Rainy day Temperature Storm Salty soil||AgePollination Reduced productivity Pest Dehydrated, dry, dead||Water management in rice fieldsNutrient management of organic substances in soil Breeding|
|2. Off-season rice||TemperatureStorm||AgeEfflorescence Pollination Reduced productivity Pest||IrrigationNutrient management of organic substances in soil Breeding Price guarantee, Production guarantee|
|3. Cassava||Beginning of the rainy season Total rain Rainy day Temperature||Reduced productivityRotten head Pest||Nutrient management of organic substances in soilBreeding Switched to planting perennial plants|
|4. Sugarcane||Beginning of the rainy season Total rain Rainy day Temperature||Reduced productivityDehydrated, dry, dead Pest||Nutrient management in soilBreeding Switched to planting perennial plants|
|5. Maize||Beginning of the rainy season Total rain Rainy day Temperature||Reduced productivityDehydrated, dry, dead Pest|
1.2 Example of assessing animal and fishery vulnerability
|Phytoplankton and Zooplankton||√||√||√|
(2) Guidelines and options for agricultural adaptation in Thailand
|1. Breeding and use of appropriate plant varieties||• Plant species that are resistant to heat and drought, as well as flooding • Plant varieties that are resistant to plant diseases and insects • Plants that are resistant to water and soil salinity • Plant varieties that give higher productivity|
|2. Plantation management||• Modification of fertilizer and pesticides • Modification of the planting calendar according to the season|
|3. Development of biotechnology for agriculture||• Development and distribution of plant species that are resistant to drought, disease, insects and salinity of soil and water. • Improve animal breeding by cross-breeding for higher productivity.|
|4. Improving infrastructure for agriculture||• Improving water supply and allocation for livestock • Improvement of irrigation systems for agriculture and increasing water efficiency • Improvement of rainwater reserves • Improvement of information exchange systems at the local, national, regional and international level for better planning. • Improvement of high seawater and flood management systems • Improving weather forecasting communications for farmers|
|5. Animal husbandry||• Breeding that is resistant to weather and has a high yield. • Management of food supply and reserves • Improving pasture management and forage harvesting • Improving pasture rotation • Use of highly durable native grass species in pasture • Increasing the number of plants per area in pasture • Provision of nutritional support and veterinary services|
|6. Fisheries||• Breeding of fish to withstand higher water temperatures • Develop fishery management in line with climate change trends|
2.1 Guidelines and options for adaptation of economic crops
The adaptation approach is often a solution to the urgent problems that are presented academically, such as planting rice varieties upstream, rice breeding improvement, bringing rice from paddy fields to other places, choosing drought-resistant rice varieties, management of organic nutrients in soil, agro-forestry and organic farming. In some cases, it may not be applied at the local level and may affect other sectors, such as drought-resistant rice cultivation, resulting in farmers getting products but may not meet the needs of the market or not contain much nutrition. The results of the additional research review revealed that the research of Sucharit Koontanakulvong, et al. (2017) have presented guidelines for climate change adaptation to sustainable rainwater rice production systems in the northeast, which have established 4 adaptation methods: 1) Grow rice that has an appropriate harvest for the area, such as upland rice fields, grow rice that is not sensitive to light, or in lowland rice fields planting heavy rice. 2) Modify the method of planting by sowing dry seed in order to wait for the rain in conjunction with the planting plan by postponing the sowing period if the drought is at the beginning of the season. Or, sowing dry seed and wait for the rain for lowland fields, planted seedlings with the waterlogging for upland field . 3) Providing small labour-saving tools, funds and small water reservoir. Planning the use of production factors, focusing on exquisite farming using less space to increase production and organic farming. Perform a variety of agriculture to reduce the risk of disasters and protect the environment. 4) Change the upland area to high-yielding economic crops such as sugarcane, cassava etc. In this regard, the adaptation guidelines for paddy fields need to be considered more appropriately and can be used for more practical purposes such as determining government measures to enable farmers to enter the risk insurance system, establishing high-priced rice planting regulations. In addition, an example of good adaptation by local wisdom will be a sustainable method of operation but must have a process for continuous monitoring and evaluation.
