Best of our wild blogs: 10 Jun 11

ACRES World’s Saddest Dolphin campaign has gone international with Avaaz from Otterman speaks

Balloons and soft plastic kill sea turtles, slowly and painfully
from wild shores of singapore

That's no fish: Alligator spotted at Sembawang Park?
from Lazy Lizard's Tales

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Six buildings in talks with PUB on floods

Meeting held to discuss fortifications and drainage in Orchard Road area
Daryl Chin Straits Times 10 Jun 11;

NATIONAL water agency PUB is working with six affected buildings in the Orchard Road area to reduce the chances of flooding.

This was revealed by Mr George Madhavan, director of the 3P Network at the PUB, after a 90-minute discussion between the PUB and members of the Orchard Road Business Association (Orba) yesterday. The closed-door event was held in Traders Hotel, itself affected by the recent flooding which caused thousands of dollars worth of damage.

About 50 people turned up, including staff from the Singapore Tourism Board.

Mr Madhavan said the PUB is working with six buildings - Orchard Parade Hotel, Delfi Orchard, Orchard Towers, Forum Galleria, St Regis and Tanglin Mall - on short-term solutions, besides studying other suggestions thrown up, including setting up a park in Orchard Road.

PUB officers will advise and identify areas which need fortification, and also locations at which to place flood barriers and raised crests or road humps to prevent water from entering carparks.

The cost will be borne by the building owners.

Other measures include upgrading the drainage system at the junction of Cuscaden and Tomlinson roads. Work began last month.

'In the mid-term, we will look at detention ponds to study their feasibility, and longer term, perhaps a diversion canal to move some of the water from the Stamford catchment away from Orchard Road,' said Mr Madhavan.

A detention pond is a large container designed to hold storm water. One example he cited was the large underground holding tank complete with pump under a school field in Siglap.

Orba's executive director Steven Goh called the meeting 'cordial' and appreciated the PUB's efforts in explaining how the floods came about.

He had suggested building a park on a 20,000 sq m piece of land behind Ngee Ann City, along Orchard Turn. This would serve as a green communal space and store excess storm water to channel it back to the main drainage arteries.

Another suggestion is to use building basements to store water.

Calling them both good ideas, Mr Madhavan said the PUB would work hard to find the most cost-efficient and optimal solution, although no timeline was given.

Experts The Straits Times spoke to also offered their input.

Associate Professor Tan Soon Keat from Nanyang Technological University's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering said underground building facilities in town might be costly and a poor use of land.

'It is better to locate the facilities further away from the town centre where pumping and piping costs may increase, but should be marginal compared to the overall cost,' he said.

Still, the session with PUB is a step in the right direction, said Mr Goh, who added: 'We are very concerned... but having this dialogue at least means there's an open channel for communication.'

PUB to study ideas raised to cope with floods in Orchard Road
Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid Channel NewsAsia 9 Jun 11;

SINGAPORE: National water agency PUB says it will study the Orchard Road Business Association's (ORBA) proposal for an underground tank to quell floods along along Singapore's prime shopping belt.

But as an immediate step, it will work with affected building owners to boost their flood prevention measures.

This was disclosed at a closed-door meeting on Thursday between PUB and the ORBA at Trader's Hotel, one of the places along Orchard Road that was also affected by the floods last Sunday.

It's understood that about 50 people including representatives from PUB, Singapore Tourism board and affected shopping malls turned up for the meeting.

ORBA has said that it is disappointed with PUB and wants long-term solutions to tackle the flood woes.

PUB described the meeting as "very useful", with many ideas exchanged during the session.

And the proposal for an empty plot of land in the precinct to be used as a green space - with an underground tank to hold excess rainwater - was discussed.

PUB said it would also look into suggestions to place water "holding tanks" in the basement of buildings.

"That's a very good idea, and we actually have been thinking of using retention ponds. So it's an idea that we will take back and study very carefully. Basically, we want to find an optimal solution to improving the flood protection to Orchard Road," said George Madhavan, PUB's director for 3P Network Department.

For now, PUB will lend its expertise to six building owners including Tanglin Mall and St Regis Residences - which were badly affected by last Sunday's floods - to build "crests".

"Crests are actually just road humps that will prevent water from flowing into carparks. So they are not too difficult to construct. It can be done quite quickly," said Mr George Madhavan.

PUB also said it is studying the idea of building a diversion canal from Stamford Canal to ease flood woes along the shopping belt.

The association felt that the meeting was cordial and that PUB was forthcoming in its explanations.

