The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released Tuesday The Other Half of Climate Change report, focusing on the impact of climate change on the poor in Indonesia as well as efforts to adapt to the global weather phenomenon.
In the report, it says that Indonesia will face changes in season and rainfall, more extreme weather events, rises in sea levels of between 9 and 100 centimeters, warmer oceans and higher temperatures due to global warming.
The report was released together with the UNDP's annual Human Development report.
UNDP country director for Indonesia Hakan Bjorkman said the impact of climate change was discriminatory.
"Poor people are more vulnerable. They have fewer resources or capacities to adapt to climate change," Bjorkman told the launch of both reports.
Vulnerable communities are at risk of deprivation of livelihoods, health care, food security and clean water access.
"Farmers, fishermen and urban slum dwellers are living on the most marginal land, that is vulnerable to droughts, floods or landslides. When disaster strikes, poor communities have very few resources to fall back on," Bjorkman said.
"The impact of climate change will be felt the strongest among poor people. Climate change sabotages Indonesia's fight against poverty," Bjorkman added.
Effendy Sumardja, former senior advisor to the State Ministry for the Environment, and chair of the Poverty and Climate Change Report Team, said: "Climate change has an impact on farmers and fishing and coastal communities, as well as urban dwellers".
"Coastal cities are more vulnerable to floods and storms," Effendy said. "In February 2007, floods killed 57 people and forced 422,300 to leave their homes, of which 1,500 were destroyed."
Emil Salim, of the UN High Level Advisory Board for Sustainable Development, said, "The poor's lives will depend on climate, on fishing, on farming, but the poor understand this."
"So the rich have the obligation to deal with water issues, energy, problems of health, agriculture and forestry," Emil said.
In the report, Indonesia is cited as both a victim of and contributor to global warming due to rapid deforestation and forest fires.
The report also points out some of the priority areas for climate change adaptation, including adaptation in agriculture, coastal zones, water supplies, health, urban areas and disaster management.
"The adaptation agenda in the report sets out the actions required to get ready and cope with these impacts," Bjorkman said.
Examples of adaptation include building houses on stilts in flood-prone areas, diversifying sources of income for farmers, cultivating more resilient crops and optimizing the use of scarce water.
Up to now, the world has been focused on mitigation plans and efforts to reduce carbon emissions, while for the poor, the priority is to adapt to the changing environment."Emissions of greenhouse gasses have to be reduced. This is primarily an issue for the richer countries to change the way they use fossil fuels," said Effendy.
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