Overview

Lao People's Democratic Republic is located in the Indochina Peninsular (Mekong Region), bordered by China to the North, Vietnam to the East, Cambodia to the South, and Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) to the West and Northwest respectively with population of just over 6.4 million (CIA, 2011). Lao PDR had a ranking of 122 of 169 on the human development index in 2010 (UNDP, 2010), putting it near the bottom of the list of countries that have achieved a medium level of human development. The country’s per capital annual income in 2010 was approximately US$986 (USDS, 2010). The country’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture, representing 30 per cent of GDP and employing approximately 75 per cent of the country’s population. The country’s climate is tropical and monsoonal, characterized by a rainy season from May to November and a dry season from November to April (USDS, 2010).  In order to adapt to climate change a few projects based on assessed priority levels are in place including the project to strengthen the capacity if the national disaster management committees and the project to strengthen capacity of village forestry volunteers in forest planting, caring and management techniques as well as the use of village forests.

  • National Communication (NC)

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    Key Vulnerabilities
    • Agriculture/Food Security
    • Forestry Management
    Potential Adaptation Measures

    The government’s main goals for climate change activities in the future are:

    • increase public awareness activities on climate change
    • implement a GHG mitigation plan
    • regularly monitor and control climate change activities, for example data collection on temperature, rainfall, water flow, etc; and
    • cooperate with international agencies on climate change activities and related issues

    Climate change is a new concept in the Lao PDR. The understanding of this subject–the science, mitigation aspects, impacts and adaptations, and its relevance to Lao PDR’s economy – are mainly restricted to a few institutions and individuals. The Lao National GHG Inventory Project is the first exposure of policy makers and technical persons to the climate change issues. Though this project has built limited capacity, a much wider dissemination of this issue and capacity building would be required before the country is in a position to have a stated or fully considered national perspective on policies and measures to respond to climate change.

    However, climate change activities in the Lao PDR have been growing since its participation at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Since then, interactions with IPCC and participation at COP (conference of the parties), including the above-mentioned project, have encouraged limited national consultations and activities relevant to the UN FCCC. These consultations and activities, while not constituting stated government policy, give indications of national thought on issues relating to climate change. Lao PDR is signatory to the FCCC, and ratified the Convention on 5 January 1995.

  • National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA)

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    National adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs) provide a process for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate needs to adapt to climate change – those for which further delay would increase vulnerability and/or costs at a later stage. The following summarizes the NAPA for Laos.

    Climate Related Hazards * Flooding (flash) * Changes in river morphology/loss of water bodies * Drought and low flows * Landslides

    June 22, 2009