Climate Change Adaptation Information Platform(A-PLAT)

Report on FY2021 Climate Change Workshop in Kumamoto, Saga, and Nagasaki Prefectures & Kuma River Tour

We would like to report on the "FY2021 Workshop on Climate Change" held in Kumamoto, Saga, and Nagasaki prefectures from October 13 to 15, 2021, and the Kuma River inspection tour held on October 12.

2021 Workshop on Climate Change

Date of event October 13 (Wed.), October 14 (Thu.), October 15 (Fri.), 2021
  • October 13 (Wed.): Kumamoto Prefecture (Hotel Kumamoto Terrsa) (Attend at the venue or listen via web (ZOOM))
  • October 14 (Thu.): Saga Prefecture (Hotel Grande Hagakure) (Attend at the venue or listen via web (ZOOM))
  • October 15 (Fri.) : Nagasaki Online (Webex)
Organizers and secretariat Ministry of the Environment, Kyushu Regional Environment Office, Environmental Measures Division, Kumamoto, Saga and Nagasaki Prefectures
Environmental Planning Section, Kyushu Environmental Management Association

As part of the Kyushu Wide-Area Action Plan development project, a training course on climate change adaptation and adaptation planning was held for local government officials from Kumamoto, Saga and Nagasaki prefectures and municipalities in each prefecture from October 13 to 15 at three different venues. Mr. Nozuhara, Global Warming Information Officer, Fukuoka Regional Meteorological Observatory, Japan Meteorological Agency, gave a lecture on "Current Status and Future Outlook of Global Warming in Each Prefecture", and Mr. Harada, Assistant Director and Mr. Oshima, Regional Adaptation Specialist, Environmental Policy Division, Kyushu Regional Environment Office, Ministry of the Environment, gave a lecture on "National Trends on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation". At the workshop in Saga and Nagasaki prefectures, Professor Emeritus Komatsu of Kyushu University gave a lecture on "Adaptation to heavy rainfall disasters in local communities and introduction of adaptation measures for flood control".

Our office provided information on climate change adaptation. Mr. Mukai, Director of the Center, gave a lecture on "Climate Change Impacts in Local Communities and the Flow of Formulating Adaptation Plans (Adaptation Measures)", followed by a presentation on "Manual for Formulating Local Adaptation Plans", "Examples of Challenges and Actions for Formulating Local Adaptation Plans", and "Examples of Formulating Adaptation Plans in Municipalities". We also introduced the information tools and support menu that we provide.

In the part about the "Manual for Local Climate Change Adaptation Planning", an exercise for local adaptation planning was conducted, in which participants were asked to think about the items to be addressed by each municipality. Here are some of the comments made by the participants.

Sector Items to be addressed
agriculture, forestry and fisheries industry
  • We would like to consider countermeasures in the areas of paddy rice, livestock, and forestry.
  • It takes time to create heat-tolerant varieties of paddy rice. The challenge is to improve varieties.
  • Measures need to be taken for the benefit of the citizens as price hikes occur due to poor vegetable crops in the summer.
Water Environment / Water Resources
  • Measures for water resources as floods occur.
  • Utilizing reservoirs for disaster prevention. Abnormal weather causes concentrated rainfall, which directly leads to disasters and calamities. (Also duplicated in the section on natural disasters and coastal areas)
  • Water quality environment is affected by temperature. Need for monitoring.
  • The issue to be addressed is the lack of specialized human resources.
Natural Ecosystems
  • It is a remote island and is threatened by sea level rise. There is a rise in sea level due to the topographical conditions of the straits. There is a risk to the lives of citizens, including logistics, whether they can adapt including road infrastructure.
Natural Disasters / Coastal Areas
  • There are many mountains and forests and many disasters. We have to deal with it.
  • Disasters have occurred due to the heavy rains in 2021. The problem is that we don't know where to start.
  • Typhoon damage is severe. There is a need for power outage countermeasures and possible countermeasures against landslides. Since I belong to the Environmental Policy Division, which is a department that considers how to deal with the environment, I chose this item based on what kind of measures I could think of. There are many opportunities to discuss with disaster prevention-related departments.
Human Health
  • Heat stroke. Widespread use of air conditioning is an issue, but it is costly.
Prefectural life
  • Energy conservation in buildings. Efforts to save energy.

At the end of the session, we also received comments from Kumamoto, Saga and Nagasaki prefectures on their experiences during the formulation of adaptation plans.

  • Information sharing and progress management is an issue as it spans different fields.
  • It is difficult to obtain information from other departments because there is information that cannot be understood only by the environment department. Horizontal cooperation is difficult. There was not enough time to formulate the plan. It is necessary to work out parts of the plan.
  • We conducted questionnaires and hearing inquiries, and were able to obtain the cooperation of the departments in charge. It is also necessary to communicate that we want to do something like this so that we can gain their understanding.

I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to participate in this workshop, where I was able to gain knowledge and deepen my understanding of climate change, and to share the current situation and challenges of local governments in the three prefectures of Kyushu.

[Kuma River inspection]

On the day before the Kumamoto training (the 12th), we went to Hitoyoshi City, Kumamoto Prefecture, to inspect the Kuma River.
Heavy rains in July 2020 caused the Kuma River to overflow over a wide area, resulting in a major disaster.
The Kuma River that I saw during my visit was a beautiful river that flowed calmly and leisurely, and I could not imagine it ever flooding.

According to a resident of Hitoyoshi City, the area around "Photo 1" below (central Hitoyoshi City) was flooded up to the ceiling of the first floor of a building, and that flooding occurred from a nearby tributary first, before the mainstream of the Kuma River overflowed.

[Photo 1]

In addition, the following "Photo 2" shows the area around the Watari district of Kuma Village, further downstream from Hitoyoshi City.
The river runs three to four meters below where I took the photo, and the water rose to the second floor of the building in front of me.

[Photo 2]

Excavators were active everywhere in Hitoyoshi City, and work was still being done to remove the influx of earth and sand in order to restore the damaged land as farmland.

In the Kyushu area, disasters caused by heavy rains occur every year.
The importance of adapting to climate change was keenly felt, as was how we can reduce the impact of disasters and how quickly we can recover, assuming that heavy rains will occur.

(Published on January 6, 2022)

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