Addressing ecosystem challenges through support to the Mekong River Commission’s Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative (CCAI)
At a glance
Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, the four countries of the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB), are vulnerable to climate change because of the heavy reliance of their economies on natural resources. Climate change is expected to modify weather patterns in the region in terms of temperature, rainfall, and frequency and intensity of extreme events. Seasonal water shortages, droughts and floods may become more common and more severe, as may saltwater intrusion. Such changes are expected to affect natural ecosystems, agriculture and food production, and exacerbate the problems of satisfying increasing food demand by growing populations.
The Mekong River Commission (MRC) is an intergovernmental body established in 1995 by agreement of the governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. These four countries saw a common interest in jointly managing their shared water resources and developing the economic potential of the river. In 2007, the MRC Council called for a cooperative regional initiative to provide knowledge, tools and capacity building and other assistance to adapt to climate change. As a result, the MRC Secretariat took the lead in preparing the Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative (CCAI), which began implementation in 2009. The GCCA, together with other development partners, provides support for this initiative.