The South East Asia: Regional Environmental Adaptation to Climate Change Training and Implementation Project (SEA:REACTi)

We’re thrilled to announce that ADRA Australia has awarded a joint grant for ADRA Laos and ADRA in Vietnam to implement a regional climate change project, which will equip rural farmers with the tools to cope with the escalating effects of climate change.

The Mekong Delta, being such a low lying densely populated area and the heart of rice production in the country, is one of world’s most vulnerable regions to the adverse impacts of climate change. Our side of the project will be based in Can Tho, of which 84% of its area is used for agriculture with more than 90% of it for rice production. The average alleviation of the province lies between 0.6 and 0.8 meters above sea level and it is particularly susceptible to river and sea water intrusion. Expert studies have predicted that a 30cm rise in sea levels has the potential to completely destroy the rice crops in the province.

It is therefore clear that efforts urgently need to be increased in implementing climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives, especially at a community-based level, to improve the resilience and adaptive capacities of poor farmer households and the rest of their community.

The overarching goal of the SEA:REACTi project will be to open up dialogue between inter-sectoral partners within the ASEAN community and to design an effective community-based climate change adaptation model, which can be scaled-up and integrated into other ADRA climate change initiatives in the region and around the world. The project will have three major components:

1) A Mekong region multi-stakeholder symposium in June 2013 involving government partners, NGOs, donor agencies and corporate partners who will come together to share innovative climate change mitigation models that have been successfully implemented in the region. Two to three possible adaptation measures will be taken back to each partner office to share with the local community (Can Tho in Vietnam). The community partners will then lead and drive local participation in the design process of the preferred adaptation model.

2) Two 8-month pilot projects in Vietnam and Laos will be designed and implemented at the community level, including an effective M&E framework and an experience-sharing trip to learn from other communities.

3) A dissemination workshop will be held after end of the pilot projects to provide participants with the opportunity to share experiences and lessons learned so that they can more adequately be prepared for adverse climate change effects in their communities.

Active stakeholder participation and communication will play an integral part throughout the duration of the project in ensuring sustainable outcomes and long-term partnership collaboration.

ADRA in Vietnam is very excited about this opportunity to kick off one of the first regional climate change initiatives for the ADRA Network.  We are seeking the involvement of interested parties and experts focused on promoting community-based adaptation and sustainability in agriculture and natural resource management in the context of climate change.