Tonle Sap and Songkhla Try to Consolidate Mutual Learning of Community-based Lake Management

Event News Article on TSL-SLB workshop in Hat Yai, 12 Jul 2017

TSL SLB july 2017 2

Lake representatives of Songkhla and Tonle Sap meet in Hat Yai to discuss mutual learning on community-based lake management.

12 July 2017, Hat Yai,
Thailand – In an effort to consolidate lessons learned from the counterpart’s experience, representatives of Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake and Thailand’s Songkhla Lake met early this week in Hat Yai to discuss way forward to create healthy lakes with improved community-based governance.

The two lakes have been working together to learn from each other on how to manage the lake resources in a more sustainable way through field visits and communication activities. With a country-based technical analysis of pressing issues in the two lake basins, which have been prepared and shared in advance of the meeting, 11 representatives of both lakes reported each other how they wish to consolidate what they have learned from the field visits and other joint activities, and to put them together with technical analysis into a joint report on mutual learning of community-based lake management.

“An overarching theme for the lakes project is peer-to-peer learning on community-based lake management,” said Piriya Uraiwong, a project coordinator of the Mekong River Commission who oversees five bilateral projects between the four Mekong countries on transboundary dialogue. “You have done various joint activities for the last few years, and recently prepared a good analysis of lake management issues of the pilot sites in three topics – fisheries, climate change adaptation and women’s empowerment. It is time to consolidate what you’ve learned from each other into one joint report and prepare yourselves to put them into practice.”

The lakes project is one of the five bilateral projects under the Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management Project that facilitates multi-sectoral planning and management of water resources through transboundary dialogue, with the application of MRC’s procedural rules and tools on water use negotiations, river flow monitoring and data sharing. Cambodia and Thailand have jointly developed the lakes project to learn from each other and strengthen good governance of lake management with the involvement of lake communities.

Since its establishment in late 2013, the lakes team has conducted exchange visits to the selected pilot sites to observe local practices of community-based fisheries management, climate change adaption and women’s empowerment, and organised video exchange to capture unique management practices and show those videos to others in their own communities for peer-to-peer learning and discussions. 

During the workshop this week, the two sides discussed further on key issues they wish to learn more about and good practices they want to incorporate into their own lake management, such as how to fend off illegal fishing, strengthen preservation efforts, and advance the involvement of youth and women in lake management.

By the end of the workshop, the two sides decided to continue work on the consolidation of mutual learning, and agreed to meet again in September with a draft joint report.

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