Improving transboundary water governance in the Mekong

Infrastructure & environment article written on the 26 Apr 2013

On 29 and 30 April 2013, Oxfam Australia hosted a roundtable dialogue on water and resource governance in the Mekong region in Canberra. Around 40 stakeholders from Australia and the Mekong came together to discuss developments in the region that have implications for water, food and energy security.
The roundtable provided information and stimulated discussions on the following areas:

  • Key drivers and trends in water resources development in the Mekong region
  • Recent knowledge and research on water resources, livelihoods, hydropower and food security
  • Challenges and opportunities to promote more participatory and informed decision-making on water resources development
  • Transboundary water governance processes and institutions in the Mekong region
  • Australia-Mekong cooperation and collaboration

Participants included representatives from government agencies, non-government organisations, universities and research institutions in Australia and the Mekong region.

Round table resources:
1) AusAID – Supporting Water Governance in the Greater Mekong Subregion: Includes information on and links to initiatives supported to date under AusAID Mekong Water Resources Program

2) CPWF-Mekong: Includes links to CWPF-Mekong research projects and partner organisations; as well as videos, media and resources related to water, food and energy in the Mekong region.

3) Save the Mekong Coalition: Includes links to actions and letters by the coalition; as well as news, reports and briefings mainly related to Lower Mekong mainstream dams.

4) M-POWER: The Knowledge Bank includes collection of research and information arising from M-POWER, as well as photo and video galleries, and links to useful websites.

5) Mekong River Commission (MRC): Includes information and publications on MRC programs (e.g. Basin Development Plan), events (e.g. Mekong2Rio) and consultations (e.g. Xayaburi Dam Prior Consultation process).

6) ICEM – Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of Hydropower on the Mekong Mainstream: includes links to SEA reports, working papers, presentations, GIS data and maps

7) Oxfam Australia – Mekong: Information about Oxfam Australia’s water governance-related work in the Mekong region.

8) Food Security in the Mekong – The Water, Food and Energy Nexus Revisited: Workshop held in Thailand in March 2013, which discussed food security from a nexus perspective with particular emphasis on scientific analysis and evidence as well as generating tools and appropriate responses. Includes links to presentations, many of which are relevant to the roundtable.

9) CSIRO-Exploring Mekong Regional Futures: Includes background information and research outputs

10) IUCN –Building River Dialogue and Governance (BRIDGE): Includes information on BRIDGE initiative in the 3S (Sesan, Srepok, Sekong), which seeks to promote a shared vision for sustainable use of water resources in the 3S river basin.

11) Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions: The Dialogue will provide a forum for sharing experiences, lessons, tools and guidelines on how water infrastructure and technologies can address nexus challenges.

12) International Water Centre (IWC): includes links to IWC training, leadership and research programs; and The River Health and Environmental Flow Project, which aimed to establish methods for assessing and improving river health and environmental flows in Chinese rivers.