The Gender and Women’s Leadership in Water Governance Workshop was co-organized by Oxfam and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in July 2016. The event brought together 48 participants representing governments, civil society organizations and community leaders from Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Tibet. The purpose of this workshop was to develop capacities and knowledge on gender by sharing best practices and policies of gender equality in water governance in the Mekong region and to identify future activities. The two-day workshop ended with identifying a pathway of activities to address gender equality issues in water governance in the region. Read the workshop report for further details.
Citation: Kalpana Giri, 2016. Gender and Women’s Leadership in Water Governance Workshop. Workshop Proceedings. Oxfam and IUCN.
This IUCN paper, published under the BRIDGE programme, “A window of opportunity for the Mekong Basin: The UN Watercourses Convention as a basis for cooperation. A legal analysis of how the UN Watercourses Convention complements the Mekong Agreement’ provides a comparative analysis of the key substantive and procedural principles and obligations provided for in the two treaties.
The result is a finding of overall general legal compatibility between the UNWC and the Mekong Agreement. Moreover, where gaps and inconsistencies between these instruments exist, the UNWC addresses them.
The results of the analysis point clearly to the benefits of ratification of the UNWC by all the Lower Mekong Basin states and members of the MRC. It further recommends that the UNWC would reinforce rather than replace the Mekong Agreement and the MRC, as well as strengthening its broader normative impact as the most important legal instrument for the governance of trans-boundary watercourses globally.
Download the report in Khmer, Laos and Vietnamese languages.
The book is a part of the water governance toolkit series developed under the IUCN WANI (Water and Nature Initiative). This book suggests a series of steps for reforming water governance, with examples of success stories from around the world. Through the clear guidance outlined in this book , it is hoped that all water professionals, decision makers and users will gain a deeper understanding of the legal and institutional solutions needed in the quest for sustainable and equitable water resources management. The English version of the Rule was published in 2009 and is being used as a resource material in training workshops across the BRIDGE river basins. In 2015, the RULE book was translated in Khmer, Laos and Vietnamese on the request of the BRIDGE 3S stakeholders and is now available for free download on the 3sbasin.org.
Citation: Iza, A. and Stein, R. (Eds) (2009). RULE – Reforming water governance. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
Download the book in Khmer, Laos and Vietnamese languages.
On 8-9 December 2015, IUCN along with WWF, GIZ and Oxfam co-organised the “Workshop on Global Water Conventions & Relevance for Cambodia” in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.. The main objective of this workshop was to disseminate knowledge and to explore the potential benefits of the UN Watercourses Convention (UNWC) and the UNECE Water Convention for water governance in the Mekong basin, particularly their relevance to Cambodia. A broad cross-section of participants from Mekong countries, and specifically Cambodia, were involved, comprising: officials from Ministries of Cambodia; a representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Vietnam; officials from the Mekong River Commission (MRC); missions from partner/donor-countries; academia; and international as well as local non-government organisations (NGOs).
Recommended actions included: joint advocacy activities in order to promote the benefits of both conventions for lower Mekong countries; and NGOs undertaking to investigate processes required for Cambodia to accede to the UNWC.
On 4 December 2015, IUCN, as a part of the BRIDGE programme, facilitated the second consultation meeting on the ‘Common Framework for Water Ecology Assessments in the 3S Basins’ theme. The consultation, attended by stakeholders from both the government and academic sectors in Cambodia, Viet Nam and Lao PDR, build on the outcomes of the first consultation meeting held in February 2015.
The second consultation was beneficial in furthering the concept of a trans-boundary water ecology assessment framework, with participants offering constructive input on issues that are of importance in their respective countries. Participants also suggested that IUCN should work with National Mekong Committees (NMCs) and form Working Groups in each of the 3S countries to further develop and promote the idea of a trans-boundary water ecology assessment framework. For more information on the outcomes of the second consultation meeting, please download the full report.
Between 21 September to 28 September 2015, the 3S component of the BRIDGE programme facilitated a series of workshops on the theme ‘Hydro-diplomacy: International Water Law and Regional Cooperation’. These workshops were organized at the request of key stakeholders from four Lower Mekong Basin countries, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Viet Nam.
The aim of these workshops is to improve stakeholders’ understanding of International Water Laws and its key provisions, in particular the UNWC (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses), 1997. These workshops also provided a platform for discussion, giving participants the opportunity to compare the UNWC with the Mekong River Agreement (MRA), 1995 and understand how the two agreements complement one another.
The consolidated report on the proceeding of these workshops provides an overview of the technical presentations and highlights the common points and specific issues raised by participants.
