The United Nations University of Thailand will conduct a three-month course for experts from five Asian countries that will explore risks and model strategies to deal with Asia’s worsening floods and rising sea levels, both of which have been associated with global warming.
The two- to four-person teams of experts, hailing from China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Nepal and Sri Lanka will participate in November’s program, which could be expanded to address other regions if deemed a success.
The course will study flood risks, their potential economic impact and improved flood protection measures such as dykes, better meteorological forecasting and early warning systems."Catastrophic floods may become much more common," said Srikantha Herath, a senior academic officer at the U.N. University in Tokyo. "Asia suffers most from floods of all the regions and we want to prepare for what may happen."
According to the U.N. University, so far this year, severe flooding from monsoon rains have killed more than 3,000 and affected 100 million people alone, with property damages being estimated in billions of dollars.
In a world where climate change knows no borders, the courses should prove interesting to countries such as the US or the UK as well, in order to improve the response to unexpected catastrophes such as the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans or this summer's floods in London.
Studies conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predict increasing incidences of severe storms, flooding and a rise in sea levels of up to 59 cm (2 ft.) by the end of this century.
::Environmental News Network
Image: Oxford, UK floods, AP