From: Reuters
Published November 27, 2007 09:26 AM

Indonesia losing crops and fish stocks to global warming

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia is losing tons of crop production each year and its fish stock is dwindling as a result of global warming, a UN report said on Tuesday, putting the greatest pressure on the nation's poor.

Millions of poor Indonesians will suffer loss of livelihoods, undermining the government's efforts to fight poverty, the report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said.

The report was launched ahead of the UN climate change talks next week on the tourist island of Bali, where delegates from 189 countries will hammer out a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, a pact against global warming which runs out in 2012.

Shifting weather patterns have made it increasingly difficult for Indonesian farmers to decide when to plant their crops, and erratic droughts and rainfall have led to crop failures, the report said.

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The report quoted a study by a local research institute which said that Indonesia had lost 300,000 tons of crop production every year between 1992-2000, three times the annual loss in the previous decade.

Millions of fishermen are facing harsher weather conditions, while dwindling fish stocks affect their income.

Indonesia's 40 million poor, including farmers and fishermen, will be the worst affected due to threats including rising sea levels, prolonged droughts and tropical cyclones, the report said.

"No one can escape from climate change. But the effects will be felt more acutely by the poorest people, who are living in the most marginal areas that are vulnerable to drought, for example, or to floods and landslide," the report said.

"Already one of the world's most disaster-prone countries, Indonesia faces increased exposure to droughts, floods and storms as well as disruption in agricultural production," the UNDP said in a press statement.

Developed countries are responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions which cause global warming, said UNDP's Country Director Hakan Bjorkman at the launch of the report.

"The poor walk the earth with very light carbon footprint," Bjorkman said, but "they are set to suffer the most from the actions of a few."

(Reporting by Adhityani Arga; editing by Sara Webb and Sanjeev Miglani)

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