USAID Mekong ARCC Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study for the Lower Mekong Basin: Main Report
This USAID report summarizes the results of the USAID Mekong ARCC project's second technical initiative: the Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study for the Lower Mekong Basin. One of eight ARCC studies, it identifies the projected environmental, economic, and social effects of climate change in this region.
This region, which includes Laos, eastern Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, is expected to experience more frequent and extreme weather, such as floods and drought. Temperatures are expected to rise by an average 3°C to 5°C by the end of the century.
Vietnam in particular ranks high globally in terms of vulnerability due to its low-lying topography and long coastline, which makes it susceptible to sea level rise and flooding. Increasing rain will lead to higher annual flows in the Mekong mainstream.
Longer wet seasons and shorter transition and dry seasons will impact agriculture. Commercial agriculture is expected to be affected more than subsistence farming because the former is heavily dependent on a few inputs and very sensitive to their fluctuations or failures. Yields for rice and maize are expected to decline in “hotspot” provinces that will be subject to the greatest climate impacts. Aquaculture will be more vulnerable to climate change scenarios than capture fisheries.