Impacts and Adaptation on Climate Change

4.1

Assessment of Climate Change Impact

Definition, Impact assessment framework, Adaptation system, Principles of impact analysis, and the Vulnerability of climate change

4.2

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

4.1

Assessment of Climate Change Impact

Definitions and conceptual framework for assessing the impacts of climate change

Climate change can affect human lives and livelihoods in various forms, such as rising temperatures, the amount and distribution patterns of precipitation, seasonal changes, or extreme weather conditions. Society and communities need to adapt to reflect current and future changes in order to reduce adverse impacts and risks of climate change. The process of adaptation to climate change consists of important steps (see figure 5-23):
  1.  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.
  2. 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.
In general, the process of climate change adaptation must take into account the integration of information, knowledge in science and social sciences, combined with the participation of all stakeholder.
Figure 5-23 Climate change adaptation process

Principles of analyzing the impact and vulnerability of climate change can be divided into 2 major characteristics (Figure 5-24) as follows:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Figure 5-24 Framework for analysis of impacts and vulnerability from Climate Change

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
รูปที่ 3 Components or functions that define the system's vulnerability level
Assessing the impact of climate change is based on risk and vulnerability management guidelines, which are often used as a basis for impact assessment (Figure 5-26). Here, risk is the total impact of the system caused by exposure , which is a dangerous factor or a disaster from climate, and sensitivity is the damage of the system caused by exposure to danger. That is, “If the level of exposure and sensitivity are at a high level, it will result in a high level of risk from the effects of climate change. The risk assessment does not include human systems that are intermediaries in promoting or mitigating the consequences of such hazards.
Figure 5-26 Risk element
As for the assessment of vulnerability to the impact of climate change, vulnerability is more or less dependent on the risk of not having the capacity to adapt, which is the condition in the system before being exposed to hazard (Figure 5-27), including human and social systems such as the economy, poverty, inequality, health and opportunities to access resources. This can be said that “Although the risk is high, if the adaptive capacity is high, it makes the vulnerability to the impact of climate change low.”
Figure 5-27 The risk element associated with vulnerability
Therefore, the concept of risk management is the source of the guidelines. “Reducing the vulnerability of systems or sectors by reducing or avoiding exposure to climate risks, reducing climate sensitivity and increasing the capacity of systems or sectors to cope with risk” therefore, is an important basis for formulating guidelines and measures in the national climate change adaptation plan in various sectors of Thailand.
4.2

Impact of climate change in Thailand by sector

4.2.1

Water management

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

4.2.2

Climate change within the context of water management

Introduction

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;

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Reference

  • 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
Figure 5-52 Climate driving forces on the water systems

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.

Table 5-19 Effects of climate change on water cycles and changes occurred
วัฏจักรน้ำการเปลี่ยนแปลงที่เกิดขั้น

Evaporation and Precipitation

(precipitation)

  • Changes in the amount of water evaporation is greater than the amount of rain that falls in Central North America, Central America, North of South America, Southern coast of Chile, Southern Africa, Western Europe, Mediterranean and Southern Asia which results in decreased amount of water and groundwater.
  • Changes in rainfall that is greater than evaporation in the eastern areas of North America, Northwest of South America, Central Africa, India and East Asia, resulting in increased water and groundwater levels.
Underground water
  • Changing surface water will have a significant impact on the infiltration of unconfined aquifers in underground water.
  • The increasing of water demand from more populations and the reduction of surface water results in lower groundwater levels, especially in areas with little rainfall.
Surface water
  • There is a high change in surface water runoff , especially in the river located in high latitudes region.
  • The increase in the amount of rainfall during the specified period will cause problems.
  • More floods and water shortages from longer duration of drought. A decrease in cases where the average rainfall does not change much.
Water in coastal areas
  • The increase in flooding problems in areas near the coastal areas causing salinity in the estuaries and groundwater levels.
  • Changes in time and quantity of fresh water that affects the salt intrusion, sediment, and nutrient content.
  • Changes in water quality caused by rising sea levels and drainage.
  • Impact on the ecosystem, animals, plants, and people in impacted areas.
Water quality
  • Higher temperatures result in worsening water quality.
  • Flooding and drought problems have worsened water quality from contaminated sediment, dissolved nutrients, chemicals and salts.
  • The increase in sea level leads to the expansion of salinity intrusion in the estuary and groundwater level.
Demand-supply of water
  • Climate change will make water management more difficult, especially for water supply and demand and water governance.

Drought and flooding

Drought or long-term water shortage in one area, causing drought and affecting communities due to natural causes such as global temperature changes, climate change, changes in sea level, natural disasters such as windstorms, earthquakes, etc. and the causes of human activities such as ozone depletion , industrial development, logging, deforestation, etc. Floods or hazards caused by floods or sudden floods are caused by heavy rain or long continuous rain due to natural causes such as low pressure patches, tropical cyclones such as depression, tropical storms, typhoon, monsoon troughs or low pressure troughs, Southwest monsoons, Northeast monsoons and the causes of human activities such as deforestation, dam erosion, building on the waterways etc. Climate change affects droughts and floods in an interconnected form (as shown in picture 2). Increasing temperatures causes atmospheric heat and increased evaporation rates, which causes drought. Higher temperatures also influence changes in rain patterns or precipitation and increase the frequency and intensity of storms / precipitation, which increases the amount of water that causes flooding. This is shown in figure 5-53:
Figure 5-53 The hydrological effects by climate change
4.2.3