"There are still a lot of questions that cannot be answered because some of them of long-terms issues. We still want to know what is PUB's long-term plan to address the flood problem because it seems like no one can guarantee that the flood will not happen again," said Steven Goh, executive director of Orchard Road Business Association.

- CNA/ir

PUB to study underground tank proposal to curb flooding in Orchard
Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid Today Online 10 Jun 11;

SINGAPORE - National water agency PUB said yesterday it will study the Orchard Road Business Association's (ORBA) proposal of an underground tank to prevent floods hitting the shopping belt.

But as an immediate step, it will work with affected building owners to boost their flood prevention measures.

The meeting between PUB and the association yesterday took place at Traders Hotel, which is located in an area near Orchard Road, which was affected by the floods last Sunday.

MediaCorp was not allowed to film the session but it is understood that about 50 people including representatives from the PUB, the Singapore Tourism Board and the affected shopping malls turned up for the meeting.

The ORBA has said that it was disappointed with the PUB and wants long-term solutions to tackle the flooding.

The PUB described the meeting as "very useful" and that many ideas were exchanged during the session.

The agency is studying the idea of building a diversion canal from Stamford Canal to ease flood woes along the shopping belt.

The ORBA's proposal for an empty plot of land in the precinct to be used as a green space - with an underground tank to hold excess rainwater, was also discussed, and the PUB will be looking into suggestions to place water "holding tanks" in the basements of buildings.

Said PUB's director of its 3P Network Department, Mr George Madhavan: "We have been thinking of using retention ponds so it's an idea that we will take back and study very carefully. Basically, we want to find an optimal solution to improving flood protection on Orchard Road."

For now, PUB will lend its expertise to six building owners including Tanglin Mall and St Regis Residences, which were badly hit by Sunday's floods, to build "crests" - road humps that will prevent water from flowing into carparks.

The PUB said a suggestion by the ORBA to build a green space like New York's Bryant Park is also a good idea.

If approved, the space will have an underground water tank that absorbs and stores excess water while doubling up as a venue for outdoor events.

The proposed site is a 20,000 sq m piece of state land behind Ngee Ann City.

The ORBA said that the meeting was cordial and that the PUB was forthcoming in its explanations, but a lot of questions could not be answered, as they concerned long-term issues.

"We still want to know what is PUB's long term plan to address the flood problem because it seems like no one can guarantee that the flood will not happen again," said the ORBA executive director Steven Goh.

The ORBA will continue to pursue its proposals. "Perhaps it is beyond PUB and their issue involves planning, involves land issue and so on and so forth.

"So I think it is a multi-agency effort and as the ORBA we will work with the Singapore Tourism Board as our key partner to address some of our wish list and wants with them," said Mr Goh.

14 spots in flood-prone areas to get safety railings
Daryl Chin and Sia Ling Xin Straits Times 10 Jun 11;

FOURTEEN locations in flood-prone areas have been identified for safety railings to be installed after a 15-year-old Indonesian boy fell into a drain and drowned last week.

National water agency PUB, which reviewed all the drains in flood-prone areas after the incident, said yesterday that 1.6km of railings have since been put up.

The 14 spots include Sixth Avenue, Thomson Road, Commonwealth Lane, Hillview Road, Marsiling Drive and Mandalay Road.

Most residents in these areas whom The Straits Times spoke to lauded the PUB initiative though a few felt more should have been done earlier.

They noted that the railings would be of use outside flood situations too.

Housewife Lee Sin Choo, 44, a Commonwealth Lane resident, said the railings give her a sense of security and are 'definitely a good investment'.

'We are always hearing stories about old folks, kids or drunk teenagers falling into drains and injuring themselves. I believe these railings will help prevent future mishaps, so the money is well spent,' she said.

Similarly, undergraduate Ong Jiaqi, 23, who lives in Hillview Road, said: 'There are many children in the area so I think it is good that we have these railings.

'They will come in useful not only when there is wet weather, but also in other daily situations such as when it is dark at night and one may slip, fall and hurt oneself.'

She added that the railings should have been set up from the beginning 'but I am glad that the Government is at least taking action now'.

Businessman Richard Tan, 54, who lives in Sixth Avenue, is impressed by the speed with which the project was embarked on. 'It is good that the Government took action this time and worked so quickly to get the railings up,' he said.

His wish is for the railings to be put up islandwide as soon as possible, and not just in flood-prone areas, as 'we can never predict when or where the next unfortunate accident may happen'.


