Oxfam has a new major project in the Mekong region — the Inclusion Project. The project will strengthen our support to local communities who rely on water resources, agriculture and fisheries for their livelihoods and well-being.
The project will focus on empowering women’s leadership, and promote policy dialogue – inclusive of local peoples and civil society. Oxfam believes that deepening the engagement of civil society in policy and project deliberations and decision making will deliver a more secure future for the Mekong region.
But what do we mean by inclusion? Who should be included ? In what? Where?
Oxfam’s work across the Mekong region with farmer and fisher communities in our Mekong Water Governance Program has consistently shown that when local people are involved in decisions about the use of their land and resources — there is more likelihood that development will be equitable and sustainable.
Right now, many development processes are not inclusive at all. For instance, people whose livelihoods are reliant on water resources are generally not included in decisions on water infrastructure – such as hydropower dams. At best people may be included at the last minute when they’re forced to resettle or to adapt to new situations where their land or waters have been taken away, or fundamentally changed.
From our research we know that food security is directly tied to free flowing rivers, and healthy wild capture fisheries [PDF].
The overall goal of the Inclusion project is to realise sustainable livelihoods for Mekong communities by promoting the greater inclusion of civil society in water resource governance and decision making.
Our work is being conducted in three component areas:
Component 1 will promote gender justice and women’s leadership in water resources.
Download the Women’s Leadership Brochure.
Component 2 will strengthen the capacity of civil society to manage water resources and participate in decision making.
Download the Strengthening Civil Society Brochure.
Component 3 will convene and promote policy and project dialogue.
Download the Convening and promoting policy dialogue Brochure.
The Inclusion Project builds on Oxfam’s existing Mekong Water Governance Program. It is supported by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Oxfam will engage with other DFAT Mekong Water Resources partners to enhance the inclusion of local peoples and civil society in water resources.
We’re on Facebook. ‘Like’ the Oxfam Mekong Water Governance Program to join the conversation and follow live updates on the Mekong Inclusion Project. Check back for more updates online soon.