With over 35 deaths and eight injured from lightning strikes in this year’s early monsoon season so far, the disaster is painting an alarming picture of future impacts from climate change in Myanmar.
The number of deaths caused by lightning strikes has also increased, reaching over 100 in some years. The death toll is expected to continue rising year by year.
Why? That’s because lightning occurs more frequently when it’s hotter because our globe is warming due to climate change.
A new study in the journal Science says that temperature increases due to climate change are ushering in a new era that could mean by the end of the century lightning strikes will be about half again as common as they were at the start of this century.
The country is already one of the most vulnerable in the world to such extreme weather events caused by climate change.
Our country is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world facing serious threats from deforestation, pollution, wildlife crime, and climate change.
There is no question that we must work with the international community to slow down and reverse global warming and to conserve our rich biodiversity, while also building its resilience by adapting to the reality of a changing climate.
Climate change will be the fastest-growing cause of species loss in the world. Climate change, alongside factors like land degradation and habitat loss, is emerging as a top threat to wildlife around the globe including Myanmar.
The threat of climate change highlights the need to embrace ecosystem-based strategies that will enable people to be resilient and allow species to survive.
With good management and planning, we can build a strong buffer to the likely effects of climate change and protect our biodiversity.
Saving our natural resources and biodiversity requires filling knowledge gaps and correctly anticipating the responses of the environment and the people in a changing world.
We would like to urge all stakeholders to pull in the same direction with trust, cooperation, and coordination for environmental sustainability.
It is of paramount importance to address the environmental issues as early as possible and build a systematic, holistic, and long-term approach.
This will require strong leadership and coordinated efforts of all stakeholders involved – the government, non-governmental organizations, and local communities.