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Lao agricultural experts tackling climate change

Lao agricultural experts tackling climate change

Agricultural development partners discussed the mapping of agricultural livelihoods and climate services to help authorities in Laos improve responses to climate change such as drought and floods.

More than 70 officials from seven provinces including from Vientiane attended a two-day meeting in Xieng Khuang province late last week.

This activity is the second in a series of three meetings to discuss participatory mapping of agricultural livelihoods and identification of climate risk, to establish priorities for climate services in Laos.

Department of Agricultural Land Management deputy director-general Anoulath Chanthavongsa and Xieng Khuang provincial Department of Agriculture and Forestry deputy director Somsamone Phalichanh attended the opening ceremony on the first day of the meeting.

In December, the Department of Agricultural Land Management and the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute launched a joint project to produce maps of the present risks and impacts related to climate change, a report issued at the meeting said.

The initiative links the activities of line ministries to combat climate change. It will produce very important data for use in decision-making especially for national level and local level planning for the agriculture sector.

The project will produce maps of farmers’ perception of climate change, and how they react to existing climate threats such as drought and floods.

This information will guide the government authorities to improve the agricultural sector’s responses to climate change, such as adopting resilient crop varieties or adjusting the management of pests and diseases.

In the long term, this information should increase crop production and improve food security.

The project is a collaboration and co-financed by two main climate change projects.

First of these is a project called “Applying seasonal climate forecasting and innovative insurance solutions to climate risk management in the agriculture sector in Southeast Asia”, otherwise known as De-RISK Southeast Asia.

The project is implemented by the World Meteorological Organisation together with the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture and University of Southern Queensland.

The second project is the Food and Agriculture Organisation initiative “Strengthening Agro-climatic Monitoring and Information Systems”, which is financed by Global Environmental Financing.

It is implemented by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s Department of Meteorology and Hydrology and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s Department of Agricultural Land Management.

VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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