Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the Lower Mekong Basin

Under the Mekong River Commission Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative (MRC CCAI), a Mekong Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan (MASAP) will be developed as the general plan of action for guidance and addressing the impacts of climate change on the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB). CCAI has asked Alterra to support the development of the MASAP.

The MRC CCAI is a collaborative regional effort to support the processes of adapting to the new challenges posed by climate change in the LMB. The main focus of CCAI is a basin wide integrated approach to adaptation planning consistent with Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) principles and within the framework of the 1995 Mekong Agreement “to promote and coordinate sustainable management and development of water and related resources for the countries’ mutual benefit and the people’s well-being by implementing strategic programmes and activities and providing scientific information and policy advice.”

Within the mandate of the MRC, the MASAP will focus on water and water-related resources. It will support the Member Countries to enhance their adaptive capacity especially in planning for addressing transboundary impacts of climate change and needs for transboundary adaptation. The MASAP will involve a set of flexible strategic actions in response to current vulnerability and future climate risks in the LMB. The formulation of the strategy is based on four primary information sources: (i) national policies and strategies, (ii) the 1st Regional Report on Status of Climate Change and Adaptation in the LMB (status report), (iii) evidence of scientific information based on CCAI basin-wide climate change scenario assessment to project long-term climate change impacts and identify adaptation options, and (iv) lessons learnt from demonstration projects at the local level through participation and consultation-based approaches.