Planning and Implementing Rural Adaptation Initiatives in the Lower Mekong
Methods Applied to Integrate Climate Science and Local Knowledge
This report presents information on the USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change project. The project focuses on identifying the environmental, economic and social effects of climate change in the Lower Mekong Basin, and on assisting highly exposed and vulnerable rural populations in ecologically sensitive areas to increase their ability to adapt to climate change impacts on water resources, ecosystems, agricultural and aquatic systems, livestock and other livelihood options.
This report aims to demonstrate an integrative process for combining climate science and community knowledge to support the development of climate change adaptation plans and to present the adaptation strategies applied in target communities of the Lower Mekong Basin, along with lessons learned through their implementation and monitoring. The report can be used as a resource to those working with communities on climate change adaptation.
After the field-testing of integrative adaptation decision-making followed by implementation of pilot activities across five at-risk sites in the Lower Mekong Basin, a number of important lessons were revealed. Some lessons include: community adaptation options must show an economic gain, non-quantifiable benefits related to increased food security and nutrition are also important and training and capacity building are critical for enhancing community knowledge and adaptive behaviors.
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