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Community Adaptation Initiatives in Khammouan Province, Lao PDR
Location: Khammouan, Lao PDR
Implementing Partner: IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), Lao PDR

Located in Central Lao, the communities in low-lying Khammouan Province will need to be prepared to receive significantly more rainfall in the coming years. Estimated anticipate annual precipitation increases between 8% to 18% for the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) region of Lao PDR. Further increases in temperature—up to 16% higher—are projected for the mountainous terrain to the northeast of Khammouan, though other regions of the province will see only moderate temperature increases.

USAID Mekong ARCC is working through IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), Lao PDR to help communities in Khammouan prioritize adaptation options that will allow them to mitigate the effects of increased rainfall and temperatures through improved water management.

Site Information

IUCN Lao PDR is focusing on six communities in two villages of Khammouan’s Nakai DistrictBan Kouane and Ban Xong. These villages are located in the narrow river valleys of the limestone mountains inside the Phou Hin Poun National Biodiversity Conservation Area. Most of the land is agricultural area, community forests or protected areas.  Access to these villages becomes extremely limited in the wet season as the main road gets washed out.

These two villages have a combined total population of 2,093 across 400 households. Nearly 65% of people live below the national poverty line, with less than half residing in permanent housing. (View site map)

Analysis of Climate Impacts in Khammouan from USAID Mekong ARCC Project’s Lower Mekong Basin Climate Study

  • Current daily peak temperatures in April average 28.4°C. As the climate changes, daily peak temperatures are expected to increase by 2°C.
  • 70% of days in the rainy season are expected to exceed average baseline temperatures
  • Annual rainfall will increase from 2,610 mm/yr to 2,945 mm/yr (+335 mm/yr); in April, May and September, monthly rainfall will increase by more than 20%. January will experience an 11% reduction in monthly rainfall.
  • Large rainfall events (>100 mm/day) will increase in frequency and intensity, resulting in increased flash flooding.
  • The historical dry season will see no significant change in the number and pattern of drought months.
  • The availability of soil moisture will decrease slightly during the dry season but will increase significantly from May-July, reaching a maximum increase of 7% at the start of June.

Projected Climate Vulnerabilities on Key Livelihood and Food Security Options in Khammouan

  • Heat stress and larger, more frequent rainfall will decrease yields of lowland rainfed rice.
  • Heat stress, including increased daily maximum temperatures during the dry season, will negatively impact growth of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Flash floods will impact young seedlings of rattan and/or intense storms can damage high tree canopy growth.
  • Cassava and maize are vulnerable to waterlogging and flash flooding caused by higher monthly precipitation of 540-700 mm from June-August.
  • Increasing temperatures could decrease oxygen levels and negatively impact reproduction rates of migratory white fish.

Community Identified Adaptation Activities for Communities in Khammouan

  • Improvements to water systems to increase water supply for household and domestic use, particularly during the critical dry season months;
  • Increased understanding of animal husbandry techniques around better foraging and animal upkeep; and
  • Diversification of food sources and improved food security through development of household fish and frog ponds.

Additional Stakeholder Engagement

  • Provincial Office of Natural Resources and Environment (PONRE)
  • District Office of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE)
  • Department of Forest Resources Management (DFRM)


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Last update: 15.03.2016