Advertisement

Climatic Change

, Volume 149, Issue 1, pp 91–106 | Cite as

Merging science into community adaptation planning processes: a cross-site comparison of four distinct areas of the Lower Mekong Basin

  • Shelley GustafsonEmail author
  • Angela Joehl Cadena
  • Chinh Cong Ngo
  • Ammar Kawash
  • Ienkate Saenghkaew
  • Paul Hartman
Article

Abstract

Climate change is increasingly affecting rural areas worldwide. The Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) is at particular risk due to heat stress, changing rainfall patterns, rising sea levels, and more frequent and extreme climatic events. It is imperative that local-level adaptation plans are developed in a manner that builds resilience to these growing threats. Strategies for developing adaptation plans tend to comprise predominantly science-led or predominantly community-led processes. This study examines an approach that balances inputs from both processes in characterizing community vulnerability as a component of the adaptation planning workflow. Evaluation sites are located within four distinct sub-regions of the LMB: the Vietnam Mekong Delta, the Annamite Mountains of Lao PDR, the Cambodia central lowlands, and the mid-elevation forests of northern Thailand. Our results indicate that by merging science-based data with community-level perspective, knowledge gaps from both sides are filled and a more comprehensive understanding of vulnerability is factored into adaptation planning.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change team from DAI for their competent management of the project, and partners the Asian Management Development Institute, International Union for Conservation of Nature, and World Food Programme for their work on the ground with the pilot communities. Further thanks go to Shannon Dugan of DAI, Dr. Alex Smajgl of Mekong Region Futures Institute, and Henry Tucker of Lao Consulting Group for their insightful reviews of and suggestions for this article. We also thank Simon Tilleard from the International Centre for Environmental Management for providing clarifications on climate modeling methods. Finally, we thank the community members of Thuan Hoa Commune, Ban Kouane and Ban Xong, Chey Commune, and Huai Kang Pla Village for their participation, openness, and valuable input throughout the pilot project.

This publication has been made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the US Government.

Supplementary material

10584_2016_1887_MOESM1_ESM.docx (158 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 158 kb)

