Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events in Laos, leading to more frequent and severe flooding in vulnerable cities along the Mekong River. To address the challenge, Lao PDR needs integrated climate-resilient integrated flood management system (ICFMS). However, currently there are several barriers preventing to implement ICFMS including; limited technical and institutional capacity in government; lack of integrated, climate-resilient approaches to flood management; and limited knowledge about EbA and the valuation of ecosystem services. To address these barriers, the proposed project “Building Resilience of Urban Populations with Ecosystem-Based Solutions in Lao PDR” aims to shift the paradigm of urban flood management in Laos from a limited, hard infrastructure approach towards an integrated approach that enhances climate resilience. This will be achieved by mainstreaming integrated flood management strategies into planning frameworks and implementing urban ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) to decrease climate-induced flooding. Under the component 1, (Activity 1.1.2), the project has proposed to establish a National Knowledge Hub to produce, collate, analyse and disseminate information on local, regional and international urban EbA interventions. This knowledge hub will be hosted by the National University of Laos (NUoL) in Vientiane.
Establishing Knowledge Hub and Build Capacity on Urban Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EbA)
Overall goal of the “NUoL knowledge hub” is to provide technical supports to government departments for planning and implementation of EbA interventions, as well as to the community wetland management committees. The Knowledge Hub has also joint research, trainings and pilot implementation. There will be three university faculties; namely Faculty of Engineering (FEN), Faculty of Water Resources (FWR) and Faculty of Forest Sciences (FFS) working together to contribute to the overall goal of the project. The specific objectives of the Knowledge Hub are to:
- Produce, analyse and disseminate information on local, regional and international urban EbA interventions.
- Carry out joint research on EbA, develop environmental indicators for monitoring the management of climate change- induced flooding and exchange knowledge with other initiatives in the region/internationally to facilitate the adoption of EBA best practices in Lao.
- Develop long-term capacity to design, implement, monitor and maintain urban EbA interventions in Laos by providing technical support to government/management committees and the integration of EBA in NUOL curriculum.
Component 1: Establishment of a Knowledge hub establish at NUoL to build long term capacity and raise awareness of stakeholders on EbA
- Output 1.1 EbA curriculum integrating engineering and ecosystem-based solutions prepared and adopted by the University
- Output 1.2: A Public Climate Change Exhibitions Center established and operationalized
- Output 1.3: Database and Website/e-Multimedia on EBA data, information and knowledge developed and shared/exchanged in national and international platforms
- Output 1.4: Urban EbA Networks established and operationalized
- Output 1.5 Capacity of the stakeholders built on Ecosystem based solutions
Component 2: Restoration of urban wetlands and steams by preparing management plans and building capacity of PONRE to implement the plans
- Output 2.1: Detailed management plan for each selected wetland and stream prepared that includes situational analysis, stakeholder analysis, short- and long-term interventions, institutional arrangements for implementation, monitoring plan and time frame.
- Output 2.2: An EBA guideline for wetland and urban stream restoration and management prepared
- Output 2.3: Capacity of PONRE and other stakeholders built on wetland/streams management plan implementation and monitoring
Component 3: Establishment of long-term research and monitoring facilities on climate change and urban EBA Output 3.1: joint research conducted on relevant EBA topics on including ecosystem Services and their economic valuation, Forest restoration in Wetland, Hydrological Modelling, drought and Soil Erosion and peer reviewed research papers published.
- Output 3.2: Wetland Research and Experimental Station/lab/department at the Neola campus established.
- Output 3.3: Designed and implemented long term on environmental and flood risk monitoring system.
- Output 3.4 Designed and demonstrated permeable pavement solution