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Climate change in East Asia and Pacific


A tool for city governments in the East Asia Region to better understand how to plan for climate change impacts and impending natural disasters through sound urban planning to reduce vulnerabilities. More

Other Publications
Regional: Environment Monitor 2007 - Adapting to Climate Change
Indonesia and Climate Change: Current Status and Policies: Full Report: English | Bahasa Summary: English | Bahasa (all pdf)
The impact of sea level rise on developing countries: a comparative analysis (includes Vietnam) Release
Pacific Islands: Not if, but when: Adapting to natural hazards
Regional:  Environment Matters 2007: Focus on Climate Change and Adaptation - EAP Section

More regional publications & reports

China Closes Ozone Depleting Chemical Plants
Umbrella Carbon Facility Completes Allocation of First Tranche
 Adaptation Program II
 Project details | Release
 Bekasi Landfill Gas Reduction Project
  Release  Story
Carbon Finance Assist - Technical Assistance (TA)
Briefing note
 (9.56mb pdf) | | East Asia Philippines

More regional projects with a climate change component



Regional Data
EAP environment indicators - map them 

East Asia & Pacific Environment Indicators
Look up an extensive list of indicators and view them on a map.


Climate change is becoming one of the key development issues of our time. It presents a unique and unprecedented challenge that threatens to undermine the last century’s gains in economic growth and poverty alleviation. Most countries, including those in the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Region (EAP), have embarked on mitigation initiatives to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions.

Expected impacts of climate change in the East Asia and Pacific Region

The implications of climate change for the EAP region, in terms of increasing temperatures, changing precipitation, and sea-level rise, need to be better understood.

The EAP region is home to about two billion people, and comprises about 16 million square kilometers of territory. Its climate is diverse, with a wide range of temperatures and precipitation levels. Its lands are varied, encompassing arid deserts, mountains with glacial systems, rugged coasts, and fertile agricultural lands. It has thousands of islands, many just a few feet above sea level, and is home to some of the most important marine resources of the world, including coral reefs, a wide range of fish species, and other biodiversity.

Many people in the region are economically and nutritionally dependent on these vast resources.
The region is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Over half of its population resides in coastal locations and in low-lying islands. Heavy reliance on agriculture and growing water use, high dependency on marine resources, and growing energy demand pose additional risk factors. The immediate manifestations of climate change—higher temperatures, followed by changes in precipitation patterns, greater intensity and frequency of extreme weather events, and rising sea levels—are expected to provoke further cascading impacts:

  • Environmental: changes in coastal and marine systems, forest cover and biodiversity;
  • Economic: reduced water security, impacts on agriculture and fisheries, disruption of tourism, reduced energy security, which may have negative impacts on GDP; and
  • Social: population displacement, loss of livelihood, and increased health problems.

Although the consequences are expected to be unevenly felt in different parts of the EAP, all countries will be affected to varied degrees and combinations of the impacts. The region’s public and private sectors will need to pursue a variety of anticipatory and reactive strategies to adapt to climate variability and change.

What the Region can do to adapt

This will require cross-cutting responses and approaches, including poverty reduction and economic reforms, improving the information base, strengthening planning and coordination, promoting participation and consultation, improving disaster preparedness, investing in technology development and dissemination, and establishing effective financial safety nets and insurance systems.

In most cases, these cross-cutting responses and approaches will need to be applied through area-specific and ecosystem-level interventions focusing on coastal cities, major river basins, agricultural areas, forest and dryland areas, marine ecosystems, and small islands.

The adaptation measures discussed in this East Asia Environment Monitor “Adapting to Climate Change” mostly belong to the “no-regrets” category, as actions that would help under any future scenario. They can be financed by emerging special adaptation funding, by re-targeting mitigation financing already available, and by mainstreaming adaptation concerns in financing currently being used for development in the region.

There is an urgent need for EAP countries to recognize their vulnerability to climate change and to begin to systematically adapt to these future scenarios. Raising awareness among policy makers and the general public will enable them to make informed decisions on approaches to anticipating, preparing for, and minimizing the impacts of climate change on their sustainable development programs.

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Updated: August 18, 2008

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