2.2 Guidelines and options for adaptation of livestock
2.3 Guidelines and options for adaptation of fisheries
Natural resource management
1) Conceptual framework of natural resource management
Natural resources are resources that occur without the influences of humankind. Each day, humans bring various kinds of natural resources such as air, soil, water, forests, wildlife, minerals, etc. to create convenience in the form of direct benefits, such as the 4 basic needs and indirect benefits such as recreation, tourism resources and treatment areas for water and oxygen production, etc. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for the year 2019 concerning natural resources is to promote conservation and sustainable use by managing, protecting and inhibiting the loss of biodiversity. It also promotes the use of resources in technology, finance and laws to prevent the use of natural resources beyond production capacity, promote communities to access resources, integrate natural and local resource management plans.
In the study of adaptation to climate change in Thailand and the formulation of a national adaptation plan, the impact of climate change on natural resources can be studied in 3 ecological systems, such as forests, wetlands and mangrove forests.
- United Nations (2019). The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019. Retrieved from https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2019/The-Sustainable-Development-Goals-Report-2019.pdf
- . Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (2018) Climate change adaptation plan.
- Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (2020) General information of mangrove forest, central database system and standard of marine and coastal resources data, retrieved on 5 February 2018 from https://km.dmcr.go.th/en/c_11
- Department of Forestry (2020) March 21 … World Forest Day. Retrieved on 5 February 2018 from https://www.facebook.com/royalforestdepartment/photos/21–มีนาคมวันป่าไม้โลกป่าไม้-หมายถึง-บริเวณที่มีต้นไม้หลายชนิด-ขนาดต่างๆ-ขึ้นอยู่/2463399533720756/
Definition of related ecosystems
means an area where there are many types of trees of various sizes, which are dense and large enough to influence the environment in that area such as the change of weather, soil and water fertility, wildlife and other organisms that are in relation to each other (Faculty of Forestry).
covers plain area, lowland, wetland, temporary and permanent water resources that are no more than 6 meters deep – both natural and man-made.
means an ecosystem that consists of many species of plants and animals living together in an environment that has soil, blackish water and is consistently flooded with sea water. (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources).
2. The situation of climate change on natural resources
The Biosphere, or living organisms and ecosystems, includes natural resources. The biosphere is part of a complex global climate system that is associated with the atmosphere, the hydrogeology, the soil, and the ice. Biosphere is important for the circulation of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, sulphur and trace elements, which are rare minerals that are essential to living things including carbon compounds. If the biosphere stops the process of gas production, these substances will gradually disappear from the climate system and affect the origin and existence of living organisms.
Changes in natural resources
According to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Report 2019, it was found that more ecosystems are conserved, including forests and land ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems and mountain ecosystems. Almost half of the world’s coastal ecosystems have improved water quality between 2012 and 2018. 17% of the territorial sea of the state is registered as a protected area or more than twice as much as in 2010. However, 25% of the world’s land has deteriorated and biodiversity has decreased by 10% within the last 25 years (1995 – 2019), especially fish groups which have decreased their biosecurity level from 90 to 67% in 1974 and 2015 respectively. From this information, it can be seen that managing and restoring natural resources to maintain fertility is a challenge. Changes and adaptations to the situation of future natural resources consist of two-dimensional driving forces which are (1) Climate driving forces and; (2) Non-climate driving forces.
- (1) Climate driving forces affecting the natural resources system are as follows:
Changes in land use and land cover materials – Forests around the world tend to gradually transform into cultivation areas to feed the increasing world population.
- Nitrogen deposition – This part of nitrogen comes from the use of fertilizers in agriculture, burning fossil fuels, releasing sewage, and waste. When leached into water, nutrients become phytoplankton and algae bloom which may result in the lack of oxygen.