Four lauded for flood bravery
Reporter carried woman on his back, three others saved teen from falling into drain
Goh Kai Shi Straits Times 10 Jun 11;

WHEN Lianhe Wanbao journalist Wilson Sim saw an elderly woman looking fearfully at the rapidly moving water in front of her during the thunderstorm on Sunday, he acted on instinct.

He walked over to her and piggybacked her to dry ground.

Yesterday, Mr Sim, 27, received a Public Spiritedness Award from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) for helping others during the Big Flood.

He was reporting on the flood near Coronation Plaza in Bukit Timah around 9am when he saw an elderly couple.

The woman had a bandage on her right leg which she had wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent it from getting wet. Her husband was struggling to support her and hold up an umbrella.

Fearing for their safety, Mr Sim waded over and convinced her to climb onto his back. He carried her for about 20m before setting her down near a bus stop in front of Coronation Plaza.

'I was afraid she would be washed away by the flood waters just as her right slipper had,' said Mr Sim, who has been a reporter for two years. 'I'm definitely heavier than her and less likely to (be washed away).'

Lieutenant-Colonel Ling Kok Yong, commander of the 1st Civil Defence Division, commended him for helping the couple.

The SCDF also recognised three others for courageous or outstanding deeds.

Security guards William Chung, 43, and Lee Kok Hwa, 57, and Mr Tan Chor Seng, 49, a cleaning supervisor, were recognised for saving student Rieyan Tan, 15, on June 1, during another thunderstorm.

The three men were in the lobby of ParkwayHealth Day Surgery and Medical Centre in Balestier Road when they saw Rieyan running barefoot along the drain there.

Moments earlier, Rieyan's friend, Indonesian tourist William Lim, 15, had been swept away after he had walked into a swollen drain at the junction of Minbu Road and Mandalay Road.

Rieyan ran after his friend as he was washed down the drain.

Sensing something amiss, the three men gave chase when they saw Rieyan start to climb into the drain.

'He was yelling for us to help him because his friend had fallen in,' said Mr Chung. 'He seemed to be confused and in shock.'

Mr Tan started removing his shoes and was prepared to jump in, but Mr Chung told him he might be swept away by the rapid currents.

The two men then grabbed hold of Rieyan's arms while Mr Lee ran ahead to look for William.

When the two men realised they could not hold on to Rieyan much longer, they tried to persuade him to give up. He reluctantly agreed and they pulled him to safety.

'It was as if he woke up from shock after he got out of the water and saw how dangerous the situation was,' said Mr Tan. William's body was later found in a waterway near Whampoa Drive.

Lt-Col Ling praised the men for their 'quick thinking and quick response'.

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Wet weather in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines

Malaysia: Unusually wet weather early this year
But long-term rainfall range normal: Official
Carolyn Hong Straits Times 10 Jun 11;

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia experienced unusually wet weather in the early part of this year but its rainfall readings over the long term remain within normal range, according to the Meteorological Services Department.

A department official was responding to questions on whether Malaysia's rainfall pattern has changed over the years.

On Sunday, following Singapore's worst floods this year, the country's Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said there was a 'very high probability that our weather patterns have changed'.

The Malaysian official said, however, that data over the past 30 to 40 years does not show any drastic changes.

The official also said that the heavy rain that fell from the end of last year to March this year was due to the La Nina weather phenomenon, duriong which lower sea temperatures in the Pacific induce more clouds to form.

The unusually heavy rain caused floods in Perlis, Terengganu, parts of Kedah and Perak, and in East Malaysia.

Overall, the peninsula received rainfall between 200 per cent and 300 per cent above average, the department said on its website.

It also said the uncertain weather conditions could be due to climate change as well as the La Nina phenomenon.

'Thirty per cent of the principal stations throughout the country have a new record of highest monthly rainfall in March,' it said.

Since the La Nina effect passed at the end of March, however, the weather has become drier, said the meteorological official.

He added that when heavy rain caused flash floods in Singapore on Sunday, southern Johor was also rainy but not unusually so. There were no reports of floods in Johor or elsewhere that day.

Rain continues, delaying start of dry season
Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja Straits Times 10 Jun 11;

JAKARTA: Parts of Indonesia are seeing a delay in the dry season this year due to rain caused by more-than-usual water vapour over surrounding seas, namely the Java Sea in the south and the Indian Ocean in the west, weather forecasters said.

The dry season in Indonesia usually starts between March and July.

But sporadic rain has been pouring into parts of many cities across the archipelago. This weather anomaly may last until the middle of next month, weather forecasters said.

