Enhancing Integrated Water Management and Climate Resilience in Vulnerable Urban Areas of the Mekong River Basin


Photo: Ros Santhy



The Mekong River and its tributaries are critical waterways that support the economy and food supply chains of both Cambodia and Lao PDR. However, these waterways also present a significant risk. Flooding and drought events are becoming increasingly erratic, longer, and more intense as a result of the compounding effects of anthropogenic climate change.

The “Enhancing Integrated Water Management and Climate Resilience in Vulnerable Urban Areas of the Mekong River Basin” project aims to strengthen the resilience of the people and communities in these climate and disaster vulnerable regions of Cambodia and Lao PDR.

To accomplish this, the project seeks to address the critical need for risk data to inform integrated water resources management and, in so doing, enable increased investment in risk reduction measures. Specifically, it looks to address gaps in data collection management and analysis, enhance institutional and technical capacity at the subnational level for integrated climate and flood risk management, enhance availability of resources for investment in water-related risk reduction, and aid the flow of risk knowledge and coordination across the borders of Cambodia and Lao PDR.  

The project is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and is being implemented in both Cambodia and Lao PDR. The project sites in Cambodia lie in the 4Ps (Prek Preah, Prek Krieng, Prek Kampii, and Prek Te) and 3Ss (Sekong, Sesan, and Sre Pok ) river basins. They target the urban centres of Kratie and Stung Treng, with the goal of strengthening the resilience of 46,055 people in these vulnerable areas.

Project Focus

The project focuses on achievement of the following results:

  • Completion of an inclusive assessment of water-related climate risks in the priority river basins. Through this output, the project seeks to expand the risk and vulnerability data that is available to decision-makers in the priority watershed areas. Climate risk and water resources management baselines will be established, along with the undertaking of gender and stakeholder analyses. Informed by these studies, a detailed climate and disaster risk assessment will be completed, illustrating the projected level of impact and the likelihood of hydrometeorological disasters occurring in the targeted areas and their peripheries. Community-based vulnerability analysis and mapping exercises will be completed to ensure community engagement and comprehensive understanding of the vulnerabilities of different community groups.
  • Strengthening of an enabling environment for gender-responsive, climate risk-informed, and integrated water resources management. Through this output, the project will focus on strengthening technical and institutional capacity of local and provincial government bodies to support sustained urban climate and disaster resilience development. Informed by a capacity assessment and detailed risk analysis, the project will assist the subnational government to identify and prioritize adaptation and disaster risk reduction actions to build preparedness and reduce long-term water-related climate risks. Investment will be made to support the implementation of capacity development activities and steps will be taken to set up local relief funds in the target communities through Disaster Management Committees. In addition, a knowledge exchange and working group will be initiated between the border provinces of Cambodia and Lao PDR with the aim of strengthening cross-border communication on climate risks and linking transboundary early warning systems.
  • Development of a funding proposal for priority risk reduction measures. Through this output, the project seeks to catalyze further investment in future flood and climate risk-reduction measures in vulnerable areas by mobilizing large-scale financing. The project will facilitate the steps necessary to develop a complete proposal informed by the project’s results to enable future risk reduction measures. All feasible funding opportunities will be explored, including the mobilization of bilateral funds and utilization of public climate finance to leverage additional private capital through blended financing mechanisms.
Funding/Total Budget: 1,764,277 USD (Cambodia)
Source of Funds: Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea
Project Duration: September 2021 – September 2025
Implementing Partners: Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, National Committee for Disaster Management, and National Committee for Subnational Democratic Development Secretariat
Target Area: The project sites in Cambodia lie in the 4Ps (Prek Preah, Prek Krieng, Prek Kampii and Prek Te) and 3Ss (Sekong, Sesan, and Sre Pok) river basins.
Expected Results: Strengthening the climate and disaster resilience of 46,055 people and vulnerable communities in the urban areas of the Mekong River basin through improved risk and vulnerability assessment and advancement of an integrated approach to water resources management.