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Bison And Prairie Dog in 004

Climate Change

"The pace of climate change is quickening and the poorest and most vulnerable communities are being hit the hardest."

Climate change and environmental degradation are two of the biggest threats our world is facing. The pace of climate change is quickening and the poorest and most vulnerable communities are being hit the hardest.

Geographically and climatically different areas will experience climate extremes differently and this calls for resilience building in a range of ways. For example, in the dry zone in Central Myanmar extremes might be felt through late onset of rains, lower overall rainfall, higher than normal temperatures, shorter and less predictable monsoonal rain duration. In the Ayeyarwaddy Delta and Rakhine coastal region extremes might be felt through increased cyclone frequency, more extreme cyclones and storms, increased tidal surge probability, and lower net freshwater flows and availability.

Long-term and extreme climate events may cause any of the following – and many more impacts on communities:

  • Increased loss of life as a result of extreme events and damage to housing and shelter
  • Damage to pumping equipment, submerge wells, and affect other water infrastructure, affecting availability and quality of water and access to sources
  • Increased workload and vulnerability, especially for women and children. More time spent walking to fetch clean water may mean less time in school for children, and less time earning a livelihood for women. Walking to distant areas may increase risk of violence and abuse
  • Reduced access to market may result from damage to boats, road or bridge infrastructure
  • Predicted sea level rise could result in salt intrusion of coastal water bodies, changing the utility of cropping land and reducing access to fresh water
  • Temperature rises and drought can increase water demands and shortages
  • Floods can lead to a reduction in the availability of drinking water due to sediment build up
  • Drinking water can be affected by salinisation of fresh water, soil, wetlands and estuaries due to over abstraction, flooding, tidal surge, erosion and sea level rise
  • Increase in water surface temperature can lead to deterioration in water quality including increase in bacteria and algal blooms affecting colour, odour, taste and purity.

 Spectrum's strategy's for resilience building will use pilot community adaptation plans. This will guide initial menus of adaptation impacts and options, for wider communities to consider, work with and tailor to their own needs for building resilience.

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