In this global and regional context, the USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (USAID Mekong ARCC) project, implemented by DAI from 2011-2016, represents a first generation adaptation project that set about to demonstrate high-level climate science can be integrated into community decision making, and used to develop an evidence base of tested rural adaptation measures in the Lower Mekong Basin. As rural adaptation strategies and financing are mainstreamed into national development planning in the region, approaches, experience and best practices established by the USAID Mekong ARCC project can help to lay this foundation.
To best communicate the USAID Mekong ARCC story, this final report is laid out according to how the project itself is unfolded, with key actions and their results detailed throughout the main text of the report:
- Understanding Ecosystem-Livelihood Vulnerability in the Lower Mekong Basin
- Linking Science and Local Knowledge – The Applied Model
- Community Adaptation in Action
- Scaling Up Rural Adaptation
Given the top-down nature of scientific projections, the USAID Mekong ARCC team sought input from communities to validate recent shifts in weather patterns and prioritize adaptation strategies to best address their needs in a locally suitable and sustainable fashion. After establishing this framework to prove the adaptation thesis—connecting science, local impacts, and decision making—the team supported community implementation of adaptation plans, which benefited close to 30,000 rural people and became a valuable evidence base of adaptation strategies tested by the project. The final push for USAID Mekong ARCC was learning and communicating strategies for scaling these rural adaptation measures through LMB governments and development partners, and then identifying their potential to attract global climate financing. The project team clearly documented the framework and results generated along the way to serve as proof that the USAID Mekong ARCC adaptation design can be used as a springboard for rural adaptation planning, design, and implementation in the LMB moving forward.
Download the Final Report (version submitted to USAID).