MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES – 9-10 February 2015: ICEM Participates in the Workshop on Climate Risk Management in Planning and Investment Projects
APAN and the Asia Development Bank (ADB) co-organised the “Climate Risk Management in Planning and Investment Projects” workshop in February 2015 in Manila, the Philippines.
Aimed at building capacity amongst government officials on climate risk assessment and management, the workshop provided participants with a comprehensive two-day training on climate risk management approaches, climate data utilisation for impact and vulnerability assessment, economic and technical analysis in adaptation assessment and planning, and financial architecture on climate change adaptation initiatives in partnership with the private sector.
ICEM’s Tarek Ketelsen, Director – Technical Programs, presented on the Climate Risk & Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA): Central Mekong Delta Connectivity Project. The aims of the CRVA were to integrate climate change risk management into the detailed design of roads and bridges associated with the Central Mekong Delta Connectivity Project, and to pilot-test a rapid climate change vulnerability and adaptation methodology for transport infrastructure projects.
Initial Field Mission Establishes Groundwork, Implements Hydraulic Monitoring Program in Khone Falls Channels
Workshop Examines Climate Change and Development Implications for Protected Areas and Species in the Mekong Region
BANGKOK, THAILAND – 8 – 10 October, 2014: Workshop Examines Climate Change and Development Implications for Protected Areas and Species in the Mekong Region
Written by Robert Mather, Head, Southeast Asia Group, IUCN Asia
Over 60 participants from the 6 countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) came together in a workshop that examined ‘Mekong Protected Areas and Climate Change – Implications for Livelihoods and Development” The workshop was held from 8-10 October 2014, in Bangkok, Thailand, and was organized by the International Centre for Environmental Management (ICEM) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) GMS Environment Operations Center (GMS-EOC). Environmental policy makers, international and national conservation organizations and protected area managers attended the event.
In kicking off the event, ICEM’s Jeremy Carew-Reid said that “We are members of the protected area family, a family with a Mission. We are starting on a journey and the destination of that journey is to put protected areas and biodiversity back where they belong – centre stage in the discussions on sustainable development”
Protected areas in the Mekong Region are still largely set within landscapes and seascapes of small-scale fishers and farmers although over the last 20 years the GMS Region has developed rapidly, regional integration of transport infrastructure and markets has progressed significantly, and large-scale commercial agriculture and industrial-scale plantations have grown in importance. With the imminent arrival of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 this transformation of the region is set to continue.
“Now more than ever, protected areas are vitally important, not just for biodiversity conservation, but for the water food and energy security underpinning all of this economic activity” said Robert Mather, Head of IUCN Southeast Asia group, adding that “ The […]
Flood control in the Mekong: ICEM develops tool to identify hydropower dams in need of improved management and design
ICEM recently released the first technical brief from our ongoing study into the impact of water supply infrastructure on floods and drought in the Mekong region (MK12): Reservoir Flood Control Index: Assessing the Flood Risk and Capacity for Control in Mekong Hydro-Electric Reservoirs. The brief outlines a basin-wide tool called the Reservoir Flood Control Index that will allow developers, government and communities to understand the relative risk associated with existing and planned large hydro-electric projects in the Mekong basin.
There are currently upwards of 140 medium and large-scale hydropower projects existing and under consideration across the Lower Mekong Basin. Typically, national and regional planners have had trouble identifying the projects that have the greatest associated flood risk, and developing appropriate measures to incorporate flood control. ICEM’s Reservoir Flood Control Index (the Index) tool will identify these projects and provide an indication of basin-wide priorities for integrating flood control into reservoir design and operations.
The Index uses multi-criteria analysis to assess catchment hydrological characteristics (or the potential for flooding) against the physical and technical capacity of hydropower dams to store and release floodwater, as well as the possible extent of impact on downstream inhabitants and land-use. By using a two-step process, the Index integrates these diverse characteristics to rank flood threat, flood control and downstream damage for hydropower across the basin in a clear and transparent risk table. Planners can then consult the table to understand whether the reservoir will fall into one of the three main categories:
- Priority reservoirs which require improvement of management to incorporate flood control;
- Priority reservoirs which require improvement of reservoir design to incorporate flood control; and
- Reservoirs that are located in areas with low flood threat […]
ICEM led a session exploring the potential of renewable energy in the Lower Mekong Basin at the recent 3rd Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy (19-21 November 2013, Hanoi).
The key areas of focus were:
- Whether small-scale and grid-connected renewables have the potential to substitute or complement the rapid rollout of large-scale hydropower in the Mekong;
- The technical potential for alternative technologies in the region, and the ‘gap’ that exists between the planned renewable energy expansion and the large technical potential that remains untapped; and
- The policies needed to promote regional growth in renewable energy supply.
Renewables and hydropower: complements or substitutes?
The electricity sector is the single largest source of GHG emissions. Proponents of large hydropower projects (i.e. with a capacity greater than 30MW) rightly emphasise low emissions relative to other sources of electricity. At the same time large hydropower remains controversial in the region due to significant direct environmental and social impacts. Concerns relating to both global and local environmental impacts have lead to calls for a more serious consideration of renewables as a low carbon alternative to large hydropower, but this begs the question as to the roles played by these very different technologies, and the relationship between them in electricity systems.
The lion’s share of power in lower Mekong basin countries currently comes from gas and large-scale hydropower. Only a small fraction – around 5% – is supplied by other renewables such as wind, solar, biogas and smaller-scale hydropower. But this modest beginning will form the basis for exponential growth. Current power development plans in the basin envisage five-fold renewable electricity generation grow from an estimated 3.5GW in 2010 to 15.5GW or 9% by 2025. Large-scale hydropower is also set to double from 18.2GW to 36GW. Unlike […]
An ICEM study has revealed that the drought suffered by some communities in the Central Highlands of Vietnam could be substantially avoided, if they are given access to the vast resources of the Yali Reservoir.
People living in the Central Highlands of Vietnam are increasingly facing the challenges of drought and extreme water shortage. Many rivers and streams, which are used for agricultural, irrigation and domestic consumption, often completely dry out in the dry season. Worsening droughts threaten agriculture production, which not only affects community life, but also weakens the provincial economy.
This is a particular challenge in the Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces – which is where the vast Yali Reservoir is located. The Yali Reservoir is one of Vietnam’s largest, at 65 square km. Currently this reservoir supplies the hydropower dam, producing approximately 3,680 gigawatt hours (GWh) of power to the national grid system. Since commissioning in 2001, the reservoir has not been utilised by the communities of the Central Highlands. Instead, it has been solely used for the generation of electricity.
ICEM conducted a study as part of the Mekong Challenge Program on Water and Food to assess whether water from this reservoir could be used to provide the water needs of local communities, and to analyse the potential trade-offs in terms of energy production. The study investigated community water resource needs in the Yali catchment and found that livelihoods of communities here – approximately 33, 200 people – rely heavily on water resources for their livelihoods. ICEM researchers considered whether the Yali Reservoir could be used to provide a steady water source for these communities, particularly in the dry season […]