In alignment with the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, outcome 4, output 1 - Natural resources sustainably used and managed, the project aims to strengthen the climate resilience of communities in two particularly vulnerable areas of Lao PDR – namely Savannakhet Province and Luang Prabang City – particularly focussing on the impacts of floods and droughts. 

This improved resilience will be achieved through three complementary project components, specifically: i) Developing national and provincial capacities for Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) and integrated urban Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) for climate risk reduction; ii) Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) interventions, with supporting protective infrastructure and livelihood enhancement; and iii) Knowledge management and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). 


Lao PDR is extremely vulnerable to climate change, particularly the impacts of floods and droughts. Since the 1960s, the country has experienced an increase in the frequency and severity of these events, resulting in increased impacts on and risks to vulnerable communities in Lao PDR. These impacts include, for example, crop damage, thereby decreasing food and financial security.  

The increasing frequency and intensity of floods and droughts resulting from climate change are putting livelihoods and water resources in the rural headwater and lowland communities of the Xe Bang Hieng River Basin in Savannakhet Province at risk, in addition to threatening assets and infrastructure of urban communities in Luang Prabang city. Anthropogenic drivers such as increasing urbanisation, ecosystem degradation, and deforestation exacerbate the vulnerability of these communities to climate hazards — specifically floods and droughts. As ecosystems are destabilised by unsustainable use, impacts from extreme climate events disrupt the delivery of ecosystem services and further reduce natural hazard protections these ecosystems provide. 

Project Expected Outcomes  

  • Enhance national and provincial capacities for integrated catchment management and integrate water resource management in target rural and urban communities. 
  • Reduced flood risk through headwater conservation, restoration, and protective infrastructure, supported by climate-resilient and alternative livelihoods. 
  • Effective knowledge management and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) through awareness/advocacy and monitoring of climate change impacts and adaptation opportunities in target rural and urban communities. 

Results and Achievements 

  • Increased central and provincial authorities' understanding of climate risk-informed water management practices in target urban and rural areas by supporting the government's initial training undertaken in 15 villages in five districts (Songkhone, Champhone, Xonnabouly, Sepon, and Nong) of Savannakhet province and Luang Prabang City.  
  • Contributed to the decreasing impact of floods and drought in the Xe Bang Hieng River Basin region by assisting the government in mapping the current and future zones of the river basin at risk of climate change-induced flooding and drought based on the existing hydrological models and constructing protective infrastructure pioneering based on the identified at-risk zones.  
  • Enhanced knowledge management on climate change impacts on agriculture production, socioeconomic conditions, and lessons through designing and implementing community-based training and awareness raising in targeted communities in the Xe bang Hieng River Basin.  

GESI (Gender Equality & Social Inclusion) 

 The project team conducted a gender analysis (GA) and developed a gender action plan (GAP) to mainstream gender considerations into the project design and ensure that the proposed project activities are both gender-responsive and designed in a gender-sensitive manner. The GEF policies, standards and guidelines on gender equality have been applied throughout project development and will continue to be applied during the implementation of the proposed project. Responding to the key findings from the consultations, the project will contribute to gender equality in the following results areas: 

 • Closing gender gaps in access to and control over natural resources 

• Improving women’s participation and decision-making 

• Generating socioeconomic benefits or services for women 

The project activities have been designed considering that in Lao PDR: i) women’s household roles should be considered in any interventions concerning natural resource management, land-use planning and decision-making; ii) conservation incentives differ for men and women; iii) gendered division of labour needs to be understood prior to the introduction of any livelihood interventions, and iv) women need to have access to, and control over ecosystem goods and services. An understanding of gender mainstreaming in relevant sectors and associated ministries has been developed, and gaps in gender equality have been identified and addressed in all aspects of the project design. Women — and other vulnerable groups — have been actively involved in identifying environmentally sustainable activities and interventions that will support them in safeguarding natural resources and promoting their economic development, with specific strategies being developed to target and include female-headed households.

Project details:

  • Status: Ongoing
  • Duration: November 2022 – December 2026 
  • Geographic coverage: Savannakhet Province and Luang Prabang City  
  • Project Office: Department of Water Resources (DWR), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) 
  • Focus Area: Climate change, Disaster Risk Reduction, Natural Resource Management    
  • Implementing Partners: Department of Water Resources (DWR), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) 
  • Total project budget: 5,579,452USD 
  • Donors: 

    GEF:  5,329,452 USD 

    UNDP: 250,000 USD 



Aksonethip Somvorachit  

Communications Analyst, UNDP in Lao PDR   

+856 21 267777  


Phingsaliao Sithiengtham 

Project Coordinator  

+856 20 95 557 444 


Abduvakkos Abdurahmanov  

Team Leader  

Natural Resources Management, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Unit  

UNDP in Lao PDR   

+856 21 267777