Several regional and national level studies indicate that Lao PDR will experience increased temperature, unpredictable rainfall and more erratic weather events due to climate change. In turn, this will impact the ecological processes that sustain ecosystems, species and the livelihoods of local communities. To help mitigate climate change, WCS actively supports REDD+ national policy developments and pilot activities that demonstrate how forest protection measures can be linked to international, performance-based incentive mechanisms. WCS also assists both the government of Lao PDR and local communities to understand the risks posed by climate change and develop appropriate adaptation strategies to protect livelihoods and biodiversity.
The WCS Lao program is deeply engaged with REDD+ through its support to the national REDD+ policy process and participation in a jurisdictional REDD+ demonstration project in Houaphan Province in collaboration with the Lao –German Climate Protection through Avoided Deforestation (CliPAD) project. Through this engagement WCS expects to demonstrate how REDD+ can be used as a sustainable financing source for the benefit of biodiversity conservation and livelihood development in Lao PDR. The WCS Lao program has also begun to explore the impacts climate change has on its landscapes so that adaptive management plans can be developed that best ensure the long-term survival of vulnerable species and livelihoods.