4th Regional Forum on the Basin Development Strategy

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Siem Reap, Cambodia , 20th Nov 2014 - 22nd Nov 2014

Moving towards optimal development of the Mekong River Basin

In January 2011, the Mekong River Commission’s Member Countries, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam, adopted their first ever Integrated Water Resources Management-based Basin Development Strategy that sets out the shared understanding of the development opportunities and associated risks, taking into account developments in the Lancang-Upper Mekong Basin in China and in the Lower Mekong Basin. The Strategy identifies priorities that provide direction and support to the MRC countries to capture development opportunities and minimise associated risks. It contributes to a wider adaptive planning process that links regional and national planning in the Lower Mekong Basin.

The Strategy will be reviewed and updated every five years to ensure that decision-making on water and related resources is based on up-to-date knowledge and feedback from stakeholders. In the current process of updating the Strategy, the MRC Basin Development Programme will hold a Regional Forum to bring about active involvement of scientists, representatives from civil society and non-governmental organisations, government officials, the MRC’s Development Partners (donor governments, and international and regional organisations), the MRC’s Dialogue Partners (China and Myanmar), the private sector and the media. The two-day event will ensure that Mekong stakeholders are consulted on the preparation of the Strategy update and that their feedback and input are taken into account.

The current Strategy outlines the Development Opportunity Space based on a cumulative assessment of the existing national water resources development plans of the MRC Member Countries. These plans could be optimised from a longer-term and basin-wide perspective, with a view to increasing national benefits and minimising adverse transboundary impacts. The update of the Strategy aims to move basin development towards more optimal outcomes to take in the safeguard of major environmental assets, the protection of the densely populated Mekong Delta against extreme floods, and the enhancement of benefits to all countries from basin development.

ANTICIPATED OUTCOMES OF THE FORUM

  1. Shared knowledge and understanding increased of how the basin’s water and related resources can be developed and managed.
  2. Inputs gained from a broad set of stakeholders on strategic basin planning work, including key messages from the forum to be put forward for consideration by representatives of relevant national government agencies from the MRC Member Countries upon their discussions and negotiation of the updated Basin Development Strategy (for 2016-2020).
  3. Views from Mekong stakeholders documented in the publication of the Consultation's proceedings.

 

THE FORMAT OF THE FORUM

The forum will consist of five sessions within the first two days and a field visit on the third day. Plenary sessions will provide information related to the ongoing implementation of the Basin Development Strategy and the longer-term development needs and opportunities and associated risks to prepare participants for the more in-depth discussion of strategic topics during the parallel sessions.

Key messages from the event will be identified and drafted with support from the forum and session facilitators, and from a panel of representatives from the Mekong basin countries, civil society organisations, and Development Partners. Please click here for more details of the proceedings. Click here to download the forum programme.


PARTICIPATION AND REGISTRATION

The Forum strives to balance representation by various groups of stakeholders; government, non-state actors, and private sectors. The event can accommodate up to 250 participants. Some stakeholders will be directly contacted by the MRC, but most are encouraged to respond to the application for open registration. In particular, the water-using and developing sectors as well as broader stakeholders who attended previous consultations and forums on basin development planning are invited to apply.

Please register early to participate. You can register online here. The deadline for registration is 31 October 2014. No registration fee is required.


FINANCIAL SUPPORT AVAILABILITY

Limited financial support is available for travel and a DSA of 3-4 night stay in Siem Reap (only) for participants from government agencies, representatives of communities and national NGOs. Priority will be given to broader stakeholders and those who have attended earlier consultations and forums and/or engaged in the MRC BDP process.


LANGUAGE

The meeting will be conducted in English. Simultaneous translation from English into Khmer, Lao, Thai and Vietnamese will be provided in the Plenary. Key introductory material will be provided in the national languages as well.


EXHIBITION

There will be adequate space for exhibition and posters in the conference area. The MRC will organise a photo exhibition on “the changing face of the Mekong region” and distribute relevant publications and brochures. Other organisations, including private developers, branch organisations (e.g. International Commission for Irrigation and Drainage, International Hydropower Association), and regional and national organisations and projects, are invited to present their relevant work in the available information booths. Facilities will be available to show short films.

The acceptance for exhibition is closed.


FIELD TRIP

The Forum on 20-21 November will be followed by a field trip on 22 November. The trip will take us back to the 12th century and the irrigation schemes that were constructed around the ‘hydraulic’ city of Angkor Wat, the capital of the Khmer Empire in Cambodia. An alternative field trip to explore the rich bio-diversity of the Great Lake will be organised for those interested in the current situation of the Tonle Sap.


VENUE AND ACCOMMODATION

The event will be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The specific venue and the block bookings of neighbouring hotels will be available soon on this website.


TRANSPORTATION

Participants will arrange their own transportation. Early travel arrangements are strongly recommended.


VISAS

Some international participants may require a visa for Cambodia, which for most nationalities can be obtained at the entry point to Cambodia (visa on arrival). Rules may be different for some nationalities, so please check your own requirements to ensure enough preparation time.


CONTACTS

For general inquiries and further information, and submission of papers and exhibition please contact:
Ms. Praivan Limbanboon (Maew)
Participatory Planning and Institutional Specialist
Basin Development Plan Programme
Mekong River Commission
Office of the Secretariat in Vientiane
184 Fa Ngoum Road,
Vientiane, Lao PDR.
Tel. +856 21 263263 ext. 2118
Fax +856 21 263264
Email: praivan@mrcmekong.org

For logistical arrangements, registration and sponsorship please contact:
Ms. Southida Salaphan
BDP Secretary
Basin Development Plan Programme
Mekong River Commission
Office of the Secretariat in Vientiane
184 Fa Ngoum Road,
Vientiane, Lao PDR.
Tel. +856 21 263263 ext. 2104
Fax +856 21 263264
Email: southida@mrcmekong.org

For members of the media, please contact:
Mr. Surasak Glahan
Communications, Partnerships and Public Participation Officer
International Cooperation and Communication Section
Mekong River Commission Secretariat
Office of the Secretariat in Vientiane
184 Fa Ngoum Road,
Vientiane, Lao PDR.
Tel: + 856 21 263 263 ext: 2418
Fax +856 21 263264
Email: surasak@mrcmekong.org

For information about Cambodia:
H.E. Watt Botkosal
Deputy Secretary General
National BDP Coordinator
Cambodia National Mekong Committee Secretariat
Email: wattbotkosal@gmail.com

Media Contact

For media inquires email huonglien@mrcmekong.org or mrcmedia@mrcmekong.org or view the Contact page here