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Lao gov't, FAO discuss readiness to cope with El Nino impact

VIENTIANE, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- With the El Nino phenomenon having an impact around the world, the Lao government and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have discussed the readiness of authorities to cope with potential droughts.

A workshop on drought prediction and observation was held by the ministries of Labor and Social Welfare, Natural Resources and Environment, and Agriculture and Forestry and the FAO, Lao News Agency (KPL) reported on Tuesday.

The event, held in Lao capital Vientiane on Sept. 15, brought together partners and stakeholders to jointly discuss the emerging El Nino challenge and to find innovative ways to cope with it better than before.

One of the solutions is anticipatory action, the workshop suggested. Based on better forecasts and early warning, pre-planned funding and standard procedures can lessen the effects of El Nino and other climate-related disasters and strengthen the country's resilience.

For Laos, the El Nino effect raises concerns, as historical data has shown a strong association between the phenomenon and drought in the country. The impact can be substantial, damaging agriculture production, particularly the cultivation of staple crops, and affecting food security, nutrition and the livelihoods of rural communities.

These events are exacerbated by the ongoing effects of climate change, which intensify their frequency and severity.