Tag Archives: Southeast Asia

Carbon emissions from 2015 fires in Southeast Asia greatest since 1997: New study

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fire-drone

MEDIA ADVISORY


Carbon emissions from 2015 fires in Southeast Asia greatest since 1997: New study

28 June 2016 – A new study of the forest and peatland fires that burned across maritime Southeast Asia in 2015 has found that the carbon emissions were the largest since 1997, when an even stronger El Niño also resulted in extended drought and widespread burning.

Using a pioneering combination of regional satellite observations, on-the-ground measurements in Kalimantan, Indonesia, and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) modeling framework, the study’s authors determined that the daily carbon emissions released by the fires in September and October 2015 were higher than those of the entire European Union (EU) over the same period.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, was carried out by a team led by Vincent Huijnen of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and Martin J. Wooster of King’s College London and the NERC National Center for Earth Observation, and included Daniel Murdiyarso and David Gaveau from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Read about the study on Forests News here.  Access the full paper here.

In September and October 2015, dry conditions and the delayed onset of seasonal rains contributed to extensive landscape fires, with the resulting smoke strongly impacting air quality in the region and the health of millions of people.

This research team is the very first to have measured the ground-level smoke composition from active peatland burning in the region. They combined that data with satellite information to derive the first greenhouse gas emissions estimates of the 2015 fires, finding that 884 million tons of carbon dioxide was released in the region last year – 97% originating from burning in Indonesia. The corresponding carbon emissions were 289 million tons, and associated carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions 1.2 billion tons.

Satellites provided data on the heat output being radiated by the fires, as well as information on the amount of carbon monoxide present in the surrounding atmosphere. From this, the total carbon emissions were calculated by combining those measurements with the newly determined emission factors of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane measured at fires burning in October 2015 outside of Palangka Raya in Central Kalimantan province – one of the hardest-hit fire sites.

“There have been some isolated studies before where people artificially set fires in the lab to try to understand the chemical characteristics of peatland fire smoke in Indonesia. But no one had done this on natural fires, and especially not on the kind of extreme fires seen in 2015. We are the first people to do that,” said Wooster.

The results indicate that regional carbon dioxide emissions from landscape fires were 11.3 million tons per day in September and October 2015, exceeding the EU’s daily rate of 8.9 million tons. Further, 77% of the regional fire carbon emissions for the year occurred during that time – at the peak of the fires.

The scientists also compared their results to those of the 1997 El Niño-related fires in the region.

“In 1997 the drought lasted longer, the fires were more severe and a lot more forest burned. In 2015, fires mostly burned on degraded peatland covered with shrubs and wood debris,” said CIFOR scientist David Gaveau.

The study’s results have wide implications for future research, whether it is in respect to studies of landscape burning or the impacts of fire emissions on climate and public health, and they contribute to better understanding the need for fire prevention and improved landscape management.

“What is important is the applicability of a study like this in helping policy makers to use more accurate fire emission factors to design policy and act to prevent further fires and greenhouse gas emissions,” CIFOR scientist Daniel Murdiyarso said.


For more information about this article, please contact:

Contacts:
Martin J. Wooster
King’s College London and NERC National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO)
Email: martin.wooster@kcl.ac.uk

Daniel Murdiyarso
Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia and Department of Geophysics and Meteorology, Bogor Agricultural University, Bogor, Indonesia
Email: d.murdiyarso@cgiar.org; Tel: +62-251-8622622 (Office)



Article Disclaimer: This article was published at CIFOR on 26th June 2016 and retrieved on 7th July 2016 and posted at INDESEEM for educational and information purposes only. The views, thoughts and findings in the article remains those of the authors. Please cite the original source and INDESEEM appropriately.


 

Asia’s prized climate-resilient cash crop

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25 June, 2015 by  (comments)

Seeds of change

In Southeast Asia, cassava is grown by over eight million farmers as a primary source of income and calories, especially among poor, rural upland communities. Despite years of research neglect and stagnating yields during the 1980s, cassava has had a dramatic come-back as a popular cash crop – but it still needs to be coupled with good management practices to be sustainable.

Cassava can be processed into a wide variety of produce and demand is increasing. Credit: G.Smith/CIAT

The brief outlines the role CIAT’s scientists and regional partners have played in developing improved cassava varieties, while promoting best management practices, creating opportunities for smallholder farmers to improve their food security and contributing to better incomes through expanded market opportunities.

CIAT’s genebank in Colombia contains the world’s most important collection of cassava germplasm – a total of 6,592 accessions from 28 countries conserved using in vitro techniques. Through collaboration with national partners in Asia, CIAT continues to ensure new and improved cassava varieties are adapted to local conditions.

Opportunities ahead

The Congress in China, which has already opened for registration, is evidence of growing interest in the cassava industry in Asia. The region is now home to the world’s leading cassava exporters. And although demand is driving wider economic development in the region, beneficiaries are still mostly smallholder farmers, making it an important focus for empowering rural communities.

