Mondolkiri, Kompong Thom Face Climate Threat

Mondolkiri and Kompong Thom provinces could suffer some of the most extreme effects of climate change in the Lower Mekong Basin region, such as a high incidence of flash floods and droughts by 2050, according to a new study. Analyzing temperature and rainfall from 84 provinces in the Mekong region-which includes Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam- the study identifies Mondolkiri as a “primary priority hotspot” for vulnerability for climate change. … “Reduced rice and cassava yields are a threat to food security and health, as well as placing more pressure on exploitation of [non-timber forest products] for food. Reduced cassava yields would also reduce livestock feed availability,” the study found. Kompong Thom will experience an 18 percent increase in precipitation during the wet season, while the maximum temperatures will increase by 4 degrees. … To counteract these effects the government and the affected communities should look into diversifying their crops, such as planting heat-tolerant or drought tolerant varieties, the study says.