Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 4 Number 4 (2012)

doi: 10.3850/S1793924012100109

Strengthening Climate Adaptation in the Lower Mekong River Basin through a Regional
Adaptation Action Network

Andreas Schaffera and Li Dingb
Earth Observatory of Singapore, 50 Nanyang Avenue, N2-01a-03, Singapore 639798.


Adaptation efforts of countries in the Lower Mekong River Basin (LMB) will need to be enhanced. Current adaptation projects of the four riparian countries Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao are reactive and the result of bottoms-up processes without integration into the broader national development agendas. The four riparian countries in the LMB share similar socio-economic profiles, climate risks and vulnerabilities as well as common adaptation challenges. A basin-wide co-ordination of adaptation planning, implementation and monitoring is proposed to complement the national adaptation efforts. A co-ordinated approach at the LMB-level is expected to strongly contribute to the development of adaptive capacity in all all riparian states by accelerating adaptation mainstreaming, realizing synergies, allowing for programmatic adaptation planning and reducing the risk of maladaptation. A RAAN is proposed in this paper as an approach to build such a co-ordinated basin-wide effort, complementing and not substituting the national level plans. The proposed network is following the theory and experiences with Global Action Networks (GANs), which have been successful in driving transformational change by playing a leadership role in protecting public common goods via a network of organizations rather than relying on a single regulating stakeholder. The paper lays out a set of objectives, key participating stakeholder groups and a development process to design and build this Regional Adaptation Action Network. The challenges and limitations of this approach are finally discussed.

Keywords: Mekong, Adaptation, Climate change, Global action network.

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