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Sara Lehman
| Post on
8 March 2016
Empowering WOMEN through Improved Water Security (1/6)
On the International Women's Day (March 8th), USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (USAID Mekong ARCC) project wants to share women's stories, particularly in rural villages of Lao PDR's Khammouan Province, through compelling images.
Shannon Dugan
| Post on
30 November 2015
The quote of Dr. John Ward, MERFI
An Interview with Dr. Alex Smajgl and Dr. John Ward of the Mekong Region Futures Institute Rivers help to purify water. Mangroves protect against coastal erosion and storm surge. Forests sequester carbon from the atmosphere and provide a rich variety of edible and medicinal plants. These are just a few examples of the many types of “services” that ecosystems – whether in urban areas such as Bangkok or rural villages in the Lower Mekong Basin – provide to communities on a regular basis. Moreover, many ecosystems have spiritual and cultural significance for local populations. In both urban and rural Thailand, many trees can be found wrapped in colorful swaths of cloth. These are believed to be spirit trees that should not be cut down.
Del McCluskey
| Post on
2 September 2015
School children of Kok Klang community were engaged in the community reforestation as a climate resilience strategy. (Photo by Del McCluskey/DAI)
National Park Officials, monks, community leaders and school children were among the 200 members of Kok Klang Village, in northeastern Thailand’s Sakon Nakhon Province, who gathered together in a community reforestation effort on August 28th, 2015. In total, the group planted about 5,000 trees in the 16-hectare Non Sao Ae community forest, as part of a larger community adaptation effort supported by the USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (USAID Mekong ARCC) project and its partner, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Non Sao Ae and other forests provide nearby communities with many valuable products and services, and therefore require careful management in the face of anticipated climate change impacts.
Shannon Dugan
| Post on
20 July 2015
Nang Suwannaprateep (right) of Sakon Nakhon's Kok Klang village told us that she loves her pigs ‘like her own children. (Photo by Saowalak J./DAI)
As the USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (USAID Mekong ARCC) project guided communities at sites in Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam through a participatory decision making process to identify adaptation activities, what became increasingly clear was the value of livestock to community livelihoods across the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) and the vulnerabilities of those animals to the changing climate. Not only did communities rely on livestock as a means of immediate cash income, but also as financial security and household assets—water buffalo plow the rice fields, chickens lay protein rich eggs to sell and consume, and of course, pigs provide adorable piglets that can grow up to be breeders themselves or are sold at markets.
| Post on
17 June 2015
Women in DoneKeo were waiting to collect water. (Photo: Pakprim Oranop-na-Ayuthaya/DAI)
This past May, on the day that the USAID Mekong ARCC project team was to begin our week of field work in the villages of Nakai in Lao PDR’s Khammouan Province, unseasonal heavy rains made the road leading to the community site too dangerous to travelers, and as a result, our trip was postponed. While disappointed, we weren’t surprised by this unusual weather event since unseasonal and variable rains are one of the effects of climate change that villagers had identified last year during a participatory decision-making process to develop a climate change adaptation plan. A few days later, the roads were dry and we made our journey to our target local communities in Nakai District. Good thing, because if the trip had been rescheduled we might not have been able to return to the villages all. Located in a low valley across a karst limestone mountain, the main road to the village is entirely cut off during the rainy season that usually begins in June.