Climate vulnerability: As global temperatures rise, Lao PDR can expect rainfall, storms, droughts and floods to become more severe and frequent. The effects of climate change are already having serious impacts on the livelihoods and living conditions of people in the country. Floods and storms destroy infrastructure by washing away streets, damaging buildings or interrupting electricity supply. In the near future, expected impacts include crop failure, lack of drinking and irrigation water as well as an increase in vector-borne diseases such as malaria or dengue. Increased vulnerability towards the negative effects of climate change is compounded by natural resource–driven economic development, such as the country’s heavy reliance on mining and hydropower generation.
National Response: Many small-scale village-level infrastructure projects such as irrigation schemes or water supplies for domestic consumption are built on ad hoc–based traditional knowledge only, which lacks the necessary technical know-how and financing to be climate risk-proof. The challenge lies in limited understanding of and awareness about the effects of climate change on the ecosystem and gaps in local capacity and budgets to build resilience.