The increase of ozone in the troposphere induces plants protect themselves by closing their stomata to reduce the amount of ozone getting inside their leaves causes the less-absorption of water from the soil. When the soil has more water, the water will seep less and become water runoff into wetlands and mangrove forests.
Increase in carbon dioxide – Carbon dioxide in water bodies is increasing by leaching nutrients from onshore into water bodies. And the respiration of bacteria causes manufacturers like plants and algae to use more carbon dioxide for growth. Organisms vie for more breaths due to reduced oxygen. Aquatic organisms, including plants and small algae, have died, causing wetlands and deteriorating mangrove forests.
(2) Non–climate driving forces affecting the natural resources system are as follows:
Temperature changes – resulting in temperature changes and extreme weather conditions, such as extreme hot weather, frost, and drought, leading to increased risk of forest fires and water shortages within the ecosystem.
- Sea acidification affects the acidity of the sea water and the organisms that create carbonate shells such as corals and shellfish in the sea etc.
Sea level rise , accelerating coastal erosion, storm breaking, and flooding of marine and coastal ecosystems.
- Changes in rain patterns and extreme conditions causing drought, storms, coastal floods, seasonal changes, waterlogging and runoff.
3) The impact of climate change on natural resource management in Thailand
Natural resource management in Thailand
According to the 2018 Environmental Quality Situation Report prepared by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, natural resources have potential for betterment and also concern as follows:
Natural resources with potential
Forest and wildlife resources have found a reduced number of forest fires and the establishment of community forests continues to increase
- Marine and coastal resources, found that fishery resources become more abundant
Natural resources of concern
- Marine and coastal resources – Coastal erosion increases and the number of rare animals is stranded.
Biodiversity – Invasive alien species and alien species tend to be more intrusive.
Specific information on biological diversity, forests, wetlands and mangrove forests of Thailand
Biodiversity – Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning reports the number of species of biodiversity of living organisms in 2017. There are 2,276 threatened vertebrates, 8 species are extinct, and 569 species are threatened, 185 vulnerable species and 102 endangered species due to threats, habitat degradation, alien species, development beyond the carrying capacity of the area, invasive alien species and alien species with a tendency to invade.
- Corporate Communication, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. (2018) Annual Report 2018
- Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (2015) Wetland Management Efficiency Enhancement Project in Thailand
Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (2018) Environmental Quality Situation Report 2018
Forest Land Management Bureau, Department of Forestry. (2017). Executive Summary, Forest area data preparation project 2016 – 2017..
- Forest Land Management Bureau, Department of Forestry. (2018). Executive Summary, Forest area data preparation project 2017 – 2018.
- Forest Land Management Bureau, Department of Forestry. (2019). Executive Summary, Forest area data preparation project 2018 – 2019.
Forest areas of Thailand in the year 1973 accounted for 43.21% of the total area of the country. In 1998, the forest area was the lowest, with only 25.28%. After 2013, the forest area has stabilized and gradually expanded to 31.68% of the total area of Thailand. The forest in the north has the highest proportion, followed by the central, southern, and eastern regions, respectively. The northeast region has the least forestry proportion of only 15% of the total area (Source: Forest Land Management Office, Department of Forestry). Additional driving factors are poaching and trafficking of forest products, tourism growth, relatively stable forest areas, decreased forest encroachment and wildlife trafficking cases, reduced forest fires, and continuous community forest establishment including increased wildlife reintroduction.
In the year 1999, Thailand had non-rice wetlands accounting for 7.5% of the country. There are 61 internationally important groups of national importance, 48 of national importance wetlands and 19,295 of local importance of wetlands, of which 14 have been registered as Ramsar sites. In addition, there are 28 wetland areas that should be protected and rehabilitated (ONEP, 2015). The factors that cause wetland deterioration include intrusion, digging drains, water from peat swamping, burning of land, changing agricultural areas (which is an important factor in causing swamp fires), groundwater use and excess groundwater beyond the capacity of wetlands causes land subsidence.
In 2018, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources was able to revive the mangrove forest area of 8,813 Rai by planting mangrove forests for use, flood mitigation, including social responsibility activities. A portion of the mangrove forest has been dealt with problems of arable land and housing (Source: Annual Report 2018, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources).