On Sunday, Singapore's Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, speaking after the year's worst floods, said there was a 'very high probability that our weather patterns have changed'.

Mr Erwin Makmur, head of the early warning desk at Indonesia's meteorological service agency, noted a greater volatility in the weather.

But despite the unusual weather pattern in Indonesia, he ruled out calling it climate change.

Jakarta, which should have begun its dry season early last month, is only now transitioning from the rainy season.

'There have been more frequent anomalies,' Mr Erwin told The Straits Times. 'We have had unexpected rain in the middle of the dry season, abundant rain in the middle of the dry season, and the absence of rain for a long stretch of time in the middle of the rainy season.'

Last year was a 'very extreme year', said weather forecasters, with rain falling almost throughout the year and almost across Indonesia, hurting crops.

Prices of chillies in Indonesia more than tripled to more than 100,000 rupiah (S$14.50) a kilogram last year after abundant rain spoiled the harvest.

Rambutan-growing areas in Indonesia had practically zero output as the trees require a few consecutive weeks of warm or dry weather to produce fruit.

'In the past 10 years, temperatures across Indonesia have generally risen by between 1 and 2 deg C,' Mr Erwin said.

The higher temperature means more water vapour, which in turn means more rain, he added.

Heavy flooding kills four after days of incessant rain
Straits Times 10 Jun 11;

MANILA: At least four people drowned after heavy flooding in large areas of the rain-soaked Philippines, the authorities said yesterday, with some of the waters up to chest level.

Days of incessant rain since Monday have shut down schools, and forced a number of domestic flights to be cancelled yesterday.

At least five provinces, 19 municipalities and 135 villages have been affected. More chaos could be on the way, with forecasters predicting that a low pressure area west of the capital could become a storm.

However, the weather disturbance was not likely to develop into a full-blown typhoon and was forecast to blow off towards southern China by today, said Mr Robert Sawi, a senior state weather forecaster.

Overflowing rivers swamped coastal population centres on the major southern island of Mindanao, causing all the known fatalities, rescuers said. Manila was also under threat.

'The water in some parts were chest-deep,' said Mr Nasser Mastura, vice-governor of Maguindanao province, which is among those heavily inundated.

'We have removed thousands to safer grounds,' he said on local television, without giving exact numbers.

The government declared a school holiday in Manila and in some nearby suburbs yesterday, while a number of domestic flights to tiny provincial airports were either delayed or cancelled due to the stormy weather.

La Mesa Dam, Manila's lone tap-water reservoir, was about to overflow, triggering official warnings that nearby residents could be asked to evacuate if the heavy rain continued.

'We are expecting to have continuing heavy rain today until late tomorrow,' said Mr Sawi.


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Australia: Dugong health hit by floods

Seanna Cronin Fraser Coast Chronicle 10 Jun 11;

HERVEY Bay's dugongs have fared worse than their Moreton Bay counterparts after the summer floods, a Sea World and University of Queensland survey has found.

Researchers from UQ, Sea World and Taronga Zoo spent the past two weeks catching wild dugongs to survey the health of the populations.

It was the first time the team had carried out its revolutionary capture methods in Hervey Bay, which suffered massive losses to its dugongs after the 1991 floods.

“We've been studying dugongs with UQ for many years, probably 10 years, but it was only four years ago we developed the techniques and processes to be able to lift them (dugongs) out on board and do the work,” said Sea World's director of marine sciences, Trevor Long.

“You've got to remember these are big animals and they're very sensitive animals. We've got to be very, very cognisant of their welfare and caring about our approach.”

UQ marine mammal researcher Dr Janet Lanyon said the 1991 floods showed that the Hervey Bay dugongs were more vulnerable than the Moreton Bay population because their feeding grounds were closer to the coastline.

“The seagrass beds in Hervey Bay copped the full brunt of the floods up there in 1991, and the dugong habitat was virtually lost because the seagrass beds were smothered,” she said.

“The beauty of Moreton Bay's feeding area is it's a little removed from the coast – a few kilometres offshore.”

The researchers were pleased to catch several pregnant dugongs, including a whopping 600kg female, in Moreton Bay.

“Catching pregnant females is a really good sign that the population is healthy and that they are reproducing,” Dr Lanyon said.

But as of Wednesday the researchers had not found any pregnant dugongs in Hervey Bay.

“From an observation point of view, we've seen some of the animals here have been in slightly poorer condition than those in Moreton Bay,” Mr Long said.

“We won't know any real details until we get all of the blood work back, but from a physical point of view these animals are certainly thinner.”

