Lao People's Democratic Republic
Lao People's Democratic Republic is located in the Indochina Peninsular (Mekong Region), bordered by China to the North, Vietnam to the East, Cambodia to the South, and Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) to the West and Northwest respectively with population of just over 6.4 million (CIA, 2011). Lao PDR had a ranking of 122 of 169 on the human development index in 2010 (UNDP, 2010), putting it near the bottom of the list of countries that have achieved a medium level of human development. The country’s per capital annual income in 2010 was approximately US$986 (USDS, 2010). The country’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture, representing 30 per cent of GDP and employing approximately 75 per cent of the country’s population. The country’s climate is tropical and monsoonal, characterized by a rainy season from May to November and a dry season from November to April (USDS, 2010). In order to adapt to climate change a few projects based on assessed priority levels are in place including the project to strengthen the capacity if the national disaster management committees and the project to strengthen capacity of village forestry volunteers in forest planting, caring and management techniques as well as the use of village forests. Lao People's Democratic Republic has a total land area of approximately 236,800 km², 80 percent of which is mountainous. Mountains are found in the Northern region, the Annamite Chain (forming most of the eastern border of the country), and in the South, posing a significant natural buffer to storms that occur in the region. However, the remaining 20 percent of the country comprises mostly flat floodplains along the Mekong River. The lowest altitude of Lao People's Democratic Republic is 200 meters and highest is 2,880 meters. Lao People's Democratic Republic has a tropical climate, which is influenced by the southeast monsoon which causes significant rainfall and high humidity. The climate is divided into two distinct seasons: rainy season, or monsoon, from May to mid-October, followed by a dry season from mid-October to April. The average annual rainfall is about 1,300 – 3,000 mm. Average temperatures in the northern and eastern mountainous areas and the plateaus are 20°C , and in the plains 25-27°C.