Impact of climate change on water management in Thailand

The water situation in Thailand

Information from the Water Resources Policy and Management Committee (2015) found that the surface water runoff was from rain, minus infiltration and evaporation, with a total volume of 285,227 million cubic meters throughout the country and the average amount of natural water in the region is 3,496 million cubic meters. Considering the water demand in Thailand, according to the 2014 data, the total water demand in the country is approximately 151,750 million cubic meters and the demand for water in each sector is as follows:

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.
Thailand uses groundwater in many areas, such as industrial and agricultural consumption, especially village water supply systems and drinking water industries. Current weather fluctuations and future climate change can affect the quantity and quality of groundwater both directly and indirectly. 1) In the case of direct occurrences, changes in the amount and distribution of rainfall, the amount of rainfall in some areas that has decreased, causes the amount of groundwater recharge to decrease, resulting in providing the amount of groundwater storage in the aquifers decreasing and also causing groundwater levels to decrease. It affects ecosystems that rely on water coming into the groundwater system, such as river that receives water from groundwater in the dry season and wetlands or various water sources in nature such as stream, waterfall, swamp, marsh etc. 2) In the case of indirect occurrences, such as reduced rainfall and elevated temperatures, the surface water source is reduced. When the demand for water in general is increasing, people subsequently use groundwater more, causing a decrease in groundwater levels and affecting groundwater quality, especially in areas that connect to the coast where saltwater infiltrates into the groundwater. In the north-eastern region, in areas with excessive groundwater use, it is possible to infiltrate deep saline groundwater into the shallow freshwater zone. Because the area in the Northeast region is supported by rock salt, the groundwater in this area is unique, with different levels of salinity and is also related to the spread of saline soil in the Northeast region. There are reports showing trends in climate change, both rainfall and temperature increases (Chinvanno et al., 2009) that affect the hydrological system, therefore affecting the amount of groundwater addition, groundwater balance and groundwater potential, salinity distribution in groundwater and changes in saltwater areas in the northeast region in the future (Saraphirom, 2013b).
4.2.4

Examples of vulnerability assessment and adaptation guidelines on water management

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recommends that each country considers the use of Integrated Water Resource Management as a Vulnerability and Adaptation Framework to deal with the effects of future changes. However, there are no clear guidelines and procedures regarding how integrated water management should be done but durable and sustainable development plans have been proposed for future changes by applying the integrated water resource management (IWRM) (Groves et al., 2008; WaterRF, 2013; UNFCCC, 2014) which consists of the following steps (Figure 5-54):

The process of planning for integrated water resource management

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Risk management under vulnerability – the result is a durable and sustainable development plan.
  5. 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.
Figure 5-54: Sustainable water development planning (Thailand's Second Assessment Report on Climate Change 2016)

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

The studied has analysed risk areas on issues related to water resources management, classified according to climate change predictions under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios. The results show that the average annual rainfall is likely to increase, with the number of days that rain during the rainy season remain the same, but the amount of rain each time is increased and the period has narrow dispersion, making it prone to wide-area risk of drought than areas that are at risk of flooding. And studies also indicate that future climate change is likely to cause changes in rainfall and there will be more fluctuations in the watery years and the lesser water years in the future. When taking the risky areas arising from climate change to analyse issues related to water resources management, it is found that the direct impact is the chance of flooding and drought. The above data has been used to create flood and drought risk areas as follows:

Risk and sensitive areas from flooding

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
  • 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.
รูปที่ 9 Flood risk areas in 25 major watersheds of Thailand (Source: National Climate Change Adaptation Plan )

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
รูปที่ 10 Drought risk areas in 25 major watersheds of Thailand (Source: National Climate Change Adaptation Plan)
The final report, Thailand’s second assessment report on climate change, provides information on assessing sensitivity and the ability to cope with climate change. Details are given in Table 5-20:
Table 5-20 Vulnerability Assessment Data from final report of a study on formulation of Thailand’s climate change adaptation plan project : Phase 2
ExposureSensitivityCoping ability
  • Flooded areas
  • Drought areas
  • Planting area
  • Community area
  • Urban area
  • Industrial area
  • Average income
  • Amount of money supported for flood / drought management
  • Number of drought / flooded projects

2) Climate Vulnerability Assessment an Annex to the USAID Climate-Resilient Development Framework

Table 5-21 Example of adaptation from the impact of climate change (Source: USAID 2010)
Alternatives Details
Adaptation options for exposure and sensitivity
Policy to reduce exposure
  • Land use zoning, enforcing zoning, relocation policies
Apply good examples in each region to other areas.
  • Choosing plants that are more resistant to changes and more diverse
  • Collecting and supporting rainwater
  • Use of flooded areas to store water
  • Water and energy management
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)

  1. Development of database systems, knowledge, technology, policies, management tools, and laws that are comprehensive and appropriate in both normal and critical conditions.
  2. Development and improvement of key water resource management organizations (network, institutional arrangement, overall management).
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
4.2.2

