A new study on Climate Change Impact and Adaptation in the Lower Mekong Basin has revealed that the effects of climate change in the basin are worse than the global average.
Final results of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded study, that were released recently at a regional workshop in Bangkok, indicate that changes in climate will likely trigger decreases in yields and in the suitability of key commercial and staple crops of the region.
The basic staple crop of the region – the rain-fed rice – would see a significant decrease in yield in seven out of eight provinces across the region that had been identified by the study as “hot sports.”
These included two provinces of Vietnam, Gia Lai in the Central Highlands and Kien Giang in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.
The study – that falls under USAID’s Lower Mekong Initiative – downscaled the global climate models for this region that is not only highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change but also significantly dependent on its natural resources for livelihoods.
Apart from detailing climate projections and trends, the study examined how changes in temperature and rainfall would affect land suitability and species productivity for a range of livelihood sectors.
While the study’s main objective was to understand the impact of climate change, other participants at the workshop called for a more integrated approach that would take into consideration the development influences that are already going on.
Representatives from the Vietnamese Agriculture Ministry at the workshop, while welcoming the study, took its results with caution, arguing that the input for the study’s modeling should have been more comprehensive.
The Lower Mekong Basin, which covers parts or whole of four countries Thailand , Laos , Cambodia and Vietnam , is home to 65 million people, 70 percent of whom are farmers and fishermen.-VNA