From August 19 to 29, the USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change Project (USAID Mekong ARCC) engaged rural communities in the Vietnam Mekong Delta by establishing a nexus between climate science and on-the-ground, community-led adaptation responses.  Through the use of participatory tools, USAID Mekong ARCC translated scientific information from USAID’s Climate Study of the Lower Mekong into relatable terms for locals in the Kien Giang province. 

USAID Mekong ARCC used scenarios to help community members envision how projected changes will improve community assets and livelihood.  The process recognized that while scientific knowledge is critical for addressing the impact from climate change, it is equally important to gain knowledge from the rural poor who are continually “adapting” to changing conditions and are keenly aware of their vulnerability.  Communities will use adaptation plans created from sound science and local knowledge and use them as pillars for improvement in community resilience to the impacts of climate change on their livelihoods and food security.

This top-down meets bottom-up process is highly innovative and tests science-based adaptation decision-making in the context of the people who are most affected by climate change.  USAID Mekong ARCC held similar meetings with communities in Lao PDR and Thailand, all of which identified adaptation options that will be applied in the next phase of the project.

Source: USAID/RDMA Regional Environment Office Weekly Update