Droughts in Asian Least Developed Countries: Vulnerability and Sustainability (2014)

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Droughts occur both in developed and developing countries with significant impacts and are exacerbating in frequency, severity and duration. Over exploitation of water resources, weather variability and climate change are mostly responsible for such exacerbation. The impacts of droughts encompass the global ecosystem as a whole but vary from region to region. Least developed countries (LDCs) becoming the worst sufferer of the impacts due to physical, social and economic as well as knowledge and skills differences. The increasing biophysical vulnerability contexts and intensity in the Asian LDCs causing adverse effects on food security, human health, biodiversity, water resources, hydroelectric power generation, streams, perennial springs and livelihood. Drought is also responsible for increasing pollution, pests and diseases and forced migration and famine. Information indicates monsoon has become erratic contributing to up-scaling of droughts. South and Southeast Asian LDCs like Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Cambodia and Lao PDR under the monsoon climatic zone have also been suffering from increasing droughts arising out of delayed and changing distribution patterns of precipitation. Prolong dry spells increase the frequencies of wildfire in grasslands, forests and range-lands. The rain-fed crops of the plains are facing challenges from soil-moisture stress with projected droughts. Droughts causing migration of fishes, and marine anadromus species are having adverse impacts on spawning habitats. Reduction in annual surface runoff is decreasing the ground and surface water with negative effect on agriculture and water supply for industrial and domestic sectors. As droughts are exacerbating the consequences are accelerating. However, traditionally people are adapting with the changing situations applying indigenous knowledge and practices for sustainable living. This paper reflects on prevalence and impacts of droughts, existing coping mechanisms, initiatives to combat impacts and further doubles in the context of Asian LDCs.
Year: 2014
Language: English
In: Weather and Climate Extremes(0),

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