In the coming years, the Mekong Region will face several major challenges with implications for the environment and the livelihoods of local communities. These challenges range from hydropower development plans, irrigation and transport expansion, to the impacts of climate change. In the light of these future and current challenges, the Mekong River Commission in collaboration with a number of regional organisations hosted an International Conference on Watershed Management in Chiang Mai, Thailand in March 2011.
During the conference, delegates from local, national, and international settings discussed the current level of knowledge, lessons learned and good practices in watershed management. Improved watershed governance is an important component in the region’s response to the challenges it is facing.
As a result of the conference, a technical report was published on watershed management. The report synthesizes the discussions from the conference, and it provides recommendations to tackle future challenges in watershed management. Some recommendations include applying adaptive management approaches, to collect scientific data for policy-making use, to scale up successful institutional arrangements from the local to the regional and national scale, and finally to consider new incentive and funding measures to enhance the financial sustainability of watershed management.
CPWF Mekong and M-POWER participated in the conference and contributed to the report as part of ongoing work to improve hydropower in the Mekong region.
Mekong River Commission, Lao PDR. ISBN 978-9932-412-04-4, 48 pp.