January 28, 2011
As a specialist on environmental issues, JICA-RI Research Associate Tomoyo Toyota currently undertakes a research "Adaptation to and Mitigation of Climate Change in Developing Countries," examining on how much Japanese development assistance has helped climate change measures in recipient nations. She also contributes occasionally to a project by a Kyoto-based Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), to look into the relationships between the developing stages of Asian major cities and environmental problems. The project "Human Impacts on Urban Subsurface Environment" focuses on urban underground issues like subsidence and groundwater pollution in selective seven cities including Tokyo, Manila and Jakarta. In January 2011, Toyota flew to attend a RIHN's feedback seminar in Jakarta and shared the findings
Flooded Jakarta (Feb 2010)
Photo: Tomomasa Taniguchi/Rissho University
According to Toyota, RIHN teams presented their findings such as a possibility that the officially announced figures of pumped groundwater are inaccurate. The city has been monitoring the use of groundwater for decades, but constant management changes hinder precise data collection. Participants, including officials in charge of the environment and water at the national and local governments, responded with comments, showing that they recognize the problems but more time and actions are necessary.
This water and subsidence issue is no stranger to Tokyo, Osaka and Bangkok. In Tokyo and Osaka, tough regulations in managing groundwater and heavy investments in building facilities such as embankments have been effective, while taxing on groundwater has helped solve the problem in Bangkok. By comparing seven cities at different development stages, researchers can compile data and information that can be applied for measures in follower countries and cities, Toyota explains.
Toyota reflects on the seminar and says, "Jakarta confronts the groundwater problem, flooding caused by intruding seawater with climate-change-led rising sea levels, as well as flooding from torrential rainfalls, also suspected to be caused by climate change. Manila, too, is struggling to cope with a similar situation. It's important to consider how to manage water and how to adapt to climatic changes as a set." She adds, "When an organization like JICA implements development cooperation programs, we must always keep it in mind that there is a climate change factor behind, and carry out with a multilateral perspective in assisting in sustainable city planning."
|Urban and Growing Jakarta (August, 2008)|
Photo: Kenshiro Imamura/JICA
Related Research Area: Environment and Development / Climate Change
Related Research Project: Climate Change: Adaptation to and Mitigation of Climate Change in Developing Countries
|Day||January 06, 2011(Thu)|
|Organizer||Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN. Kyoto-based)|