Agriculture and Food Security

Conceptual framework of agriculture and food security

For centuries, agriculture has been a way of life for humans and includes the cultivation of various plants, raising animals and fishery. It involves the control of production of plants and animals to meet the needs of humans and is the economics driven sector, being the main source of income for developing countries. Agricultural products, aside from being used as food for human and animal livelihoods, are also the raw materials for many industries such as cotton, sugar, rubber etc. Food security can be viewed through four dimensions: 1) Availability of the amount of food that may be obtained from domestic production, imports or food aid; 2) Access to sufficient resources (acquiring an appropriate and nutritious food); 3) Utilization of food (having sufficient food, clean water, maintaining health and sanitation in order to access nutritional well-being), and; 4) Stability of food, whereby people, households and individuals have access to sufficient food at all times. Therefore, agriculture or agricultural products are linked to food security in terms of sufficient quantity and quality to meet demand. Nowadays, every country is facing climate change and it is also a challenge for agriculture to deal with and adapt to these impacts that inevitably affect global food security. (Figure 5-57)
Figure 5-57 Linkage between agriculture and food security

Source: https://www.publichealthnotes.com/food-security-determinants-and-urbanization/

The impact of climate change on agriculture and food security

Agricultural ecosystems are an integral part of biosphere in a global climate system that has a complex relationship between the atmosphere and on land surface. Changes in the agricultural system toward the food security and adaptation to relevant situations in the future consist of two driving forces which are (1) The climate driving force such as changes in temperature, rainfall and sea level rise in many areas that are likely to affect agricultural product factors – both plants and animals. Changes in soil properties and water resources, which are factors of production. This climate-related driving force also affects other factors, such as food transportation, harvesting processes and storage of agricultural products that will affect food security etc. (2) Non-climate-driven factors such as soil fertility, irrigation systems, fertilizers, increasing population, economic and social situations, etc., which will also affect agricultural productivity and food security as well (Figure 5-58).
Figure 5-58 Climate driving force towards agriculture and food security
This section describes the climate driving factors affecting agriculture and the complexities associated with climate change in many dimensions of agriculture (Figure 5-59) obtained from the review of Thailand’s first assessment report on climate change, Thailand’s second assessment report on climate change and the Agriculture Strategic Plan on Climate Change, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (2017-2021) as follows:

Temperature

Temperature is a direct factor in global warming and affects agriculture and food security. The increase in temperature affects the physiology of plants and animals. For example, some rice species have shorter lifespan and their productivities decrease as the temperature increases. Changes in the amount of fiber in fodder enables animals to digest less fiber and absorb less nutrients or higher temperatures that affect livestock and cause heat stress, including more epidemics, etc.

Rainfall

Changes in rain intensity and rainfall contribution are important factors affecting agriculture, especially during the growing season, which, if shifting during the seasons, will affect crop yields and livestock productivity, which may vary depending on how resilience to the climate changes. Changing rainfall may cause salinity in the estuaries and coastal areas, which are mostly important aquaculture areas. In addition, rainfall has a relationship with water management in irrigation systems, which is extremely important to agriculture and food security.

Rising sea levels

Changes in rain intensity and rainfall contribution are important factors affecting agriculture, especially during the growing season, which, if shifting during the seasons, will affect crop yields and livestock productivity, which may vary depending on how resilience to the climate changes. Changing rainfall may cause salinity in the estuaries and coastal areas, which are mostly important aquaculture areas. In addition, rainfall has a relationship with water management in irrigation systems, which is extremely important to agriculture and food security.

Ocean acidification

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed by ocean, resulting in decreased ocean pH and increasing the acidity of seawater. This condition will cause the limestone (calcium carbonate) structure of animals and marine plants to be eroded. Changes in seawater chemistry affect the formation of shells in marine organisms such as mollusks, corals, sea urchins, as well as economically valuable animals such as mussels, oysters, crabs, and lobster, etc. If they are not able to adapt, this may cause changes in the food chain which will affect productivity and biodiversity and may be linked to the economic volatility and unstable food security for humans.

Quantity and quality of water and water resources

Climate variability, including intermittent rainfall and unseasonal precipitation, as well as higher temperatures cause animals to demand more fresh water than before and may result in insufficient water for animals farming in the dry season. On the contrary, too much rainfall may cause flooding which affects animals, animal farm and food sources. In addition, aquaculture, both fresh and saltwater, requires both quantity and quality of water suitable for culture.

Extreme weather events

Climate variability in seasons and periods longer than one year are factors that cause extreme weather events, which are characterized by severe events but with a frequency of not very often occurring such as heat wave, drought, flooding, tropical storm etc. Extreme weather conditions will cause widespread damage to agriculture, livestock, fisheries and other resources, including people’s lives and property.
Figure 5-59 The multi-dimensional linkage between climate change and agriculture

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

The Global Climate Risk Index 2019 – 2017 in the Global Climate Risk Index 2019 report states that Thailand ranks 10th in 2017 (up from the 20th in the year 2016) and it is expected that global warming will reduce the productivity of the Thai agricultural sector by at least 25%. According to the Bank of Thailand data which prepared the Monetary Policy Report (June 2019), it is explained that weather situation analysis is an important part of assessing the situation of the Thai agricultural sector, consisting of (1) Current weather analysis with the Oceanic Niño Index. : ONI is a measure of the chance of the El Niño and La Niña phenomenon, and (2) regional climate indicators in Thailand include the amount of water in dams and cumulative rainfall, as well as the proportion of irrigation areas to all areas, which mainly covers the central region (43%) and the northern region (27%) while in the northeastern and southern regions, the proportion of irrigation areas is only 11% and 16% respectively (Figure 5-60 and 5-61). (Figure 5-60) Figure 5-60 Map of Irrigation areas and major river basins of Thailand
Reference:
  • 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)
รูปที่ 14 Map of Irrigation areas and major river basins of Thailand
Reference: Irrigation information (2018)
รูปที่ 15 Proportion of irrigated areas by region
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.