This is a report on the proceedings of the two day long training workshop on ‘Benefit Sharing: An instrument for improved trans-boundary water governance’ held at Bangkok, Thailand in July 2015. Dr Isabelle Fauconnier (Water Policy and Sustainability Adviser, IUCN Global Water Programme) was the lead trainer and facilitator at the training workshop. The workshop was attended by 28 participants working with the government, NGOs and academic sector in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam. The training provided an opportunity for the participants to develop deeper understanding of the different steps and mechanisms leading to operationalisation of a benefit sharing agreement particularly in the context of a shared river basins. Please read the report for the summary of the technical presentations and highlights from the discussions held during the training workshop.
The issues present in the 3S Basins are many and varied. This atlas gives a brief overview of the basins in an attempt to illustrate their importance, complexity, and trans-boundary setting. In doing so, these maps can provide a starting point for discussion and dialogue. One reason for producing the atlas was the relative lack of easily accessible information and thematic maps for the 3S Basins. Although heavily studied, data is often presented on a Mekong Basin-scale or along national boundaries. This atlas attempts to give a more focused view than provided by the MRC’s excellent, but broader Planning Atlas of the Lower Mekong River Basin. It is our hope that this atlas will help policy makers, natural resource managers and practitioners, and interested parties to better understand the 3S Basins and that it can add to the discussions on water governance within these important trans-boundary watersheds.
Download publication in Khmer, Laos and Vietnamese languages.
One reason for writing this updated profile was the relative lack of easily accessible information for the Sesan and Sre Pok Basins as distinct areas, rather than as components of two separate management areas divided between Cambodia and Viet Nam.2 Although heavily studied, data for the 3S Basins can nevertheless be difficult to access and is often disaggregated according to administrative sub-areas, rather a than hydrological basin boundaries. The profile takes advantage of reports published by the MRC, from National Mekong Committees for Cambodia and Viet Nam, and recent reports by consulting groups, NGOs, and scientific researchers. It is our hope that this document will help interested parties better understand the Sesan and Sre Pok and that this adds to the discussion on water governance in the 3S Basins as a whole. With shared understanding, enhanced governance and management of these critical basins can be better discussed based on common facts.
Download publication in Khmer and Vietnamese languages.
Report on the proceedings of the BRIDGE hydro-diplomacy training, Siem Reap, Cambodia, 27-28 April 2015
This is a report on the proceedings of two-day hydro-diplomacy training on international water law and regional co-operation, which was organized in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in April 2015. The aim of this workshop was to provide CNMC and other key agency officials with a better understanding of principles governing the use of international waters and the application of its key provisions and the institutional aspects as outlined in the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and the Cambodian National Mekong Committee (CNMC) collaborated to organise this training, and it was attended by more than 20 participants from various government agencies in Cambodia.
This book intends to support those working on the management of shared waters and who are not experts in law. The book brings them closer to the understanding laws, agreements, treaties and institutions within an international context. Using international law as a starting point, this book explains how principles and conventions provide an appropriate vehicle for good governance and for the management of shared waters, as well as for the promotion of the proper management of water basins, moving away from the idea that the law is merely an obstacle to change.
Citation: Grethel Aguilar Rojas and Alejandro Iza (2011). Governance of Shared Waters. Legal and Institutional Issues. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
This report on the proceedings of the BRIDGE Technical Forum on ‘Data Sharing and Developing a Common Framework for Water Ecology Assessment in the 3S (Sekong, Sesan and Sre Pok) Basins’ summarizes the presentations and the discussions at the forum. The forum was attended by 46 participants from 28 different organizations. It identified the key challenges and opportunities of data sharing and also the concepts and tools that could be utilized for the development of a common framework for the assessment of river ecology in the 3S Basins.
This paper is authored by H.E. Mr. Botkosal Watt, the Deputy Secretary General of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee Secretariat (CNMCS) and a member of BRIDGE Champion’s Network. The paper evaluates the needs and opportunities for trans-boundary water cooperation in the 3S Basins based on existing documents and databases. Most of the trans-boundary projects and studies in the 3S Basins have focused on visioning and stakeholder engagement approaches to promote trans-boundary water cooperation. This paper deliberately takes a more technical approach and argues that the implementation of a regional ‘technical’ cooperative assessment is long overdue.
Citation: Botkosal Watt (2015). Strategic Priorities for Trans-boundary Water Cooperation in the Sekong, Sesan and Sre Pok (3S) Basins. Bangkok, Thailand: IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). 46pp.
This sourcebook has been produced as a contribution to the BRIDGE project. The purpose of the paper is to provide a range of information which may be useful during dialogue to establish appropriate river flow regimes in the Sekong River in Viet Nam, Lao PDR and Cambodia when large hydropower projects are constructed and operated. The sourcebook is not a manual on carrying out environmental flow assessments, but is designed to provide baseline or background information to assist in the process.
Download publication in Khmer, Laos and Vietnamese languages.