Extended discussions on different aspects of the scientific issues concluded that so far, almost all major scientific initiatives, research and data output had been from the developed countries, even when they pertain to developing countries. It was strongly felt that developing countries must undertake some relevant scientific studies of their own. It was, therefore, decided that CANSA should undertake some research activities and encourage other Southern institutions to initiate quantitative research on climate change issues. The following were identified as scientific issues for immediate attention.
Data inadequacy in GHG emission estimates being commonly used was identified as a major weakness. The CANSA member NGOs will undertake a re-evaluation of existing data and generate more reliable data. An example is that CANSA has initiated a discussion to use G252 computer programme developed by the Stockholm Environment Institute in estimation procedure and evaluate its applicability to selected South Asia region countries.
Given the emphasis of the need for country studies to determine the cost of GHG mitigation measures it would be useful for CANSA members to undertake country-specific GHG emission mitigation cost curves. TERI has started the development of a framework which, when developed, can be used by other countries. CANSA amy facilitate such a process.
Sectoral and sub-regional impacts in each country and also regional impacts studies in South Asia region need to be undertaken. BCAS has already completed a study of the impacts of one-metre sea-level rise in Bangladesh and this methodology could be adapted in other South Asian countries. In most countries impacts are probably the most important concerns e.g., increased temperature will enhance ice-melt in the Himalayas affecting Nepal and other countries in South Asia. Similarly, sea-level rise is likely to have devastating effects on the Maldives. Developing a hazard map of the region will be a preliminary activity.
The lack of data in the South Asian region was recognized as a major uncertainty in estimating GHG emissions. This has given rise to proposed policy decision on the basis of highly inadequate data. Participants felt that conflicting political interest would result in compounding these uncertainties and may work against the interest of the South Asian countries. Some work, however, has been initiated in this area e.g. CSIR and National Physical Laboratory, India are collaborating with Dhaka University in Bangladesh and TERI in New Delhi is conducting research on methane emission in some countries. Results of these works and methodologies developed will be adapted to research in other countries and policy implications evaluated.
The CSE study has drawn attention to the political economy implication of the selection of indices/time-frame. Some work is being undertaken by TERI and CSE and the policy implications will be circulated to CANSA member NGOs.