รูปที่ 16 Flood affected areas (left) and drought (right) in Thailand
Reference: Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and Buddhaboon (2014)
รูปที่ 17 Satellite images of rice planting area 2016/17, round 1
Reference: Geo-Informatic and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organization) and Rice Department (2016)
รูปที่ 18 Sugar cane plantation area in Thailand, production year 2017/18
Reference: Office of the Cane and Sugar Board, Ministry of Industry (2018)

ตัวอย่างการศึกษาวิจัยถึงผลกระทบต่อภาคเกษตรกรรมที่มีผลมาจากการเปลี่ยนแปลงภูมิอากาศ

การเปลี่ยนแปลงสภาพภูมิอากาศมีแนวโน้มที่จะส่งผลกระทบต่อภาคเกษตรของประเทศไทย ภัยพิบัติที่คาดการณ์ว่าจะเป็นภัยต่อการเกษตร ได้แก่ ภัยแล้ง น้ำท่วม โรคและแมลงศัตรูพืชระบาด รวมถึงความแปรปรวนของฤดูกาลทำให้ผลผลิตทางการเกษตรลดลง รวมถึงพันธุ์พืชและสัตว์ที่มีอยู่ไม่สามารถปรับตัวต่อสภาวะอากาศที่เปลี่ยนไป

Field crops

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.

Garden plant

Sayan Sdoodee and Atsamon Limsakul (2011) studied the effects of climate change on rubber in the southern region. The results of the study can be summarized as follows: (1) Floods have a significant impact on the physiology, growth and production of rubber. Flooding in the 7 southern provinces has increased in frequency and intensity during 2007-2011, especially the early 2011 floods affecting a wide area both along the Andaman coast and the Gulf of Thailand; (2) The increase in rainfall during the summer season has a complex effect on the physiology and production of rubber. The daily rain density index in the southern region has increased significantly at the rate of 0.034 mm./year in the past 4 decades. Rainfall in March, normally the dry season in the southern region, tends to increase significantly with confidence levels of more than 99% at a rate of 3.2 mm/year between 1970 and 2011. The amount of rain in March of 2014, which was during the summer storm increased by about 730 times when compared to the average of the years 1970 to 2011 or the amount of rainfall in a 1000-year return period; (3) Rain in the summer causes defoliation of natural rubber. Due to foliar diseases such as powdery mildew disease on young leaves that have been cracked after shedding, rubber leaves end up falling again, affecting annual development of rubber and also losing seeds in propagation which affects the rubber seedling manufacturers and causes the Rubber Tapping Day to be postponed, resulting in less tapping days. In addition, high humidity leads to an outbreak of severe soil diseases such as white root disease, which will destroy the root system and cause leaves to fall, which may cause the rubber tree to die, and; (4) higher temperatures affect the photosynthesis of rubber. When the temperature is higher than 38°C, the efficiency of photosynthesis will decrease which will affect the production of latex by causing the yield to decrease. Data analysis results show that the number of days of the highest temperature in the southern region is higher than or equal to 38°C, with days increasing continuously. Jariwan Chankong, et al.(2019) studied the impact of climate change on palm oil production in southern Thailand, analyzed the effects through the Fixed Effect model, and used Feasible generalized least squares (FGLS) as a method of estimation. The study found that palm oil production is still sensitive to climate change, especially with the higher average temperature which will negatively affect palm oil production. From the results of the analysis of the average temperature variables and the mean temperature, variations have a significant effect on the palm oil production, while the factor of oil palm harvest area, average rainfall, the variance of rainfall, and the development of agricultural technology have a significant positive effect on palm oil production. Sayan Sdoodee, et al.(2010) studied the effect of climate on off-season mangosteen production in Phatthalung province by using rainfall, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, and number of rainy days in 2008 and 2009 compared with the year 2010, it was found that the factors affecting the life cycle and the flowering and the quality of mangosteen each year are different. Mangosteen can bloom both in season and off season, but in 2010, mangosteen does not produce off season because of high rainfall, high soil water and not a long enough dry period from July to August, causing mangosteen to have no dormancy for flowering and young leaves to emerge during the said phase instead of flower buds.

Livestock

Chanin Tirawattanawanich (2005) studied the influence of genetic and tropical climate factors on stress and function of unspecified immune, cell-mediated and immune system function of native chickens, native hybrids and broilers found that when the temperature rises, especially during the hot season, these chickens cause stress, which affects the immune system, resulting in weakened animals, prone to infection including causing the growth rate and food efficiency to be reduced as well. In addition, broilers are the most affected group, followed by native breeders and native hybrids chickens. This is consistent with the study of Warapol Aengwanich (2003) which compares the ability to withstand high environmental temperatures by observing physiological changes, histopathological values and production efficiency, it was found that native chickens were able to withstand higher environmental temperatures better than hybrids and broilers. Siriwat Suadsong and Junpen Suwimonteerabutr (2005) studied the effects of heat stress, humidity on reproductive performance and lactation of cows raised in tropical areas by studying the dairy cows that gave birth from the postpartum period to the 22nd week after calving. They collected data on each set born during different seasons (April 2004-May 2005) in an open house (Temperature 25-34 degrees Celsius) as a control group and cows that give birth in a closed system house (Temperature about 24-29 degrees Celsius) as an experimental group and found that the intake of both groups of cattle increased in the weeks after birth. However, the cows in the experimental group consumed more food (dry matter) than the control cows significantly (P <0.05). From the study, during the 12 weeks after giving birth, it was found that dairy cows in the experimental group were able to produce more milk than the control group (P <0.001). The cows in the open house had an embryo loss rate before 18 days after mixing up to 76.5% and the experimental group cows fed in the closed house had the embryo loss rate of 56.2%, causing the mother dairy cattle in the experimental group to have a higher rate of attachment during the period 22-24, after the mixture than the control group.

