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Enhancing capacities for a country-owned transition towards CSA

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Participatory stakeholder capacity assessment to strengthen individual and institutional capacities for climate change adaptation in the Lao People's Democratic Republic

Climate change is expected to have a pronounced effect on wetland areas, as they are highly vulnerable to changes in quantity and quality of the water supply. At the same time, the management of wetlands can help reduce the impacts of climate change on local livelihoods. In the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the intensification of agriculture and the extraction of non-timber forest product by local communities, is putting wetlands under tremendous pressure. Climate change is further increasing their exposure and vulnerability. At the request of the Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has agreed to support a project through FAO, to enable users at two wetland sites to adapt to climate change by managing wetlands more sustainably. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an implementing partner.

Through a series of multistakeholder processes and climate vulnerability studies, FAO, with the leadership of the IUCN, has supported national stakeholders to self-assess their individual and institutional capacity needs, identify opportunities to respond to these needs, and plan effective capacity development actions. Inclusive assessments covered organizational and institutional areas, such as appropriate mandates, horizontal, vertical as well as multistakeholder coordination mechanisms. The findings of the capacity assessments revealed important areas for attention: improving local awareness and knowledge; enhancing networks and collective management; linking climate change, conservation and livelihoods; and strengthening institutional coordination mechanisms among sectors and stakeholders. 

To respond to these needs, detailed action plans with concrete activities have been jointly developed at the local level. Activities include raising awareness among local communities, capturing and sharing indigenous knowledge, strengthening co-management systems among wetland users, sharpening climate change policies and strategies, strengthening cross-sectoral coordination mechanisms identifying alternative livelihood options for local community members.

Source: Adapted by the authors from FAO, 2016d.