USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change

Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change rice study tour

Project title: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) project

Location: Chiang Rai and Sakon Nakhon Provinces, Thailand

Duration: 2013 – 2016

Project background: Thailand is expected to experience an increase in rainfall by about 10-20% and an increase in maximum and minimum temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius by 2050 due to climate change. Extreme weather events and natural disasters such as droughts and floods are expected to increase in frequency and intensity. Climate change will have impacts on livestock and crops and other livelihood sectors, and combined with other pressures, it will also affect the health of forests.

For Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand, a USAID Mekong ARCC climate study indicates that lowland rice, litchi and maize are vulnerable to temperature increase. In Sakon Nakhon in Northeastern Thailand, rainfall may affect yields of rice, maize and soybean, and increased temperatures will be a threat to rubber plantations. In both provinces, livestock is vulnerable to heat stress and floods, and fisheries will be affected by increased temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns. Productivity and fertility of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) may be affected by increased temperatures.

Under this project, IUCN is implementing ecosystem and community-based climate adaptation and resilience building initiatives in Loh Yo, Hae Ko and Huai Kang Pla villages of Pa Tueng sub-district in Chiang Rai, and in Kok Klang village of Chan Pen sub-district in Sakon Nakhon.

Citizen journalist report on water challenges in Kok Klang, Sakon Nakhon. This video was produced In 2014. Since then, the project has improved water management in the village and resolved several water issues.

Objectives of the project: The project is centred on establishing a nexus between climate science and on-the-ground community-led responses to changing climate in certain economic sectors and ecosystems. USAID Mekong ARCC supports adaptation initiatives that develop the capacity of local communities, while assisting them to combine their knowledge with USAID Mekong ARCC generated climate science information in order to:

  • Understand climate risks
  • Identify and prioritise adaptive responses to those risks
  • Implement adaptation activities (technical and behavioural)
  • Monitor, measure and recalibrate adaptive responses based on experience gained and the best available weather and climate information

Expected outputs:

  • Vulnerability analysis
  • Community adaptation plans
  • Cost-benefit analysis of adaptation activities
  • Lessons learned and upscaling

Donor: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Partners: Land Development Office of Chiang Rai; Highland Research and Development Institute (HRDI); Phu Phan Royal Development Study Centre; Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University; and District and Sub-District Administration Organisations

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