Fishery

Patcharawalai Sriyasak et. al. (2014) conducted a study of weather and seasonal effects on water quality in aquaculture ponds. It can be concluded that the different weather conditions in each season can affect the water quality in the pond. Changes in weather conditions, including temperature, solar radiation intensity and the amount of rainfall affecting some variables of water quality such as temperature and light that illuminates the pond affects the biochemical processes that continuously affect other water quality variables in the aquaculture pond and affect the growth, survival and disease rates of aquatic animals.

Water quality

Kannika Thampanishvong, et al.(2015) simulated the future situation of Songkhla Lake and found that the future temperature in the area of Songkhla province tends to increase and the period of hot weather in the year is prolonged and may cause salinity intrusion up to the top of Songkhla Lake to be more severe and more frequent. The results from the analysis of the salt water distribution model in Songkhla Lake show that the water in the upper lake, which is the cost of Ranot-Krasae Sin water distribution and maintenance project, will have higher salinity values especially during the hot season and the chance of the salinity exceeds the threshold that can be used for agriculture (at 1.5 ppm) will also increase. Therefore, agricultural systems that rely on water resources from irrigation systems are also at risk not less than agricultural systems that rely on rainwater and are in the process of having to think about adaptation to future climate change situations as well.

Examples of vulnerability assessment and adaptation guidelines on agriculture and food security

There are still not many studies on assessments of vulnerability related to agriculture and food security. Most such assessments often analyse exposure, sensitivity and the adaptive capacity to the effects of climate change which can be evaluated by selecting various factors, including those related to climate change and non-climate factors to analyse according to the specified objectives. This section discusses the evaluation reports that appear in the TARC1, TARC2, and research related to assessing exposure, sensitivity, adaptability and guidelines or alternatives to adaptation in agriculture and food security, with a brief example as follows:

(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.

Table 5-22 Summary of the exposure, sensitivity and the measures that have been implemented and suggested among the 5 main economic crops. Source: TARC1
Plant Exposure Sensitivity Measure
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

Rice:

Most planting areas are located in the central and north-eastern regions, mainly based on rainwater. Future temperature increases may not have much effect on growth and production, but there are concerns about the salinity area in the northeast region which is at risk of losing rice production. Annual rainfall may increase in the northeast but will decrease in the central region and may affect some rice production. But the important factor is the beginning of the rainy season, when climate fluctuations can cause rain to delay and prevent farmers from preparing plots and seedlings. Climate fluctuations can increase the number and frequency of storms, resulting in floods.

Off-season rice:

Most of the cultivated areas are located in irrigation areas in the central region. It is a production system that is exposed to the increase in air temperature, especially during the end of the rainy season. The production system is sensitive to the control and drainage of the public sector, which includes irrigation in the dry season and flood management in the rainy season. From a research review using the Climate Change Risk Assessment Model for both rice and off-season rice cultivation, it is found that rice production in Thailand tends to decrease from the base year level but not much.

Cassava:

This is a plant often grown in upland areas which is the main productive source in the country. Cassava is exposed to increased rainfall, which makes cassava roots more prone to rotting and resulting in reduced productivity. In addition, future temperature and humidity in the air and soil may cause changes in cassava pests, such as mealybugs, whitefly, red mites, termites and cockchafer, with no direct studies having been conducted.

Sugarcane

This is a plant that grows during droughts and is exposed to longer periods of drought than before. Sugarcane will face problems with a lack of water and cause yield and density to be reduced, affecting sugarcane production accordingly. During the rainy season, which is expected to have higher rainfall, sugarcane will be exposed to flooding, causing it to halt growth and development.

Maize

This is a plant that relies heavily on rainwater and is exposed to the uncertainty of the beginning of the rainy season, causing the beginning of the growing season to be uncertain. The fluctuations in rain during the production season may cause maize to be at risk of insect outbreak and maize disease. However, it is expected that the future maize yield might not change much.