Mr Long said the trip would lead to a better understanding of Hervey Bay's less-studied dugongs.

“The good thing is we've got some benchmarking for future assessments,” he said.

“That's the best thing, otherwise you never know where you're at. You don't know whether they're getting better or worse.”

Mr Long said the results of blood toxicology tests, which would take several months, would reveal any impacts on the dugongs from pollutants or heavy metals washed into the bays by the floods.

To see the video of the researchers’ work with dugongs go to

Dugong facts:

Dugongs are highly migratory and are found in tropical waters from the Qld/NSW border in the east to Shark Bay in WA.

They are also known as “sea cows” because they graze on seagrass.

Dugongs are protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act of 1999.

Kat the “lonely dugong” has been living alone in the remote Cocos Keeling Islands, an Australian territory near Christmas Island, for the past nine years.

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BBC wildlife survey asks commuters to record sightings

Mark Kinver BBC News 9 Jun 11;

Workers are being encouraged to make a note of the wildlife they encounter during their daily commutes.

Described as the first nationwide survey of its kind, BBC Wildlife Magazine is asking people to send in details of birds and animals they see.

It is also keen to receive details or photographs of people's memorable wildlife encounters.

The magazine plans to publish the results from the survey in a special report later in the year.

"It is not a comprehensive, scientific survey, but hopefully it will cast a light and help illuminate where our wildlife is and how it exists," explained James Fair, the magazine's environment editor.

He added that it was not necessary for people to have a detailed knowledge of birds and animals in order to take part.

"If someone knows that the bird they have seen is a juvenile, male great spotted woodpecker, then that's great as well," he told BBC News.

"But if someone else just sees a woodpecker in a tree next to the pub, that is great too."

"What we really want is to encourage people who do not usually record or talk about their wildlife sightings."

'Urban birder'

People can submit their sightings by using the form in the magazine, or visiting BBC Wildlife's website or emailing the details to the editorial team.

Respondents will be asked to list the species they have seen, in what region of the UK they spotted the creatures, and what mode of transport they were using - e.g. car or train.

"We're particularly keen to hear from people in urban and suburban areas to find out what unexpected wildlife is living in and around our towns and city streets," Mr Fair added.

"Don't worry if you're mostly seeing pigeons, squirrels or other common species though - wherever you go, whatever you spot, we want to hear from you."

Writing in the magazine, self-declared "urban birder" David Lindo encouraged people to look upwards during their trip to work.

"One winter's morning a few years ago, I detoured to see about 150 waxwings feeding on rowan berries," he recalled.

"Masses of commuters marched past on their way to work, totally oblivious to these gorgeous Scandinavian visitors."

Mr Fair said that he planned to publish the results from the survey later in the year.

"We are going to try and tease out things from the information we receive, such as the most common species," he suggested.

He added that he hoped the survey would become an annual fixture to help build up a picture of how the ecological landscape changes over the years.

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Climate change 'will cut water for farmers': UN

Yahoo News 9 Jun 11;

ROME (AFP) – The UN food agency on Thursday warned climate change will restrict the availability of water for farming in decades to come, including in the Mediterranean region, and urged governments to take action.

A report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said climate change will reduce river runoff and aquifer recharges, adding that the loss of glaciers "will eventually impact the amount of surface water available."

The report said that in Asia "large areas of irrigated land that rely on snowmelt and mountain glaciers for water will also be affected."

"Heavily populated river deltas are at risk from a combination of reduced water flows, increased sanity and rising sea levels," it added.

FAO also found that while increased temperatures will lengthen the growing season in northern temperate zones they will reduce it almost everywhere else, leading the yield potential and water productivity of crops to decline.

It said governments should improve the ability of countries to measure their water resources, as well as encourage farmers to change their cropping patterns to allow earlier or later planting and reduce their water use.

"Farm size and access to capital set the limits for the scope and extent of adaptation and change at farm level," the report said.

Climate change: major impacts on water for farming
New FAO survey sums up current scientific understanding of impacts, highlights knowledge gaps and areas for attention
FAO 9 Jun 11;

9 June 2011, Rome - Climate change will have major impacts on the availability of water for growing food and on crop productivity in the decades to come, warns a new FAO report.

Climate Change, Water, and Food Security is a comprehensive survey of existing scientific knowledge on the anticipated consequences of climate change for water use in agriculture.

