Climate change poses threat to fish, health: report

A map shows the vulnerability of Southeast Asian countries to climate change. EEPSEA

Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon
The Phnom Penh Post, Tue, 10 November 2015

If global temperatures continue to rise, Cambodia’s dependence on fishing and its under-developed healthcare and sanitation sectors will make it particularly exposed to the adverse effects of climate change, according to a World Bank report published on Sunday.

The report, titled Shock Waves, characterises poverty and climate change as “the two defining issues of our time”, and says that achieving development targets such as the recently updated UNDP Sustainable Development Goals requires policy solutions to address those issues where they intersect – such as the areas of food security and public health.

The World Bank report names Cambodia among other “fishing dependent” countries as being at risk because “fishing activities are poorly regulated” and “are very vulnerable to the combined impact of climate change and overexploitation”.

Napoleon Navarro, head of policy at UNDP Cambodia, pointed to the country’s dependence on the Mekong and Tonle Sap waterways as a major source of protein from fish.

“Fish catch has not been good for two years in a row. Research has even raised the possibility of fish supply significantly declining over the next decades, because of the combination of climate change and the hydropower network in the upper Mekong,” he said via email.

Yet-to-be-published findings presented at the Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy in Phnom Penh two weeks ago suggest Cambodia may lose over 50 per cent of its freshwater fish production. (more…)

Posted on: November 10, 2015 9:14 am