Advancing Lao PDR’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) through Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments for Disaster Risk Management in human settlements

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Advancing Lao PDR’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) through Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments for Disaster Risk Management in human settlements

This NAP Readiness proposal was developed by UN-Habitat Office in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) in response to the support requested by the NDA, Climate Change Department (DCC), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), to strengthen climate change adaptation planning through the development of a tool to help improve disaster risk management and climate resilience in Lao human settlements. Driving this demand was a request of the National Assembly, which instructed MoNRE to provide a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA) of 8 provinces, 45 districts and 160 villages in 2019. Due to the difficulties faced to meet this request, a set of actions are proposed to increase institutional and technical capacity to integrate adaptation to climate change into policies, development plans and strategies at the sub- national level, strengthening multi-level governance. This proposal aims at supporting several ongoing efforts, and is highly complementary to GGGI’s sectoral-focused proposal, as requested by the Government of Lao PDR, in order to effectively and efficiently tackle adaptation challenges.

Under the framework of the NAP process, the results of this readiness grant are expected to provide a meaningful input for the implementation of the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan of Lao PDR (9th NSEDP), and will be key to build knowledge on the climate vulnerability status of human settlements in order to identify risk reduction opportunities at the national, regional and local levels to advance the NAP process. Data and information made available under this proposal would be gathered through an inclusive and incremental approach and will help mainstreaming adaptation into planning. Thus, this project responds to the pressing need for the development of better planning and investment strategies that mainstream climate change impacts, thereby improving risk management in a post- pandemic recovery context.

Through the development of a National Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Disaster Risk Management (NCCVA) in Lao PDR, it is expected to enable national and sub-national authorities to make informed planning decisions to adapt to climate change and better catalyse investments to advance the sustainable development of human settlements in urban and rural settings. By providing a comprehensive assessment, national and local government capacities, policies and legal frameworks will be strengthened, setting the grounds for further adaptation processes that respond to current and future needs.

This multi-stakeholder project will be led by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) in close collaboration with UN-Habitat and, when necessary, will engage other related ministries, such as Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT), MPI (Ministry of Planning and Investment), and MoH (Ministry of Health). Engagement with the private sector, international organisations, and civil society will be sought in order to attain success and sustainability.

Overall, the proposed Readiness Grant will benefit the most vulnerable communities in Lao PDR, especially those living in rural settlements, which are highly dependent on natural resources, and will contribute towards targeting investment and interventions for reducing vulnerability to climate change in the medium and long term. Similarly, the Readiness Grant will also benefit the most vulnerable urban communities as assessments will improve territorial and urban planning, giving opportunities to link spatial planning and climate change action plans, and build capacity on climate change-related planning for government officials across the country.

The immediate beneficiaries of this project will be technical level officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MoNRE) and officials from its respective provincial and district departments in targeted provinces, with a focus on female government staff. They will directly benefit from technical assistance and strengthened institutional capacity building to improve adaptation planning governance and institutional coordination. As a result, implementation will advance evidence basis to design adaptation solutions for maximum impact through vulnerability assessments and developed capacities at the provincial-level, engagement with the private sector to catalyse adaptation investments; and increased adaptation finance opportunities through the development of knowledge mechanisms and mainstreaming adaptation into planning, contributing to the achievement of the SDGs and implementation of the NUA, the Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience (DRR).

Public and private sectors will also benefit from this project. By developing a better understanding of the impacts of climate change at the country level and assessing vulnerability and exposure, development strategies will be more grounded in reality and will create opportunities for bankable investments for climate change adaptation financing to advance the sustainable development of Lao human settlements.

Cover date 24 June 2022
Document type Approved readiness proposal
Lao People's Democratic Republic (the)