A major report was released this week on the potential impacts of climate change on three major Asian cities. The news isn’t good.

These three major coastal cities alone (all with populations of 10 million or more) — Bangkok, Manila, and Ho Chi Minh City — could suffer billions in dollars of damage (not to mention physical and psychological trauma) from climate change. This would be equal to 2-6% of regional GDP.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the World Bank released this report after 2 years of research on the matter.

The people likely to be hit worst by climate change are the urban poor, the report concludes.

Along with the risks, the report detailed some ways these cities can prepare for, mitigate and adapt to climate change. For example:

[S]ound urban environmental management is crucial. Land subsidence due to groundwater pumping, dumping of solid waste into city canals andwaterways, clogged drainage systems, and deforestation in the upper watershed all contribute tourban flooding. Better management of these urban environmental issues will help manage futureclimate-related impacts.

Given the damage costs associated with climate change, the report also recommends that governments of coastal megacities undertake proactive measures to address climate risks as anintegral part of urban planning. This includes developing strategic urban adaptation frameworks formanaging climate risks, strengthening institutional capacity for adaptation and implementing measures such as land use planning and zoning to help reduce urban vulnerability.

You can download the full report with much more along these lines here: Climate Risks and Adaptation in Asian Coastal Megacities

Photo Credits: Andrew Hux via flickr (CC license); mr.beaver via flickr (CC license)