Indonesia– Indonesia is especially vulnerable to the impact of climatechange as global warming threatens to raise sea levels and flood coastal farmingareas, threatening food security, a report sponsored by the World Bank andBritain’s Department for International Development said.
The report, released today, said global warming could increase temperatures,shorten the rainy season and intensify rainfall, leading to a significant fallin rice yields.
It said thousands of farmers in productive coastal areas would also have tolook for other livelihoods if predictions of a rise in sea levels came trueacross the vast archipelago nation.
‘Indonesia is vulnerable to the impact of climate change including prolongeddroughts and floods raising serious food security and health threats whileendangering the habitats and livelihoods of coastal communities,’ the reportissued ahead of World Environment Day on Tuesday said.
Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar warned in January Indonesia could lose2,000 small islands by 2030 due to a rise in sea levels as a result of climatechange.
The report also stressed that deforestation, degradation of peat land andforest fires had placed Indonesia among the world’s top emitters of greenhousegases.
Deforestation and land conversion, mostly by fires, accounted for 75 pct ofcarbon dioxide emissions in the Indonesian forestry sector, it said.
Rising temperatures due to global warming would further dry up the rainforestand peat swamps, increasing the risk of even more intense fires, the report said.
The government has outlawed land-clearing by fire, but weak enforcement meansthe ban is largely ignored.
Indonesia will host the UN climate change convention on the resort island ofBali later this year.
Jakarta signed the Kyoto Protocol on fighting climate change in 1998 andratified it in 2004.