1.2 Example of assessing animal and fishery vulnerability

Considering the risk factors of livestock and fisheries, it was found that for: (1) Terrestrial animals, these risks consist of temperature, quantity and quality of water and water source under the higher temperature, which results in stress in animals. This Includes the lack of water resources, especially animal husbandry in open areas, which may result in injury, disease or death in animals. (2) For aquatic animals, these risks consist of temperature, salinity, sediment quantity, light intensity, acidity. For example, when the temperature rises, the tiger shrimp becomes infected easily or affects the survival rate of the larvae of baby crabs. Many shellfish will die at 37°C. Reduced salinity reduced the survival rate of marine baby and growth of shrimp, molluscs, crabs and squid. In addition, sediment levels also affect the survival of many coastal species, which, if the sediment concentration is high, may affect the photosynthesis of plants. The sensitivity of marine organisms to climate factors is shown in Table 5-23.
ตารางที่ 5-23 ความอ่อนไหวของสิ่งมีชีวิตทางทะเลต่อปัจจัยภูมิอากาศ ที่มา : TARC1
Living things temperature light salinity pH sediment
Phytoplankton and Zooplankton
Seaweed
Sea grass
Mangrove Tree
Coral
Shrimp
Crab
Shellfish
Squid
Sea cucumber
Fish
Sea turtle

(2) Guidelines and options for agricultural adaptation in Thailand

At present, Thailand’s agriculture has managed the risk and vulnerability to climate, especially the climate variability at the farm, basin or sub-basin levels, where irrigation is an important risk management tool in Thailand. However, agricultural systems outside of irrigation areas that rely on seasonal rainwater are also carrying out small irrigation activities in conjunction with seasonal rainfall, such as digging a small pond, creating a small reservoir of the community, or pulling water from natural water sources for agricultural activities in communities etc. The issue that should be considered is the current fluctuation in weather conditions, which has resulted in agricultural systems relying more on water resources for agriculture due to seasonal uncertainty and annual rainfall distribution. In addition, intensive agriculture by growing multiple crops every year and changing economic crops in many areas has caused the demand for water resources for agriculture to change both in terms of the amount of water demanded and time required for water consumption in a year, which is the factor that makes the agricultural system more reliant on water supply. Recent climate fluctuations show that irrigation systems, both large and small, may not be able to operate at their full capacity because the amount of water in the irrigation system is less than the storage capacity. This causes water allocation between sectors to be made more carefully and there may be limited agricultural areas because there is not enough water to support agricultural activities. In addition, the issue that must be considered is that in addition to changes in the amount of rain that will affect water, which is the main production resource of the agricultural sector, the change in temperature will increase and the duration of hot weather in the year is expected to be longer in the future and may result in irrigation systems relying less on natural water sources. Therefore, the IPCC AR4 and IPCC AR5 reports suggest adaptation in agriculture, which can be summarized in Table 5-24.
Table 5-24 Guidelines for Adaptation of Agricultural Sector Modified from TARC2
Guidelines Details
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
นอกจากนี้ แนวทางการปรับตัวต่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงภูมิอากาศในภาคการเกษตรนอกเหนือจากรายงาน IPCC ยังมีรายงานของ FAO (2007) ที่ได้เสนอแนวทางการปรับตัว ประกอบด้วย การปรับเปลี่ยนปฏิทินเพาะปลูก การปรับปรุงพันธุ์และการเลือกใช้พันธุ์ที่เหมาะสม การจัดการน้ำและการชลประทาน การจัดการแปลงเพาะปลูก โดยเฉพาะการใช้ปุ๋ย และวิธีการเตรียมแปลงเพาะปลูก นอกจากนี้ การรวบรวมข้อมูลจากเอกสารรายงานวิจัยต่าง ๆ สามารถสรุปแนวทางการปรับตัวด้านเกษตรและความมั่นคงทางอาหารดังนี้

2.1 Guidelines and options for adaptation of economic crops

Rice:

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.

Sugarcane:

The problem of sugarcane production occurs because the soil is not suitable – especially the physical properties that are directly related to water collection and drainage. In the same weather, two soil types with different physical properties had an effect on the yield of sugarcane notwithstanding sugarcane being a long-lasting plant. The distribution of rainwater is important to the production of sugarcane. The water demand of sugarcane is about 4-5 millimetres per day throughout the growing season. Increasing rainfall per day does not increase sugarcane but may result in waterlogging should there be poor drainage. However, the study, by using this agricultural product model is not able to simulate growth under flooding conditions. Therefore, the methods for improving sugarcane yield can be done in 2 ways: supplementing water during the first three months after planting and soil improvement to collect water and drain properly.

Cassava

The adaptation guidelines for planting cassava must be soil conditions and plowing the soil to grow to be deep enough to be able to drain water into the lower soil or add organic material to improve the soil’s ability to absorb more water, which will be useful for plant roots to grow and find moisture in the soil below. There are proposals to modify the planting calendar, such as the transplantation at the end of the rain because the physical properties of the soil will retain moisture well, resulting in the coefficient of growth of the roots to be related to increased soil depth which helps to increase productivity. Therefore, if cassava is planted at the end of the rainy season, the soil moisture will be enough to grow through the dry season until the age of about 6 months, which will create enough tubers and roots in the soil to use water or moisture in the soil efficiently. In addition, the area level study of Apinan Phatcharopaswatanagul (2010) that analyzed the effects and adaptation guidelines of cassava farmers on climate change: a case study of Nakhon Ratchasima Province found that The adaptation guidelines for farmers consist of modifying cassava varieties to be in line with the current climate by receiving distribution from the Department of Agricultural Extension in the area. Next, farmers will grow many crops such as sugarcane, rubber and corn to increase income and follow the news updates about the climate from community radio stations. However, there are suggestions that Agricultural extension agencies should provide training to educate farmers on climate change trends, cassava cultivation in appropriate seasons, as well as sufficient credit support for agriculture, which will lead to better adaptability.

Corn:

The problem of growing corn is caused by water stress during the flowering of pods. There is a negative relationship between the seed yield and the high degree of dehydration stress, which may need to be adjusted by changing the planting date. However, for corn cultivation, soil is a more common cause of problems than climate. Soil properties have an effect on reduced seed yield and total dry weight of corn. Therefore, corn cultivation may need to improve soil remediation processes with bio-agriculture together with the use of appropriate chemicals.

Rubber:

The main problem of rubber plantations is caused by floods and storms, especially in the southern region of the country. The adaptation guidelines of rubber planters are divided into (1) Flatland areas which use the method of raising rubber grooves, creating drainage areas, using rubber species that can withstand long waterlogging, using bio-fertilizer to nourish the soil, and moving labour out of the area to earn income. Also changing from rubber tree planting to palm oil because there is no complicated management and labour management problems easier than rubber. (2) The foothills area has to be adjusted by selecting the seeds (with glass roots) in rubber planting to attach to the soil and prevent landslides. The method of adaptation of rubber farmers is quite clear and can be applied at the local level (Sayan Sdoodee and Buncha Somboonsuke, 2013).

2.2 Guidelines and options for adaptation of livestock

Livestock:

Data from Thailand’s first assessment report on climate change and Thailand’s second assessment report on climate change specify the academic adaptation guidelines, consisting of (1) Breeding (2) Finding alternate food sources (3) Selecting local food plants (4) Changing farming methods to suit climate conditions (5) Improvement of greenhouses in accordance with the climate (6) Using organic substances to clean the house (7) Making bio-fertilizer (8) Data recording and creating a database and; (9) Integration of farmers and having a network with agencies/organizations involved, including seeking new knowledge. In addition, the proposed macro-adaptation methods, such as the creation of an independent livestock management knowledge organization, the creation of a social innovation fund as an adaptation tool that corresponds to the national context and the microstructure, including monitoring climate change and various factors in production and livestock, cooperation with international organizations, and the development of a system of risk assessment and so on.

2.3 Guidelines and options for adaptation of fisheries

Fisheries:

Fisheries: may be divided into 2 areas, namely freshwater fisheries and coastal fisheries. Considering the patterns or approaches to adaptation to climate change, it is found that they are consistent as follows: (1) Selecting local fishing tools that are suitable for the landscape, species of aquatic animals, and seasons (2) Prevention of water resources conservation and rehabilitation (3) Fishermen’s group integration to exchange knowledge (4) Transfer of wisdom from generation to generation (5) Local weather tracking (6) Increasing the value of resources available (7) Food reserves in the event of a disaster and; (8) Looking for income from other sources to compensate for the loss during climate change and finding supplementary careers.
4.2.3

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.

Reference:

  1. 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
  2. . Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (2018) Climate change adaptation plan.
  3. 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
  4. 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

  Forest

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).

Wetland

covers plain area, lowland, wetland, temporary and permanent water resources that are no more than 6 meters deep – both natural and man-made.

Mangrove forest

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.

Figure 5-65 The relationship between the biosphere and the elements of the global climate (Modified from Schematic of the coupling of terrestrial ecosystems and the hydrologic cycle via energy and water exchange and aerosol processing by Barth, M. et al. (2015) and a simple diagram of parts of the carbon cycle, emphasizing the terrestrial (land- based) parts of the cycle by UCAR (2007)

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) Nonclimate 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.

Reference:

  1. Corporate Communication, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. (2018) Annual Report 2018
  2. Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (2015) Wetland Management Efficiency Enhancement Project in Thailand
  3. Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (2018) Environmental Quality Situation Report 2018

  4. Forest Land Management Bureau, Department of Forestry. (2017). Executive Summary, Forest area data preparation project 2016 – 2017..

  5. Forest Land Management Bureau, Department of Forestry. (2018). Executive Summary, Forest area data preparation project 2017 – 2018.
  6. Forest Land Management Bureau, Department of Forestry. (2019). Executive Summary, Forest area data preparation project 2018 – 2019.
Figure 5-25 Number of species that are under threat status

Forest

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.

Figure 5-66 Comparison of forest areas during the year 2016 – 2018

Wetlands

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.

Mangrove Forest

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

Forest

Change

Potential Impact

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 causing groundwater changes, changes in soil and nutrients, forest fires, the increase in invasive species, disease outbreaks, an environment in which animals and plants are unable to withstand habitat change, migration, growth, propagation, and deteriorated health.

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.

Mangrove forest

ChangePotential Impact
Changes in temperature and patterns of rainCausing 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 RiseCausing 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.

Mangrove forest

Change

Potential Impact

การเปลี่ยนแปลงอุณหภูมิของอากาศและน้ำทะเล และการเปลี่ยนแปลงรูปแบบของฝน

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.

Table 526 Exposure to the sensitivity and risk of forest ecosystems, wetlands, and coastal ecosystems
ExposureSensitivity and risk
Forest ecosystem
Changes in air and water temperature and distribution of rain
  • Climate change is likely to have a negative effect on Thailand’s forest ecosystem. (Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University, 2008)
  • Climate change does not significantly affect the number of plant species, but there is a spatial change that the distribution of species will change and have a high turnover rate, especially that of non-deciduous plants.
  • Most area changes will occur in the northern and western regions (Trisurat et al, 2009).

