South Asia Climate Change

South Asia urban and rural areas experience challenges alike. Dikhaputra is a rural area in India that does not receive adequate rainfall to sustain its agricultural and economic activities. It mostly depends on irrigation to meet its needs; thus, this region acts as a source of their livelihood. Even though irrigation provides much of the needed water, there water management issues still remain and they trouble the residents of this area. One of the major problems that the residents face is the build-up of salt in the soil which over time makes the soil unsuitable for farming activities (Kelkar & Bhadwal, 2007).

South Asia is highly sensitive to effects of climate change. It is an area which is prone to disaster given the large number of people living in this region. Future climate predictions of this region paint a miserable picture. Data obtained shows that this region receives rainstorms, but when it rains it causes destruction of property and flooding (Kelkar & Bhadwal, 2007). Increase in rain storms affects soil moisture contents. Despite this, drought is still prevalent in South Asia. The Himalayan range of mountains has high altitude glaciers that provide water to rivers. However, when the glaciers melt, questions arise on their perennial nature of the Himalayan flowing rivers. If the glaciers were to melt fully, then millions of people would miss water which is a basic need. Much of food crops in South Asia are rain-fed; thus South Asia is hinged on the annual success of the monsoons, which is indicative of the success of millions of people. In case of failure of the monsoons, the poor and the landless get affected because they depend solely on agriculture and its related activities for their livelihood (Kelkar & Bhadwal, 2007).

South East Asia is one of the least urbanized areas on earth, but its urban population growth rate is nearly twice the world’s rate. Despite this, there has been a booming maritime edge in the East of China and Taiwan. They have witnessed the development of Special Economic Zones which have significantly boosted production. Guangdong, where the Pearl River delta is found, has witnessed an influx of foreign firms that have setup bases in this delta. For example, the Nike shoe company has set a developed shipping outpost in Guangdong (Yuen & Kong, 2009). Taiwan maritime area has witnessed rapid growth in the past few years. It has developed research and technology parks. In fact, Taiwan is considered as the interface between western technology and Chinese businesses. Taiwanese industrial parks have extended towards mainland China.

On a local basis, growth in the maritime areas of East China and Taiwan has the potential to increase the vulnerability of communities and ecosystems to climate change. Environmental degradation due to expanding economic activities is a major challenge for South East Asia. There is increased contamination of maritime and coastal waters, deforestation and over-exploitation of marine resources, which reduces the regions environmental sustainability (Yuen & Kong, 2009). Institutions that manage environmental resources are often weak mostly in problems that are cross boundary in nature. New lifestyles have also contributed to climate changes in the region. There is an increased demand for private cars and energy. Increased demand for energy leads to burning of fossil fuels that generate high amounts of wastes to the environment. Much of the energy used in South East Asia is for the business purposes, which results in generation of large amounts of waste.


Kelkar, U., & Bhadwal, S. (2007). South Asian Regional Study on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation: Implications for Human Development. New Delhi: UNDP.

Yuen, B., & Kong, L. (2009). Climate Change and Urban Planning in Southeast Asia. Surveys, 1-36.