ICLEI SEAS assists Lao cities in conducting GHG inventories and climate risk and vulnerability assessments

Participants of the validation workshop held in Pakse City pose for a photo. Results of the CRVA in the project cities will contribute to the 2020 National Socio-Economic Development Plan and the Resolution of the National Assembly’s Conference on the Adoption of the Government’s Report on the Implementation of 2019.

Validation Workshops to verify findings from initial reports of the GHG emissions inventory (GHGi) and the climate risk and vulnerability assessment (CRVA) were conducted for the cities of Pakse and Kaysone Phomvihane at Arawan Hotel, Champasak province on 9th June 2020 and Houngthip Hotel, Savannakhet Province on 11th June 2020, respectively.

The two activities were attended by more than 60 participants, with representatives from the national government ministries, the provincial government, and the project cities. Findings from the GHG inventory and CRVA reports shall contribute to the development of an integrated climate action plan for Pakse and Kaysone Phomvihane, addressing both adaptation and mitigation components of climate action.

The workshops provided a venue to review and validate the initial findings of the GHGi and CRVA reports for the two model cities Kaysone Phomvihane and Pakse City and to conduct further data gathering from the two satellite cities Outhoumphone and Bachieng Chaleunsouk for the conduct of rapid CRVA. These face-to-face activities came after the national government of Laos has lifted restrictions on social gatherings throughout the country brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Pakse city, Dr. Soupany Silipounyo, Director of the Provincial Office of Natural Resources and the Environment (PONRE), shared how the city has been severely affected by the heavy flooding in the past years. He also highlighted his appreciation for the Urban-LEDS II project for providing technical assistance to Pakse as one of the model cities. Pakse is considered as one of the biggest cities in Laos after Vientiane Capital and Kaysone Phomvihane. In times of natural disasters, among the most vulnerable areas are the big cities in Laos due to the high population density.

Participants of the validation workshop in Kaysone Phomvihane discusses the key findings of the GHG inventory and the climate risk and vulnerability assessment for their city.

Following the results of the GHG emissions inventory, the cities are recommended to prioritize low emission development strategies for the top two sectors with the highest GHG emissions, namely: stationary energy and waste. These two are followed by the agriculture forestry and land-use (AFOLU) sectors, and the transportation sector. Emissions from the industrial process and product use (IPPU) was not estimated in these inventories as this sector is not considered to be a key source of emissions, especially since there are no existing industries in the two model cities. There exists a huge gap in terms of data collection, especially for the transportation and waste sectors.

Findings from the conduct of the CRVA shows that the biggest threat to the project cities is drought, threatening their major source of livelihood and food security. Further, Pakse City in Champasak Province, is reported to be severely affected by natural disasters such as drought and flood because of its population density. Recommendations from the participants suggest accessing the recorded flood data including flood maps lodged in the Provincial Office of Public Works and Transport.

The conduct of GHGi and CRVA are relatively new initiatives in local governments in Laos. Urban-LEDS II helps address the resource and capacity gaps to enable cities to carry out these important activities.

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