References

  1. Alexander C, Bynum N, Johnson E, King U, Mustonen T, Neofotis P, Oettle N, Rosenzweig C, Sakakibara C, Shadrin V, Vicarelli M, Waterhouse J, Weeks B (2011) Linking indigenous and scientific knowledge of climate. Bio Sci 61:477–484Google Scholar
  2. Andersson L, Wilk J, Graham LP, Warburton M (2013) Design and test of a model-assisted participatory process for the formulation of a local climate adaptation plan. Clim Dev 5(3):217–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bhave AG, Mishra A, Groot A (2013) Sub-basin scale characterization of climate change vulnerability, impacts and adaptation in an Indian River Basin. Reg Environ Chang 13:1087–1098CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security - Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA). 2016. Assessment report: the drought and salinity intrusion in the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam. Hanoi, Vietnam: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)Google Scholar
  5. Conway D, Mustelin J (2014) Strategies for improving adaptation practice in developing countries. Nat Clim Chang 4:339–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dasgupta P, Morton JF, Dodman D, Karapinar B, Meza F, Rivera-Ferre MG, Toure Sarr A, & Vincent KE (2014) Rural areas. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field CB, Barros VR, Dokken DJ, Mach KJ, Mastrandrea MD, Bilir TE, Chatterjee M, Ebi KL, Estrada YO, Genova RC, Girma B, Kissel ES, Levy AN, MacCracken SGoogle Scholar
  7. Dessai S, Hulme M (2004) Does climate adaptation policy need probabilities? Clim Pol 4:107–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. ADB (Asian Development Bank) (2012) Flood damage emergency reconstruction project: preliminary damage and loss assessment. 22 ppGoogle Scholar
  9. Eastham J, Mpelasoka F, Mainuddin M, Ticehurst C, Dyce P, Hodgson G, Ali R, & Kirby M (2008) Mekong River Basin water resources assessment: impacts of climate change. CSIRO: Water for a Healthy Country National Research FlagshipGoogle Scholar
  10. Finnis J, Sarkar A, Stoddart MCJ (2015) Bridging science and community knowledge? The complicating role of natural variability in perceptions of climate change. Glob Environ Chang 32:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Girvetz EH, Gray E, Tear TH, Brown MA (2014) Bridging climate science to adaptation action in data sparse Tanzania. Environ Conserv 41(2):229–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Green D, Niall S, Morrison J (2012) Bridging the gap between theory and practice in climate change vulnerability assessments for remote Indigenous communities in northern Australia. Local Environ 17(3):295–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gustafson S, Joehl Cadena A, & Hartman P (2016) Adaptation planning in the Lower Mekong Basin: merging scientific data with local perspective to improve community resilience to climate change. Climate and Development. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1080/17565529.2016.1223593
  14. Haraguchi M, Lall U (2015) Flood risks and impacts: a case study of Thailand’s floods in 2011 and research questions for supply chain decision making. Int J Disaster Risk Reduction 14(3):256–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hijioka Y, Lin E, Pereira JJ, Corlett RT, Cui X, Insarov GE, Lasco RD, Lindgren E & Surjan A (2014) Asia. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part B: Regional Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Barros VR, Field CB, Dokken DJ, Mastrandrea MD, Mach KJ, Bilir TE, Chatterjee M, Ebi KL, Estrada YO, Genova RC, Girma B, Kissel ES, Levy AN, MacCracken S, Mastrandrea PR & White, L.L (eds.)] Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 1327-1370Google Scholar
  16. Johnston R, Hoanh C.T, Lacombe G, Noble A, Smakhtin V, Suhardiman D, Kam S.P & Choo P.S (2009) Scoping study on natural resources and climate change in Southeast Asia with a focus on agriculture. Report prepared for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency by International Water Management Institute, Southeast Asia (IWMI-SEA). Vientiane, Laos: International Water Management Institute, South East Asia Office (IWMI-SEA). 118pGoogle Scholar
  17. Jones R.N, Patwardhan A, Cohen S.J, Dessai S, Lammel A, Lempert R.J, Mirza M.M.Q & von Storch H (2014) Foundations for decision making. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field C.B, Barros V.R, Dokken D.J, Mach K.J, Mastrandrea M.D, Bilir T.E, Chatterjee M, Ebi K.L, Estrada Y.O, Genova R.C, Girma B, Kissel E.S, Levy A.N, MacCracken S, Mastrandrea P.R & White L.L (eds.)] Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 195-228Google Scholar
  18. Kates RW, Travis W.R & Wilbanks TJ (2012) Transformational adaptation when incremental adaptations to climate change are insufficient. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109, 7156-7161.Google Scholar
  19. Khim L, Phearanich H (2012) Climate resilience in rural Cambodia: adaptation mainstreaming, water resource management and agricultural practice. Asian J Environ Disaster Manag 4(4):447–468Google Scholar
  20. Lemos MC, Kirchhoff CJ, Ramprasad V (2012) Narrowing the climate information usability gap. Nat Clim Chang 2:789–794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mainuddin M, Hoanh CT, Jirayoot K, Halls AS, Kirby M, Lacombe G & Srinetr V (2010) Adaptation options to reduce the vulnerability of Mekong water resources, food security and the environment to impacts of development and climate change. CSIRO: Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship. 152 ppGoogle Scholar
  22. Mastrandrea MD, Heller NE, Root TL, Schneider SH (2010) Bridging the gap: linking climate-impacts research with adaptation planning and management. Clim Change 100:87–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mekong River Commission (MRC) (2009) Adaptation to climate change in the countries of the Lower Mekong Basin: regional synthesis report. MRC Technical Paper No. 24. Mekong River Commission, Vientiane. 89 ppGoogle Scholar
  24. Mimura N, Pulwarty R.S, Duc D.M, Elshinnawy I, Redsteer M.H, Huang H.Q, Nkem J.N & Sanchez Rodriguez R.A (2014) Adaptation planning and implementation. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field CB, Barros VR, Dokken DJ, Mach K.J, Mastrandrea M.D, Bilir T.E, Chatterjee M, Ebi K.L, Estrada Y.O, Genova R.C, Girma B, Kissel E.S, Levy A.N, MacCracken S, Mastrandrea P.R & White L.L (eds.)] Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 869-898.Google Scholar
  25. MONRE (2009) Climate change, sea level rise scenarios for Vietnam. Prepared by the Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. 34 ppGoogle Scholar
  26. Nara P, Mao G, Yen T (2014) Climate change impacts on agricultural products in Thailand: a case study of Thai rice at the Chao Phraya River Basin. APCBEE Procedia 8:136–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nguyen Q, Hoang MH, Öborn I, van Noordwijk M (2013) Multipurpose agroforestry as a climate change resiliency option for farmers: an example of local adaptation in Vietnam. Clim Change 117:241–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pringle P, Conway D (2012) Voices from the frontline: the role of community-generated information in delivering climate adaptation and development objectives at project level. Clim Dev 4(2):104–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rasanen TA, Kummu M (2013) Spatiotemporal influences of ENSO on precipitation and flood pulse in the Mekong River Basin. J Hydrol 476:154–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rasanen TA, Lehr C, Mellin I, Ward PJ, Kummu M (2013) Palaeoclimatological perspective on river basin hydrometeorology: case of the Mekong Basin. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 17:2069–2081CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Shaffer LJ (2014) Making sense of local climate change in rural Tanzania through knowledge co-production. J Ethnobiol 34(3):315–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Smajgl A, Toan TQ, Nhan DK, Ward J, Trung NH, Tri LQ, Tri VPD, Vu PT (2015) Responding to rising sea levels in the Mekong Delta. Nat Clim Chang 5:167–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tschakert P (2007) Views from the vulnerable: understanding climatic and other stressors in the Sahel. Glob Environ Chang 17:381–396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. USAID (2013) Mekong ARCC Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Study for the Lower Mekong Basin: Main Report. Prepared for the United States Agency for International Development by ICEM - International Centre for Environmental Management. 284 ppGoogle Scholar
  35. World Bank. (2012). Thai Flood 2011: rapid assessment for resilient recovery and reconstruction planning. 377 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shelley Gustafson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Angela Joehl Cadena
    • 2
  • Chinh Cong Ngo
    • 3
  • Ammar Kawash
    • 4
  • Ienkate Saenghkaew
    • 1
  • Paul Hartman
    • 1
  1. 1.DAIBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), Asia Regional OfficeBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Research Center for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate ChangeAsian Management and Development InstituteHanoiVietnam
  4. 4.UN World Food ProgrammePhnom PenhCambodia

Personalised recommendations