Farmers are trained in management practices which reduce erosion and boost productivity. Credit: G.Smith/CIAT

Scientists continue to work with local communities to make them aware of the impacts of climate change, presenting them with scalable options for mitigating and adapting to weather changes.

Through the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas, CIAT continues to build on achievements in the region by breeding new crop varieties to address constraints such as low production and low resistance to diseases. A new emphasis on genomics – the study of genes and their functions – should accelerate future progress toward these goals.

Expanding root and tuber markets, and opportunities and challenges ahead, make for dynamic dialogue at the Congress – watch this space for more information. Download the overview of CIAT’s work in Asia: From roots to riches in Southeast Asia: Improved cassava reduces poverty, hunger and climate risk.

The Congress will discuss many opportunities and challenges, including those presented by pests and diseases. Credit: G.Smith/CIAT

This article was published online at: International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and retrieved on 08/29/2015.

Arrest of Thai Politicians: Do it the Army Way?

The full story upon which this narrative is base was published by BBC on 23rd May 2014 covering the latest development of the political situations in Thailand referenced at the end of this post. The Thai Army has long-held back its involvement in the political upheavals in Thailand since the current situation ignited about a year ago. Democracy was given birth to in Thailand about 82 years ago. Since that time, it has taken the Thai’s army under different regimes to hold on to power on several occasions in the midst of varying political nightmares. Given the army’s role in the past during those periods when they seized unto power, the current Thai Army resisted getting involve in the political game plan staged between those of the Red color and their brethren of the Yellow.The army emphatically stated that politicians of both fronts needed to solve the problem quickly, amicably and peacefully so that life in Thailand can go on as before.

However, few weeks ago, a Thai court removed the PM and she did. A new PM was appointed with the hope of restoring order, peace and stability within the country. Instead, protests staged by proponents of both the Red and Yellow continue in Bangkok and other areas throughout the country. I believe that it was against this background that the Thai Military decided to step into the game and change the status quo. As the military legitimize its hold unto power and to let every citizen of Thailand know, that look, we are here for you and if these politicians are not willing to do their job, sit down and talk things out and come up with a credible and doable plan, we will! That was exactly what the military seems to be doing in Thailand. Politicians across the Red and Yellow ticket seems to be failing the Thai people. Nevertheless, as the army solidifies it hold unto the Thai leadership many questions come to the mind of the ordinary man. How long is the military going to hold unto power? When will general elections be held? With the military in the game plan now, will politicians across the political divide be willing to consciously sit down and talk like brothers and sisters? The army did indicate that it was neutral? Well, now what? Well, current situation depicts that the army “once neutral” is no longer neutral and the reason their neutrality was breach is because politicians across both colors were not willing to solve the problems and come up with a negotiable solution. So, given this situation, it was prudent and necessary in the minds of the Thai Army to act in order to reinstate law and order in a country that is at the verge of political instability, social and civil upheavals.

With these being said, the main question now is “what’s next?” What is the Thai’s military plan since the civilian government failed after being given all the time they needed to solve the problems they created and bring Thailand back on track. Yes, so what next? Well, first thing first! Let us arrest all those politicians that were involved in the political nightmare, which brought about all this fiasco. With the politicians arrested or after they turn themselves in to the military, maybe it will bring back to their consciousness that we are always around to break the coin. One would willingly ask, well, will this plan work? How would those arrested be treated? Will their human rights be protected? These, the Thai Military are responsible to protect in the midst of international law and the human rights of those politicians MUST not under any circumstances be violated or threaten to be violated. Each politicians irrespective of his or her political affiliations is a Thai Citizen and must be protected by the laws and constitution of Thailand.Suspending the constitution does not provide you with the escape plan to treat people whatever you want and however you want it be done. There is something call “international law,” which also protects them plus the “common sense law.” Nevertheless, in the situation where the constitution is conditionally suspended, they are still protected by international laws to which, if violated, you will be held accountable. But, we should not go that far, because I believe the military has provided us with enough information (claims of not being affiliated or favoring any one camp in the political game). So, we hope the military will keep its words and stay truthful to the Thai people and that they will treat every politician respectfully and in accordance with national and international laws. I just wanted to point this out first before going any further with the rest of this post. Thumps up!!

Many questions are now being asked “how long will these people be held and what is the plan after they are arrested or turned themselves in to the military?” I think without being subjective here is where the Thai’s military leaders need to be very careful since the world is now watching what’s going to be next? We all know that the military held a high level profile of neutrality in this entire political frustration when it all started. The military had announced during several occasions that it didn’t want to get involved in the government’s and oppositions’ propaganda, but what it was only interested in is that these leaders bring the situations to a close and by find a solution. Did it happened after the PM was removed from power? No! The oppositions staged new campaigns that the entire government be removed and an unconstitutional and “people’s appointed committee” be putted into government duties to run the country, this was their initial protest. Was it too ambitious? Who knows?

Well, that is it! So, it seems that the military ran out of the oil that keeps lubricating their patience not to get involve. Was it right for the military to get involved at this point when Thailand that should be moving towards national reconciliation and paving the way to restore democracy, law and order. Some would say that the military should stay out, while others would yet hold up their hands and yell, hell yes. Enough is enough! Well, the question is not whether the military should or should not get involve. The question is, if they do, what’s next? To be realistic, I can’t answer this question, but what I can say is that we will all follow the situation in Thailand very closely and see what’s next. With some or most of the politicians that are involved in the political upheavals being held at various undisclosed locations in the country, we will keep our finger cross that only one result would come out of this current situation, which are for peace, stability, freedom of movement, and the return to democratic rule in Thailand. So, readers if you have any comment, please feel free to add your voice and let us pray with the people of Thailand, that in the “near future,” peace, law, order, stability, freedom and democracy will be restored in its totality.

God bless!

Original BBC News Post: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27544972. Accessed:23/05/2014 at 10:00 PM Indochina Time.

6th Field Trip Project Updates

I would first like to say that I am sorry that I have not being so committed updating the blog with updates and events at the field since the 5th field trip. A lot has occurred and changed over the last few months and I will try to provide some updates of where things are at the moment and how we got where we are currently. So, stay connected and please feel free to leave comments or suggestions.

Site A plots and beds a go!!
Site A plots and beds a go!!
Rice straw and rice husk biomasses for biochar production.
Rice straw and rice husk biomasses for biochar production.

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Clearing site to where the biochar kiln will be placed.
Clearing site to where the biochar kiln will be placed.
Started producing biochar in late February.
Started producing biochar in late February.
rice husk and manure
rice husk and manure
Sample of the first biochar produced through the metal drum pyrolysis method.
Sample of the first biochar produced through the metal drum pyrolysis method.

3rd Field Trip Visual Updates from B. Ekxang, Laos

January 22, 2014

The following pictures were taken during our 3rd field trip to the village were the plots are located. I will try to include brief captions of each picture. But the pictures should be self-explanatory.One of the main purposes of this visit was to select a second site for the experiment with different soil type from the other site. Site A soil type is sandy clay uniformly distributed across the plot.

This is the building of the village chief. Laos and Vietnam have a really interesting and supportive partnership and political relationship in which both countries support each other. These flags are just few of the many symbolic representation of such relationship.
This is the building of the village chief. Laos and Vietnam have a really interesting and supportive partnership and political relationship in which both countries support each other. These flags are just few of the many symbolic representation of such relationship.
Office of the chief to meet with him and discuss about the steps to secure a second site from a local farmer.
Office of the chief to meet with him and discuss about the steps to secure a second site from a local farmer.
Site B: 1104 sq. Meters
Site B: 1104 sq. Meters

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2nd Field Trip Visual Updates from B. Ekxang, Laos

This brief post summarized our second field visit at Pilot Site A located at the Ban Ekxang village on January 15, 2014. The field experimental trials have been scaled up to pilot test soil and water treatments to two typographical landscapes located within the same village with diverse soil structure, texture, etc, but with the same plants and treatments. The plot for the second site is currently been negotiated between the village chief, farmers, and the local agriculture extension agent (all project stakeholders). We should be able to come up with a definite location for the second plot by this week or early next week.

However, our visit on January 15 was more productive than the first trip. We were joined by two colleagues from the Water Resources Engineering Department (WRED) at the National University of Laos (NUL), who express extraordinary interest in specifically using their experiences from the work towards their academic research papers. A lecturer who is also working on her Master’s thesis and a 4th-year undergraduate irrigation major student would use the work from this study towards his thesis as well. We will be meeting them on January 20, 2014 to discuss in more details their roles, expectations, resources, and how to proceed considering their interests in the work.

The following photos were taken during the second field visit at the village.

Ms. Chanta, is the Agriculture Extension Officer for Phon Hong District located in the Vientiane Prefecture, Laos. She is the "do it yourself" kind of person, which was appropriate to our needs.
Ms. Chanta, is the Agriculture Extension Officer for Phon Hong District located in the Vientiane Prefecture, Laos. She is the “do it yourself” kind of person, which was appropriate to our needs.
Ms. Tadam is the landowner for our Site A. She and her husband owns about 10 hectare of land, raises cows and water buffalos. The cow dung and rice bran were provided by her and was appropriately compensated. Here the women seems to be in charge of land rights, farming and finances. Her husband helps with the farm works as well along with her 6 years old son.
Ms. Tadam is the landowner for our Site A. She and her husband owns about 10 hectare of land, raises cows and water buffalos. The cow dung and rice bran were provided by her and was appropriately compensated. Here the women seems to be in charge of land rights, farming and finances. Her husband helps with the farm works as well along with her 6 years old son.
Ms. Tadam husband undertake the contract to plough the soil.
Ms. Tadam husband undertake the contract to plough the soil.

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