MRC’s Regional Workshop on Vulnerability Assessment of Species to Climate Change

Chiang Rai, Thailand, 14 Jul 2015 - 16 Jul 2015

 CCAI Workshop 2015 group photo

CHIANG RAI, Thailand, 14 July 2015 – Experts in species and officials from the Lower Mekong Basin countries gathered on 14 and 16 July in Chiang Rai, Thailand, for the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) Regional Workshop on Vulnerability Assessment of Species to Climate Change. The three-day workshop was a platform for species experts to review and discuss in greater detail a species vulnerability assessment framework and to offer their expert judgment on biological traits of at least six key species, including fish, plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds.

Information gathered from the experts during this workshop will be used to analyse species’ sensitivity and their ability to adapt to climate change, and will enable the MRC’s Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative to further identify potential climate change impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity of the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB).

The Mekong river is known as the world’s most significant rivers. It supports a huge popul

CCAI WS Chiang Rai 2015 groupwork

ation, approximately 60 percent of whom are totally dependent on it for their subsistence, but it is also a significant ecological system supporting some of the world’s highest diversities of fish and snails. Given the current development pressure and changing climate, the river ecosystems are already considered at risk. However, information on what specific species are already or will be at risk and the extent of their risk remains unclear.

Recognising these potential impacts and the information gap, the MRC is working to develop a Mekong Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan or the MASAP. This MASAP, expected to be available in early 2017, is a transboundary climate change adaptation strategy that will offer a strategic direction in climate change adaptation work in the LMB countries and support relevant national strategies and processes. 

In developing the MASAP, the MRC will need to gather scientific information through multiple studies and assessments, including a Basin-wide Assessment on Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystems and Biodiversity in the LMB. The workshop today is just one of the many platforms where the organisation can gather information to support its endeavor to carry out this basin-wide assessment and support the MASAP development.

For more information about the MRC’s Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative, please visit here.


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