Green Climate Fund provides $10m to reduce risk of flooding in Laos

Damages from floods in 2018 were equivalent to 10% of the country’s entire budget for the same year

The Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved a $10 million (£7.8m) project to help build resilience towards flooding caused by climate change in Laos.

Around 10% of the population will benefit from the project, which will use “nature-based” solutions to reduce urban flooding in four cities.

That includes the restoration of 1,500 hectares of urban wetland and stream ecosystems to regulate water flow and therefore reduce the risks of flooding.

The five-year project will be executed by Laos’ Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, with support from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Jessica Troni, Head of the Climate Change Adaptation Unit at UNEP adds: “Ecosystems provide people with vital services, even in cities. By restoring and protecting vast areas of urban forests and wetlands, we can increase infiltration of water into the ground and regulate the flow of water in streams and rivers. This will ultimately lead to fewer, less intense floods.

“This project gives us a powerful example of how nature provides solutions for managing climate change.”

According to UNEP, damages from floods in 2018 were equivalent to 10% of the country’s entire budget for the same year.

Syamphone Sengchandala, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Climate Change at Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said: “Support from the Green Climate Fund is incredibly important and timely for addressing these climate impacts and achieving this paradigm shift in adaptation from grey to green infrastructure.

“Here is a great opportunity to take the urgently needed action to reduce the flood vulnerability of our cities in Laos.”

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