New Journal Article Details How Mekong Communities Implement Climate Adaptation

January 18, 2017

The 60 million people in the Lower Mekong Basin are among the world’s most vulnerable to extreme weather events—including cyclones, floods, drought, and prolonged heat.

To adapt, rural communities in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam are building resilience through activities detailed in the newly released journal article, “Merging science into community adaptation planning processes: a cross-site comparison of four distinct areas of the Lower Mekong Basin.”

The article, which appears in the peer-reviewed journal “Climatic Change,” was written by six staff and consultants of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (Mekong ARCC) project, implemented by DAI from 2011 to 2016. It describes how the Mekong ARCC team, led by DAI Chief of Party Paul Hartman, developed an understanding of vulnerabilities by integrating local climate projections and their potential impacts on livelihoods with farmers’ personal knowledge and experience. Mekong ARCC then worked with communities to develop and implement adaptation strategies suited to their specific needs.

As described in the article, the four communities are undertaking activities such as:

• Rehabilitating water supply systems • Intercropping • Diversifying climate smart crops and conserving soil • Reintroducing native livestock species and generating organic fertilizer through climate resilient farming practices • Implementing improved techniques to rice-shrimp rotational farming • Restoring and managing protective forestland and mangroves • Organizing community-led training and management teams

The article’s lead author was environmental consultant Shelley Gustafson; additional input was provided by Hartman and project partners Angela Joehl Cadena from IUCN Thailand, Ammar Kawash from World Food Programme Cambodia, Chinh Cong Ngo from Asian Management and Development Institute (AMDI) Vietnam, and Ienkate Saenghkaew from DAI.

Click here to download the article.

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