Massive losses in Asia due to cyclones, floods and drought in 2020

New Delhi: Last year in Asia, tropical cyclones, floods and droughts caused an average annual loss (AAL) estimated at several hundred billion dollars, with a latest report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) estimating the losses. to about $ 238 billion in China, $ 87 billion in India and $ 83 billion in Japan.

According to the estimate of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the average annual loss is expected to reach 7.9% of GDP ($ 7.5 billion) for Tajikistan, 5, 9% of GDP ($ 24.5 billion). ) for Cambodia and 5.8% of GDP ($ 17.9 billion) for Laos, the WMO report on the state of the climate in Asia 2020 said on Tuesday.

Even when the highest AALs are associated with drought, floods and storms affected an estimated 50 million people and claimed more than 5,000 deaths in 2020, below the annual average for the past two decades of 158 million. people affected and around 15,500 deaths, WMO said and added: “This is a testament to the success of early warning systems in many countries in Asia. “

The report also states that the true impacts of Covid-19 on food security and nutrition have yet to be established.

“But compared to 2019, the number of undernourished people in 2020 increased by 6% in Southeast and West Asia, and by 20% in South Asia. Climate-related disasters have made the problem worse, ”he said in the report.

The report shows that every part of Asia was affected in 2020, from the Himalayan peaks to low-lying coastal areas, from densely populated cities to deserts and from the Arctic to the Arabian seas.

“Weather and climate hazards, in particular floods, storms and droughts, have had significant impacts in many countries in the region, affecting agriculture and food security, contributing to increased displacement and vulnerability of migrants, refugees and displaced persons, exacerbating health risks, and exacerbating environmental problems and loss of natural ecosystems, ”said WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas.

The report provides an overview of land and ocean temperatures, precipitation, retreating glaciers, shrinking sea ice, rising sea levels and severe weather events. It examines the socio-economic impacts of a year when the region was also grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, which in turn complicated disaster management.

“Combined, these impacts have a huge impact on long-term sustainable development and on progress towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals in particular,” he said.

“Amid the pandemic, countries are affected by a series of disasters and must cope with the increasingly damaging effects of climate change,” said ESCAP Executive Secretary Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana.

“Less than 10% of the SDG targets are on track to be reached by 2030. The most alarming are the regressive trends in climate action (goal 13) and life under water (goal 14). ): both related to disaster resilience. “

The report also mentions that in 2019, around three quarters of Asia’s mangroves were in Bangladesh (24%), Myanmar (19%), India (17%) and Thailand (14%) and how Mangroves in Bangladesh, a low-lying state, were exposed to tropical storms and declined 19% from 1992 to 2019.

Forests absorb carbon dioxide and are an important carbon sink. Between 1990 and 2018, Bhutan, China, India and Vietnam increased their forest cover. But forest cover has declined in Myanmar (26 percent), Cambodia (24 percent) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (12 percent), the statement said.

One positive thing the report highlighted was that Asia is currently well placed to respond to extreme weather events and is among the regions with the greatest capacity for Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems (MHEWS).

“But the costs of extreme events are increasing, in part because of increasing exposure. A large proportion of existing critical infrastructure is located in multiple risk areas, which can lead to significant disruption of economic activity in the event of a natural disaster. For example, about one-third of power plants, fiber-optic cable networks and airports, and 42% of road infrastructure, are in multi-risk hotspots in Asia-Pacific, ”he said.

In addition, the increase in heat and humidity is expected to result in an effective loss of working hours outdoors, with a potential cost of billions of dollars, the report added.

Cyclone Amphan, one of the strongest on record, hit the Sundarbans region between India and Bangladesh in May 2020, displacing 2.4 million people in India and 2.5 million people in Bangladesh.

“Many displacements related to weather and climate conditions in Asia are prolonged, with people unable to return home, integrate locally or settle elsewhere,” he said.

The report combines contributions from a wide range of partners, including ESCAP and other United Nations agencies, national meteorological and hydrological services, and leading climate scientists and centers.

It was published by WMO ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, as part of a series of regional analyzes aimed at informing policymakers and policymakers as well as regional and national investments.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *