Dialogue Towards a GMS-wide Policy Platform for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management


18-20 July 2023
Bangkok, Thailand


The rich natural environment of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) has led to significant development to the economy and livelihoods, but the GMS countries, especially the Lower Mekong countries, are highly vulnerable to climate change and disasters. Rural communities, representing a significant portion of the population, are particularly vulnerable to climate change and often lack the resources and capacity to cope with climate-related challenges. Thus, adaptation needs to be implemented locally where vulnerability is experienced. Communities and households need government assistance, planning, and policy reform to create enabling conditions for effective climate change adaptation.

The GMS countries have made consistent efforts to integrate climate change and disaster risk management into existing policies and frameworks at the national, sectoral and to some extent, sub-national level. However, there are challenges in incorporating community-based adaptation and disaster risk management into local development processes. This policy dialogue will focus on national adaptation plans (NAP), ecosystem-based adaptation (EBA), and community-based climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (CCA and DRR), specifically in the agriculture and water resources sectors.

The NAP process makes it possible to identify the systems and capacities needed to integrate adaptation into development planning, decision making, and budgeting, while allowing for multi-sector medium- and long-term adaptation planning priorities to be included. The overarching goal is to institutionalise adaptation as a central tenet of development, making communities, ecosystems, and economies more robust in the face of climate change.

The GMS countries have recognized EBA as a critical strategy for sustainable and resilient development of the agriculture and water resources sectors in policies including Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), NAPs, National Biodiversity Strategy, and Action Plans (NBSAPs), climate change master plans and sectoral development plans. Despite this, gaps remain. For instance, the approach has not been adequately mainstreamed, particularly in the water resources sector, which affects the agriculture sector as well.


The objectives of the policy dialogue are to:

  1. Engage with countries in the GMS, national and sectoral stakeholders as well as regional actors and stakeholders involved in planning, implementing or funding climate change adaptation to identify priorities and share lessons on NAP, EBA and CBA/CBDRM in key critical sectors (i.e., Agriculture and Water Resource Sectors).
  2. Explore interests and opportunities on how to set up a regional partnership mechanism to operationalize priorities on NAP, EBA and CBA/CBDRM and attract private sector participation in the GMS.
  3. Identify options and mechanisms to close the gap in financing the priorities on NAP, EBA and CBA/CBDRM.



Dr. Xi Jiao, CCESP Co-Team Leader at XJIAO@ramboll.com

Mr. Noel Puno, Program Specialist - CBA/CBDRM at noel.a.puno@gmail.com

Ms. Yujie Zhang, Event Manager at yjzhang@ramboll.com

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Last Updated: 13 July 2023