Potential Impact of Climate Change on Natural Resources in Thailand
Changes in temperature and patterns of rain
Changes in temperature and patterns of rain
Causing danger from temperature changes and extreme temperature conditions, drought changing seasons, increasing the intensity of monsoons and tropical cyclones, and flooding from heavy rain, changes in acidity-base, causing changes in the form of stream, groundwater levels, and soil and nutrient conditions, including forest fires, invasive species multiplication, disease outbreaks, an environment in which animals and plants cannot tolerate from habitat changes, migration, growth, reproduction, and degraded health
Sea level Rise
Causing harm from coastal erosion, coastal storms and coastal flooding, changes in acidity-base, resulting in changes in soil and nutrients, changes in groundwater levels, and environments that animals and plants cannot tolerate.
|Changes in temperature and patterns of rain||Causing danger from temperature changes and extreme temperature conditions, drought changing seasons, increasing the intensity of monsoons and tropical cyclones, and flooding from heavy rain, changes in acidity-base, causing changes in the form of stream, groundwater levels, and soil and nutrient conditions, including forest fires, invasive species multiplication, disease outbreaks, an environment in which animals and plants cannot tolerate from habitat changes, migration, growth, reproduction, and degraded health|
|Sea level Rise||Causing harm from coastal erosion, coastal storms and coastal flooding, changes in acidity-base, resulting in changes in soil and nutrients, changes in groundwater levels, and environments that animals and plants cannot tolerate.|
ก่อให้เกิดภัยจากการเปลี่ยนแปลงอุณหภูมิและสภาวะสุดขีดของอุณหภูมิ ฤดูกาลเปลี่ยนภาวะแห้งแล้ง เพิ่มความรุนแรงของมรสุมและพายุหมุนเขตร้อน และน้ำท่วมจากฝนตกหนัก การเปลี่ยนแปลงความเป็นกรดเบส ทำให้เกิดการเปลี่ยนแปลงรูปแบบของน้ำท่า ระดับน้ำใต้ดิน และสภาพดินและธาตุอาหาร การเพิ่มจำนวนของสายพันธุ์รุกราน การระบาดของโรค สภาพแวดล้อมที่สัตว์และพืชไม่สามารถทนได้ จากเปลี่ยนแปลงถิ่นที่อยู่ การอพยพ การเจริญเติบโต การสืบพันธุ์ และสุขภาพที่เสื่อมโทรม
Sea level rise
Causing danger from coastal erosion, coastal storms, and coastal flooding causing changes in groundwater levels and environments that plants and animals cannot tolerate, groundwater changes, soil and nutrient changes.
4. Review vulnerability data and adaptation of natural resource management.
From the review of Thailand’s second assessment report on climate change (2016), it is found that forest ecosystems, wetlands, freshwater ecosystems, mangroves, and coastal ecosystems in Thailand are exposed to changes in air and water temperature, changes in rain distribution patterns and changes in sea level. The adaptation approach is not a direct management of climate factors or forces but can lead to the systematic management of natural resources to adapt to climate change that is currently being faced. However, natural resources can be partially adapted naturally. And humans can help reduce restrictions that nature cannot make, which will support the adaptation of areas and biodiversity (Climate change 2014: Adaptation, and vulnerability, 2014). However, the agency has presented the concept of vulnerability assessment and ways to adjust natural resources from the effects of climate change by giving a brief example as follows:
4.1 Example of vulnerability assessment
Thailand’s second assessment report on climate change: Knowledge on Risk and Climate Change Adaptation has compiled an analysis of exposure and sensitivity and vulnerability as in Table 5-26.
|Exposure||Sensitivity and risk|
|Changes in air and water temperature and distribution of rain|
Forest simulation under future climate conditions like ECHAM4; A2 from 2030 – 2089 found that:
|Exposure||Sensitivity and risk|
|Changes in air and water temperature and distribution of rain|
These are affected by the high level of climate change. The percentage of wetlands affected at medium and low levels are 7% and 12% respectively (Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, 2010).
|Exposure||Sensitivity and risk|
|Rising sea levels|
- Settele, J., R. Scholes, R. Betts, S. Bunn, P. Leadley, D. Nepstad, J.T. Overpeck, and M.A. Taboada, 2014: Terrestrial and inland water systems. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field, C.B., V.R. Barros, D.J. Dokken, K.J. Mach, M.D. Mastrandrea, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y .O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P .R. Mastrandrea, and L.L. White (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 271-359.
