Assessment of Cropland Changes in New Irrigation and Flood Embankment Infrastructure in Vientiane, Lao PDR


The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The country is landlocked, and most of its land is in mountainous topography and in the uplands of the Mekong River Basin. It has a strong monsoon climate, with three overlapping seasons. In the past, the Mekong River has caused substantial flood damage around Vientiane.

This brief assesses how high-resolution satellite imagery was used to map how irrigation schemes changed agricultural production and improved the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Highlighting how small irrigation schemes allowed farmers to double-crop their land and boost overall rice production, it shows how spatial analysis can also be used to remotely assess the impact of drought and floods to quickly get assistance to those affected.


  • Introduction
  • Data and Surveys
  • Spatial Analysis Methods
  • Results and Discussion
  • Conclusion

Published November 2023.
Source: Asian Development Bank.

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