Climate Change Risk Assessment for Southeast Asian Lakes (CCRASEAL)



Southeast Asian lakes provide several ecosystem services and are an important natural resource for water supplies, industry, agriculture, shipping, fishing, and recreation. It is demonstrated that they are highly vulnerable to anthropogenic and climate threats. Scientific studies clearly demonstrated that climate change has already significantly affected the SEA region and that these impacts will continue and expand as the pace of climate change accelerates. However, a deep understanding of “if” and “how” climate change, as well as the intensification of land uses may exacerbate those impacts on such vulnerable ecosystems across the whole region is lacking.

CCRASEAL will try to detect possible linking between observed alterations to multiple-threats, to understand if, when and where threats overlap and will define and choose metrics that best quantify the effects of multiple threats and their changes under future scenarios of climate and land uses. CCRASEAL will thus design a regional-scale approach for filling existing knowledge gaps and will provide guidance for addressing the urgent management challenges posed by multiple threats in freshwater ecosystems.

Interdisciplinary in nature, the project has a strategic approach and transdisciplinary outlook to guarantee that the linkage between science and policy at the regional level will be strengthened by actively engaging academic and government partners from 5 different countries in the Indo-Burma region.



Overall objective of the project is to set up a methodological and analytical framework that leverages on existing data, methods and knowledge to assesses the current and projected climate change impacts and related risk on the mainland SEA region freshwater lakes. There are 3 key objectives and related sub-objectives:

  1. To detect and measure spatial and temporal patters of present and future climate in SEA lakes.
    In particular:
    i) to detect and measure air temperature changes and trends;
    ii) to detect and measure precipitation trends;
    iii) to detect extreme events and changes in timing of seasons.
  2. To assess spatial and temporal patterns of changes of freshwater lakes and link observed alteration to threats.
    In particular:
    i) To generate an updated and standardized compendium of climatic and hydro-environmental variables;
    ii) To generate future land use scenarios;
    iii) To find spatial and temporal patterns and linkages between climate, land use and hydro-environmental variables
  3. To assess the climate change risk over investigated lakes and adjacent areas in future climates.
    In particular:
    i) to estimate the risk of water quantity and quality decrease in future climates;
    ii) to estimate the risk of the encroachment of lakes on rural, urban and agricultural areas adjacent to the lake
  4. To elicit a better consideration of multi-threats approach in CC impact assessment on mainland SEA lakes region into decision making processes