Lancang-Mekong Research and Policy Forums to discuss water insecurity in the Lancang-Mekong Region

Two online events “Lancang-Mekong Research and Policy Forums” aimed at strengthening research-policy cooperation and partnerships to address water security in times of uncertainty in the Lancang-Mekong Region will be held on October 27-28 by Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET), the network members from the six Lancang-Mekong countries and the Steering Committee representing network members with the technical support of the SUMERNET Secretariat hosted at SEI Asia in Bangkok, Thailand. Bangkok Tribune Editor is invited to join the policy panel on October 28.

According to the organiser, water politics and the tensions around water resource use and allocation between parties is a major issue in water insecurity within the Lancang-Mekong Region. This combined with contemporary socio-economic and political dynamics and climate change impacts bring additional burdens to the lives of the water insecure, particularly disrupting the lives of poor and other marginalized groups in the region.

There have been significant efforts from different stakeholders to use water diplomacy to address political factors around water insecurity. Regional platforms for water cooperation like the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) cooperate beyond national borders to use dialogue, data sharing and joint projects to resolve these issues.

Additionally, to improve water diplomacy, researchers from different countries within the region have contributed to research on water insecurity to enhance decision making. However, there is often a disconnect between science and policy implementation: findings and recommendations of researchers are not always effectively disseminated to the wider public or meet the needs of the decision-makers for policy and practice.

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges, it is now more necessary than ever to engage in multistakeholder dialogue to bridge science and policy to address water insecurity. SUMERNET thus plans to organize this two-day event “Lancang-Mekong Research and Policy Forum to strengthen research-policy cooperation and partnerships to address water security in these times of uncertainty in the Lancang-Mekong Region. This is also part of SUMERNET Annual Meeting in 2021.

Find more details of the events at Lancang-Mekong Research and Policy Forums

Fishing in the World Heritage site of Luang Prabang, now under threat by the planned dam of the same name. Photo: Sayan CHUENUDOMSAVAD