Forest simulation under future climate conditions like ECHAM4; A2 from 2030 2089 found that:

  • Evergreen plants will lose an environment that is conducive to proper living. The areas suitable for hill evergreen forest, dry evergreen forest and mixed pine forest have a tendency to decrease markedly between 2030-2039 until only 1.34%, 0.001% and 14.8% respectively and decreasing continuously until 2089.
  • Deciduous plants will have an expanding distribution source. The areas suitable for mixed forest and deciduous dipterocarp forest between the years 2030 to 2039 and 2080 to 2089 are likely to increase continuously to 71.24%, 73.18%, 12.53% and 20.78% of the National forest area respectively.
  • Wildlife have a very high chance of being affected by climate change. More than half of the wildlife that live in the sanctuary are most likely to be affected. (Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, 2010). Higher temperatures cause reduced wildlife populations due to inappropriate breeding and habitat sizes, causing reptiles, birds, mammals, and amphibians in low-temperature evergreen forest areas to go extinct from the area due to loss of suitable habitat such as the water source having higher temperatures, birds having a lower incubation rate and higher temperatures affecting the sex of the embryos.
  • Based on the PRECISE model conducted by the Meteorological Department at the end of the 21st century (2091-2100), the average rainfall tends to decrease, resulting in more arid conditions affecting plant propagation on Doi Suthep-Pui, ecotone makes deciduous trees from Deciduous Dipterocarp forest more prone to attack in higher elevations. While the evergreen tree species of low-level hill evergreen forests are unable to propagate in the area of the old forest joints, they have to shorten the high level because the temperature is not suitable for the seedling (Forest Research Center, 2013).
  • The warmer weather will reduce the blossoming of Prunus cerasoudes which will reduce the income from ecotourism of the community. (Forest Research Center, 2013)
  • Climate change: a case study of the area around the Salaeng Luang National Park that covers Phitsanulok and Phetchabun provinces with PRECISE findings. These are that in the 21st century the weather will get warmer and the drought will be longer and not suitable for the formation of pine seedlings, resulting in reduced pine forest areas, also affecting tourism and affect water conditions and tadpoles, with limited migration capabilities of growing into adult males (Forest Research Center, 2013).
ExposureSensitivity and risk
Wetland
Changes in air and water temperature and distribution of rain
  • Causing frequent floods and droughts
  • Wetland and biodiversity in Thailand’s wetlands, both natural wetlands and land and coastal areas, which are the most fresh and blackish water ecosystems, are vulnerable and at high risk of being affected by global climate change.
  • Wetland with an international significance of 13%, such as
    • Mekong River
    • Kwai Yai River
    • Mae Klong river
    • Don Hoi Lot
    • Wetland in Khao Yai National Park
    • Wetland in the Lake Hunting District
    • Wetland in Chaloem Phra Kiat Wildlife Sanctuary (Phru Toh Daeng)
    • Wetland in Nopparat Thara National Park – Phi Phi Islands

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).

ExposureSensitivity and risk
Coastal ecosystem
Rising sea levels
  • Water levels in the Gulf of Thailand during the 25 years between 1985-2009 increased by an average of 5 millimetres per year. It is expected that land subsidence at the mouth of the river plays an important role in increasing the local average sea level.
  • Andaman sea level rises at the rate of 1.30-36.70 millimetres per year (Kirapak and Sompradthana, 2012).
  • Assessing the impact of climate change on Thai coastal areas with the Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment (DIVA) tool of average sea level in Krabi province in 2020 and 2050, increased from 1995, 11cm and 21 cm respectively, influenced by local winds in some seasons, affecting coastal stability and saltwater contamination in freshwater or shallow wells at coastal areas continuously affecting the coastal ecosystem.
  • Coastal resources in the upper Gulf of Thailand, mangrove forests, marine animals and coastal birds are very delicate due to limitations in adaptation. Marine resources that are less sensitive due to good adaptability are coral, seagrass resources, fishery, plankton and benthic animals, etc. (Tesco Company Limited, 2012).
  • Thailand’s coast has a high risk of impacts from coastal erosion and sea level change. There is a need to specify loss prevention measures, especially in the southern Gulf of Thailand, Chachoengsao-Samut Sakhon Province and the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand From Sawi Bay – Ban Don Bay coastline, Nakhon Si Thammarat province Songkhla – Laem Pho, Pattani, where the current level of severity risk for coastal erosion is present (Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, 2010).
  1. 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.
  2. 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:

Table 5-27 Ecosystems and Climate Change Adaptation Guidelines

EcosystemClimate change adaptation guidelines
ป่าไม้
  • For mountain and forest ecosystems, emphasis is placed on managing land use systems appropriately and fairly.
  • Policy adjustment to reflect the role of forest resources by considering ecological services, which include carbon credits and biodiversity.
  • Establishing appropriate measures without worsening the situation of land use and forestry so that the ecosystem can help reduce and mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • Community involvement in management and responsibility (Forest Research Center, 2013).
Wetland
  • Measures to stop land subsidence near the coast (Sojisuporn et al, 2013).
Mangrove forest
  • Road construction and public utilities plan to stay away from the mangrove forest so that the area of mangrove forests can be expanded further into the land (Southeast Asia Regional Center started and WWF, 2008).

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:

Table 5-28 Guidelines for Climate Change Adaptation on Natural Resources Management (IPCC, Climate change 2014: Adaptation, and vulnerability, 2014)

Adaptation guidelinesAdaptation guidelines
Ecosystem-based Adaptation; EbAAble 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 changeIn 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 designationRemodelling 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 ManagementEnvironmental 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 aidCan 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 areaCan 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.
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