USAID Mekong ARCC-Thailand

Background

Under the USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (USAID Mekong ARCC) project, IUCN Thailand 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. With project funding of US$ 382,000, the project activities are being carried out from November 2013 until December 2015.

This 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.

IUCN Thailand is implementing the project in two ‘hot spot’ provinces – Chiang Rai and Sakon Nakhon – to work with communities in design and implementation of adaptation initiatives which address specific climate threats to livelihoods and natural systems, with the greatest potential to impact community well-being. USAID Mekong ARCC will use the experience gained through these Adaptation Initiatives to extract replicable and scalable approaches and lessons learned that national governments and donors can adopt and incorporate into projects and investments across the lower Mekong Basin. (Source: Adapted from USAID Mekong ARCC webpage.)
 
Hot spot provinces in the lower Mekong region

‘Hot spots’, according to the USAID Mekong ARCC Climate Study, are representative of the 12 ecosystems found across the Mekong River Basin. They support a combination of staple and commercial crops, livestock and fisheries that are native to the lower Mekong Basin. These areas are projected to experience the greatest relative increase in average temperature and/or rainfall. Such shifts would significantly impact a small number of important livelihood/subsistence options for communities. Selected hot spot provinces, such as Chiang Rai and Sakon Nakhon in Thailand, share common traits with other provinces in the lower Mekong Basin. This will allow new approaches to adapt the learning generated from field programmes, so that they can be replicated in a scalable way throughout the Mekong Basin.

In Chiang Rai, the vulnerability highlights of the USAID Mekong ARCC Climate Study indicate that lowland rice, litchi and rubber will see a fall in yields, a decline in rain-fed rice yield, and drought stress on fisheries. With considerable past experience in this province, IUCN Thailand has been working in Doi Mae Salong in Chiang Rai since 2007 to develop community and ecosystem-based initiatives for livelihood development.

In Sakon Nakhon, the vulnerability highlights of the USAID Mekong ARCC Climate Study indicate heat stress will impact rubber and cassava will be vulnerable to water logging. In terms of past engagement, IUCN Thailand has worked in the Songkhram River Basin in Sakon Nakhon from 2003 till 2009 to develop community-based ecosystem management initiatives.

Resilience building is an important aspect of IUCN’s previous engagements in the region. Thus far, the focus has been on social and economic changes and on the restoration of degraded areas. The USAID Mekong ARCC project will enable IUCN to effectively integrate ecosystem and community-based climate adaptation and resilience building initiatives. It will also bring an important additional value for the communities in ongoing projects. In addition, it shall provide an important platform for testing, refining and improving the USAID Mekong ARCC approach to community-led climate change adaptation.

 

Web articles

Understanding local climate vulnerabilities: The climate story of three villages in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand

Combining science with local knowledge: Ecosystem-based adaptation in Kok Klang village, Sakon Nakhon Province, Thailand

Improved Water Management for Climate Change Adaptation

 

In the news

Where has all the water gone (in Thai, 3.31 minutes)
Citizen journalist report, Thai PBS, 6 June 2014

 

Contact:

Tawatchai Rattanasorn
Project Manager, IUCN Thailand
Tawatchai.RATTANASORN@iucn.org

Angela Jöhl Cadena
Programme Officer, IUCN Thailand
Angela.JOEHLCADENA@iucn.org