- ศุภกร ชินวรรโณ, 2559: แนวคิดในการศึกษาเรื่องการปรับตัวต่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงสภาพภูมิอากาศและการศึกษาด้านการปรับตัวต่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงภูมิอากาศของประเทศไทย. ใน: รายงานการสังเคราะห์และประมวลสถานภาพองค์ความรู้ด้านการเปลี่ยนแปลงสภาพภูมิอากาศของประเทศไทย ครั้งที่ 2: องค์ความรู้ด้านความเสี่ยงและการปรับตัวต่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงสภาพภูมิอากาศ. คณะทำงานกลุ่มที่ 2 สำนักงานกองทุนสนับสนุนการวิจัย [อำนาจ ชิดไธสง, ปริเวท วรรณโกวิท, มัทนพรรณ จิ๋วเจียม, อัศมน ลิ่มสกุล, ศุภกร ชินวรรโณ และชโลธร แก่นสันติสุขมงคล (บรรณาธิการ)]
4.2 Guidelines and options for adaptation in natural resource management
Most of the studies on adaptation of natural resource management are aimed at defining vulnerable and risk areas for climate change at the local level. By taking into account biodiversity, economic and social factors, including the perception, understanding and awareness of the people in the area we can form a guideline and measure for adaptation of forests, wetlands, and mangrove forests. By summarizing from Thailand’s second assessment report on climate change, details are as follows:
|Ecosystem||Climate change adaptation guidelines|
In addition to adaptation to climate change management of the natural resources mentioned above, humans can also help organisms, ecosystems and socio-ecological systems survive and act under climate change. At the appropriate level, according to the adaptation guidelines presented by the IPCC in the Climate change 2014: Adaptation and vulnerability 2014 report, the summary is as follows:
|Adaptation guidelines||Adaptation guidelines|
|Ecosystem-based Adaptation; EbA||Able to increase capacity to cope and adapt to climate change by managing ecological resources. This principle is adapted through ecosystem services and green infrastructure, taking into account the systematic, holistic relationship of the existence of a balanced ecosystem. For example, EbA, such as wetland use to reduce the impact of natural disasters, increasing groundwater and rainwater retention etc.|
|Reducing pressure from driving factors that are not directly caused by climate change||In particular, establishing conservation, utilization and rehabilitation measures will reduce and mitigate the effects of other driving factors, allowing the ecosystem to survive, adapt, and be flexible with climate change.|
|Conservation area designation||Remodelling and increasing conservation areas can preserve organisms that are divided into fragments from climate change. It can also help preserve biodiversity outside of current conservation areas. In this regard, the determination of the coordinates and sizes of the new conservation areas must take into account the conditions under future climate change.|
|Land and Basin Management||Environmental management, such as water, temperature, and land use patterns of the area, can reduce the effects of climate change. Examples of land and watershed management include controlling the amount of water released from reservoirs, conservation and restoration of lowland floodplain forests in a small water areas.|
|Evacuation aid||Can help animals that live in the habitat separated into parts due to the use of human space by creating a link between the parts and reducing mortality during migration by supporting and preventing the migration of invasive species. For non-migratory species, conservation should be maintained to a constant and healthy amount.|
|Conservation outside the area||Can help preserve the genetics of plants and animals outside of their natural habitat that are affected by climate change or deterioration by taking care in zoos, breeding stations, seed and genetic banks. Conservation outside the area requires knowledge of the organism and funding.|