The U.S. Agency for International Development's Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (USAID Mekong ARCC) project has just released a report entitled “Climate Change in the Lower Mekong Basin: An Analysis of Economic Values at Risk.”

Authored by Senior Economist John Talberth of World Resources Institute, a USAID Mekong ARCC partner, the report estimates that the economies comprising Southeast Asia’s Lower Mekong Basin stand to lose at least $16 billion per year in natural resource assets and infrastructure services by 2050 due to the projected impacts of climate change.

According to the report, the single highest value asset at risk in the region is worker productivity, accounting for over half of the total value at risk per year at $8.37 billion. Following worker productivity are built infrastructure services ($3.4 billion), crop production ($2.54 billion), ecosystem services ($1.24 billion), and hydroelectric power ($430 million).

This information will help equip policymakers with clear economic data to better prioritize investments in climate change adaptation and encourage follow-up valuation studies on specific ecosystem services in the region. To access the Values at Risk Report and read more about the VAR approach from the author of the report, click here.

Source: USAID/RDMA Regional Environment Office Weekly Update