Analysis from the East-West Center, no. 96:
This paper addresses Asia's coastal megacities increasing vulnerability to flooding disasters resulting from the combined effects of climate change (manifested as sea level rise, intensified storms, and storm surges), land subsidence and rapid urban growth. It recognizes the urgent need in all these cities: (i) for the development of risk-management strategies, such as improved infrastructure, early warning systems and evacuation plans, and disaster response and relief aid; and (ii) for the substantial barriers to implementing these measures to be overcome, such as the lack of awareness, the distracting urgency of various other issues including budgetary constraints and governance issues.
The paper also asserts that despite the absence of precise climate change predictions, recent studies suggest that climate change, sea level rise, and sinking deltas are occurring at much faster rates than were projected only a few years ago. It finally calls for high priority to be given to the implementation of climate risk management in planning and policy if there is hope of meeting the duel challenge posed by climate change and urban growth.
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