The Lao PDR Global Climate Change Alliance Programme

Climate change manifestations in Laos include an increase in temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns – which, based on climate model projections, are likely to be accentuated in the coming decades. Climate unpredictability has become the norm. Rainfall variability is a critical issue for rural livelihoods, which depend primarily on agriculture. There is also evidence of an increasing risk of flash floods in mountainous areas across all provinces.

In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, Laos used to be a net carbon sink. However, due to rapid deforestation driven by both legal and illegal logging, commercial concessions and large mining and energy projects, combined with forest degradation linked to slash-and-burn cultivation, the country has now become a net emitter of greenhouse gases.

The Second National Communication to the UNFCCC was approved by the government in January 2013. This document provides a basis for mainstreaming climate change into the National Socio-Economic Development Plan, for assessing activities and policies related to climate change, for undertaking awareness-raising activities and for developing  a greenhouse gas emission mitigation plan.

Targeting adaptation and disaster risk reduction

Overall objective:

Mainstream climate change into the Government of Lao PDR's poverty eradication efforts.

Specific objectives:

  • Promote sustainable natural resources management and improved land management.
  • Promote sustainable, climate-friendly and climate change resilient forms of agriculture and agroforestry.
  • Contribute to the government’s overall objective of significantly reducing the number of ‘priority poor’ districts in the Northern provinces.
  • Increase resilience to climate variability and change, and the level of food security, in target districts.

These objectives are in line with the 7th National Social and Economic Development Plan and the agenda for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Main expected results and activities: 

The GCCA programme uses a holistic approach, meaning it will involve actors from the grassroots level, government district staff and provincial authorities, as well as decision makers and policy makers at a national level. Capacity strengthening and awareness-raising activities will focus on government agencies at community, district and provincial levels, including the district and province offices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and those of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy.

The GCCA programme is focused on three Northern provinces (Luang Prabang, Phongsaly and Houaphan) where the EU is already active under geographic and thematic programmes. This is to maximise both the efficiency of the EU interventions and to better mainstream climate change into these other interventions.

Local, provincial and national institutions and capacities are strengthened with regard to designing and implementing plans addressing climate change.

Support will be provided to the Government of Lao PDR at central, province and district levels in appreciating, and effectively responding to, climate variability and climate change consequences for rural livelihoods.

Grassroots pilot activities enable improved agricultural practices, sustainable natural resource management and environment-sensitive livelihoods in selected areas, and contribute to resilience to climate change.

Coached by a team of experts, government staff, together with the rural community, will elaborate sustainable, climate-resilient land use approaches and adapted farming systems. Activities will involve the selection and implementation of village-level demonstration schemes/initiatives aimed at increasing food security and the adaptive capacity of local communities, agriculture and livestock-related ecosystems.

Lessons on climate change from grassroots activities influence policy making and are communicated to relevant decision makers.

Lessons learned from climate change adaptation activities at grassroots level will be assessed, documented and reported. The experience gained will be shared broadly with all development partners, notably through the sub-sector Working Group on Environment, with a view to placing climate change-related issues higher on the Government of Lao PDR’s agenda, and identifying practical responses to climate variability and change in uplands rural development. Recommendations will be made at the national level and will feed into policy dialogue.

Key achievements: 
  • A call for proposals process led to the award of three contracts, one for Lot 1: Institutional capacities development at national and provincial level and policy advice and two contracts for Lot 2: Institutional capacities development at decentralised level, grassroots activities and drawing lessons. The implementation of the related activities started immediately after contracts were signed, in March 2014.
  • Two additional projects started implementation in the end of 2014.
Way forward: 

The activities of the selected projects will be implemented until mid 2016.

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