These include reductions in river runoff and aquifer recharges in the Mediterranean and the semi-arid areas of the Americas, Australia and southern Africa -- regions that are already water-stressed. In Asia, large areas of irrigated land that rely on snowmelt and mountain glaciers for water will also be affected, while heavily populated river deltas are at risk from a combination of reduced water flows, increased salinity, and rising sea levels.

Additional impacts described in the report:

An acceleration of the world's hydrological cycle is anticipated as rising temperatures increase the rate of evaporation from land and sea. Rainfall will increase in the tropics and higher latitudes, but decrease in already dry semi-arid to mid-arid latitudes and in the interior of large continents. A greater frequency in droughts and floods will need to be planned for but already, water scarce areas of the world are expected to become drier and hotter.

Even though estimates of groundwater recharge under climate change cannot be made with any certainty, the increasing frequency of drought can be expected to encourage further development of available groundwater to buffer the production risk for farmers.

And the loss of glaciers - which support around 40 percent of the world's irrigation -- will eventually impact the amount of surface water available for agriculture in key producing basins

Increased temperatures will lengthen the growing season in northern temperate zones but will reduce the length almost everywhere else. Coupled with increased rates of evapotranspiration this will cause the yield potential and water productivity of crops to decline.

"Both the livelihoods of rural communities as well as the food security of city populations are at risk," said FAO Assistant Director General for Natural Resources, Alexander Mueller. "But the rural poor, who are the most vulnerable, are likely to be disproportionately affected."

Responding to the challenge

FAO's report also looks at actions that can be taken by national policymakers, regional and local watershed authorities, and individual farmers to respond to these new challenges.

One key area requiring attention is improving the ability of countries to implement effective systems for ‘water accounting' - the thorough measurement of water supplies, transfers, and transactions in order to inform decisions about how water resources can be managed and used under increasing variability.

"Water accounting in most developing countries is very limited, and allocation procedures are non existent, ad hoc, or poorly developed," the report says. "Helping developing countries acquire good water accounting practices and developing robust and flexible water allocations systems will be a first priority."

At the farm level, growers can change their cropping patterns to allow earlier or later planting, reducing their water use and optimizing irrigation. Yields and productivity can be improved by shifting to soil moisture conservation practices, including zero- and minimum tillage. Planting deep-rooted crops would allow farmers to better exploit available soil moisture.

Mixed agroforestry systems also hold promise. These systems both sequester carbon and also offer additional benefits such as shade that reduces ground temperatures and evaporation, added wind protection, and improved soil conservation and water retention.

However, FAO's report also stresses that small-scale producers in developing countries will face an uphill struggle in adopting such strategies.

"Farm size and access to capital set the limits for the scope and extent of adaptation and change at farm level," it warns, noting that already today many developing world farms produce yields far below their agro-climatic potential.

Zooming in on hotspots

FAO also warns that far too little is known about how climate change impacts on water for agriculture will play out at the regional and sub-regional level, and where farmers will be most at risk.

"Greater precision and focus is needed to understand the nature, scope and location of climate change impacts on developing country water resources for agriculture," the report says, adding: "Mapping vulnerability is a key task at national and regional levels."

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Canada Confirms It Will Reject New Kyoto Protocol

Gerard Wynn PlanetArk 9 Jun 11;

Canada confirmed on Wednesday that it would not support an extended Kyoto Protocol after 2012, joining Japan and Russia in rejecting a new round of the climate emissions pact.

The current Kyoto Protocol binds only the emissions of industrialized countries from 2008-2012. Poor and emerging economies want to extend the pact, creating a deadlock at U.N. climate talks running from June 6 to 17 in Bonn, Germany.

The confirmation makes it clear Canada is following the line its ruling party pursued ahead of last month's election.

"Now that we've finished our election we can say now that Canada will not be taking a target under a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol," Judith Gelbman, a member of Canada's delegation, told a negotiating session of the talks.

Canada has also previously said it could not achieve the binding emissions cuts it has committed to under the first round of Kyoto up to 2012, infuriating environmentalists and developing countries.

The U.N.'s top climate official, Christiana Figueres, said on Monday that the talks would now miss a deadline to launch a binding successor to Kyoto at the end of next year, because even if countries agreed a deal, they subsequently would have to be approve it in national parliaments in a lengthy ratification process.

The talks in Bonn were all but deadlocked on Wednesday on what items to include in the agenda of the meeting, and also over the long-running spat over whether or not to extend Kyoto.

Global carbon emissions last year rose at their fastest rate in more than four decades, up nearly 6 percent at about double the annual rate of increase over the past decade, data released by oil company BP showed.

(Editing by Jonathan Lynn)

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