Forum on "Promoting cooperation for sustainable and responsible investment in agricultural and trade" was co-organized by People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) and the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Association for Economic Cooperation Development (VILACAED) in Vientiane, Laos on October 20, 2017. At the invitation of the Organizing Committee, CIRUM sent a representative to participate and contribute ideas at the forum.
In order to further promote trade and investment cooperation between the two countries in particular and the Mekong region in general, the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Association for Economic Cooperation Development (VILACEAD) in cooperation with the Vietnam Business Association for Cooperation and Investment in Lao PDR (Viet – Lao BACI), the Center for People and Nature Reconcilation (PanNature) organized the 8th Mekong Region Annual Forum in 2017 with the theme "Promoting sustainable and responsible investment on agriculture and trade". The forum is co-funded by UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme.
The issue brief “Power Shift: Emerging Trends in the GMS Power Sector” , the fourth in Stimson’s “Letters from the Mekong” series, explores the shifting terrain for powersector development in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), analyzing hydropower within the context of a broader range of emerging factors and opportunities that could lead to a sea change in the way that Mekong countries approach energy security, regional electricity trade, and sustainable development.
On Monday 19 June, the Joint Committee of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) will meet for a special session to discuss the Prior Consultation process for the Pak Beng Dam, and the positions of MRC member countries as expressed in their formal reply forms. The meeting marks the end of the first 6 months of the Prior Consultation process for the Pak Beng project.
The third Mekong Resouces Forum with tittle: "Development Impacts and Resilience in Agriculture and Forestry in the Mekong Region" was held on 15 – 16 June 2017, in Hoa Binh, Vietnam by PanNature in co-operation with ADDA, the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), and Vietnam-Lao-Cambodia Association for Economic Cooperation Development (VILACAED). There were about 100 participants from community and non-state organizations in the Lower Mekong region, research and academic institutions, representatives from governmental agencies, media and other interested parties took part in the event. The main objectives of the forum: To share issues, concerns, lessons learned, good practices and perspectives in agriculture and forestry sectors in relation to resilience and adaptation to environmental changes at different levels; and To discuss and promote better development alternatives and approaches in order to secure fair and equitable access to natural resources, improve livelihoods and quality of life and ensure sustainability of our living environment.
Located at the extreme southeastern end of the Mekong River where it approaches and empties into the South China Sea through a network of distributaries, the Mekong Delta has long been referred to as Vietnam’s “rice bowl” which is characterized by dominant fertile agriculturally-rich low-lands and what may be called a “biological treasure trove.” A majority of the Delta’s 20 million, ethnically diverse population rely on the River’s fish resources and rice production for their subsistence, with very little margin for error. As home to thousands of species of fish, bird, reptile, and mammal species, the Mekong Delta is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. Tens of endangered species, such as the largest bird, Sarus crane, and giant catfish, thrive in this maze of wetlands, swamps, arroyos, and canals too. However, Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is now one of the world’s most fragile regions appearing most vulnerable to climate hazards, notably temperature rises and extreme drought followed by freshwater scarcity and salinity intrusion. More challenging is the fact that upstream dam-building and water diversion projects have caused severe and irreparable damage to the Delta, making the impacts of climate change become much more serious than what was assumed in prevailing climate change scenarios in Vietnam. As a result, the Delta has so much at stake due to huge water shortages, which in turn may lead to increased rate of salinity, inland ground depression, and humanitarian and other economic impacts.
The Save the Mekong Coalition includes members from across the Mekong River Basin. Our work is grounded in the understanding that the Mekong is a shared river, whose life-sustaining resources support millions of people throughout Southeast Asia and substantially contribute to the social and economic well being of the region. The Save the Mekong Coalition and its members have monitored the decision-making processes for Lower Mekong mainstream dams, including participation in national and regional Prior Consultation meetings for the Xayaburi and Don Sahong Dams. Our experience has led to growing concern over the future of the Mekong River and her people.
Forty-three participants from the five Mekong countries and international partner countries participated in the project inception workshop. The participants represented the regional and national project partners, including RECOFTC, WWF, East West Management Institute - Open Development Initiative, NEPCon, NGO Forum on Cambodia, Lao Biodiversity Association, Myanmar Environment Rehabilitation-Conservation Network, Raks Thai, and PanNature Viet Nam.