Lao PDR and UN Environment launch development of GEF project proposal to advance NAP process

  • • US$3.5 million allocated from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) for a four-year project to advance the Lao PDR NAP 
  • Lao PDR is frequently impacted by extreme climatic events including unpredictable rains and extended dry seasons 
  • The new project will support the advancement of climate information, capacity building and integrated adaptation planning
1 October 2018, Vientiane, Lao PDR:  The Lao PDR’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the UN Environment Climate Change Adaptation Unit have jointly held an inception workshop to launch the development of a full project proposal to the GEF’s Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF). This will support capacity building to advance the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process in the Lao PDR.  
Climate change effects — such as unpredictable rains and extended dry seasons — will significantly impact the lives of people in the Lao PDR. Approximately 70% of the population rely on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods. Climate change is anticipated to seriously affect economic development, poverty reduction and environment sustainability in the Lao PDR.
The inception workshop brought together more than 50 participants from key sector institutions (Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, Environment Protection Fund, and Ministries of agriculture and forests, planning and investment, health, and public works and transport), and international civil society, all of which are who are impacted by climate change and engaged in climate change adaptation initiatives.
Mr. Syamphone Sengchandala, Deputy Director General of the Department of Climate Change, encouraged participants to draw on the experiences and lesson learned from the implementation of  the National Strategy on Climate (2010), the Climate Change Action plan for 2013-2020, and Government’s latest report to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions 2015), in order to share needs and priorities to inform the full project proposal.  
He said, “Extreme flooding events in the past, and more recently in 2018, have caused devastation and loss of life and livelihoods. This is a reminder of the damaging impacts of climate change and the urgent need for the Lao PDR to effectively adapt to climate change.”
Mr. Alex Forbes, Task Manager, Climate Change Adaptation Unit, UN Environment, said, “New science is increasing our knowledge on climate change and its impacts. There is a pressing need for medium and long-term development planning processes, to effectively integrate adaptation to climate change, with the aim to increase climate resilience for society, the environment and the economy.” 
He indicated how national and local level climate science must be advanced, so it can inform the integration of climate change adaptation and ecosystem-based adaptation into sector strategies, national development planning and financing, whilst also strengthening the capacity of key stakeholders, including government, civil society and the private sector. 
The project concept was approved by the GEF LDCF in January 2018 and US$3.5 million has been allocated for the forthcoming four-year project.  There are three main goals, which will be further developed during the full project proposal preparation, namely:
Improve access to climate information and enhance early-warning systems at regional, national, sub-national and local levels;
Build Institutional and technical capacities to identify, prioritise, implement, monitor and evaluate adaptation strategies and measures;
Strengthen institutional arrangements to lead, coordinate and support the integration of climate change adaptation into relevant policies, plans and associated processes 
The inception workshop served as a forum to map out current and planned climate change adaptation programmes and projects, to ensure effective coordination, strengthen synergies and minimise overlaps. 
The full national adaptation planning project proposal being developed by MONRE and UN Environment will be subject to a review in February 2019, including a one-day validation workshop involving all key stakeholders.  The final full project proposal will then be finalised and submitted to the GEF LDCF.
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