Aquaculture adaptation to climate change in the Mekong Region
The AQUADAPT project is concerned with how the aquaculture sector could adapt to climate change. It is led by the Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER) at Chiang Mai University, and funded by IDRC, Canada.
The AQUADAPT Phase I project is concerned with how the aquaculture sector could adapt to climate change. The empirical focus is on Tilapia grown in farm ponds or floating cages in rivers and reservoirs in Northern Thailand. The project ran from July 2012 to December 2016. It was led by the Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER) at Chiang Mai University, with major contributions from students and senior researchers at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Economics at Chiang Mai University (CMU), and the Faculty of Fisheries Technology and Aquatic Resources at Maejo University. Other individual team members were based at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) Asia Centre, and the Department of Fisheries.
Extreme weather already has a significant impact on aquaculture production. Phase II (or AQUADAPT-Mekong) project aims to assist fish farmers in five Mekong countries better manage climate-related risks, and thus capacities to adapt to climate change, through jointly evaluating and supporting the development or uptake of promising innovations. Innovations are novel practices or new applications of knowledge. While usually they are thought of as technologies, such as a pond aerator powered by wind, for example, they may also be institutions, as in weather index-based insurance, or information-communication systems. In this project, innovation facilitators will work closely with farmers throughout the project to develop solutions to climate risk management challenges that are appropriate to local conditions and fish culture systems. This will involve deliberative communication with relevant stakeholders, undertaking interdisciplinary research, and coordinating efforts by solution teams to overcome performance limitations and barriers to adoption. The expected outcome is that fish farmers are better able to manage climate-related risks and adapt to climate change.