Sustainable Livelihoods and Water Management in Shared River Basins
This case study was aimed at identifying and adopting adaptation strategies for villagers living at a site along the Sonogram River in Northeast Thailand, where climate change is likely to impact livelihoods.
A core element in this location was balancing the competing needs of protecting livelihoods and biodiversity. Mild flooding occurs almost every year on this tributary of the Mekong Delta, but major floods have been rare. Although drought has not historically been a problem, the area has seen droughts three times since 1985, leading to reduced crop yields.
The study followed six steps: screening for vulnerability; convening stakeholders to determine next steps; analyses of climate simulations for three levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration; an analysis of the impact of climate change on flooding; selecting adaptation plans and implementing them; and evaluating the results.
Analyses found that higher concentrations of CO2 - below 720 ppm - would likely result in more frequent and larger floods. Climate change will likely also lead to hotter summer temperatures.
The results were given to the Thai government for consideration in its National Strategic Plan on Climate Action. USAID identified six ways that it could contribute to promoting sustainable livelihoods, such as promoting alternative crops and helping to improve natural resource management.