Mekong Water Dialogues

The Mekong Water Dialogues (MWD) is coordinated and facilitated by IUCN and supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. It was initiated to work with countries of the Mekong Region - Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam - to improve water governance by facilitating transparent and inclusive decision-making to improve livelihood security, human and ecosystem health.


The Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve included the three core areas—Boeung Tonle Chhmar, Stung Sen and Prek Toal—comprise the most important inland wetland in Southeast Asia, both for biodiversity conservation and livelihoods based on harvesting of fishery resources.

Call for Letters of Inquiry: Indo-Burma Hotspot

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is designed to safeguard Earth’s biologically richest and most threatened regions, known as biodiversity hotspots. CEPF is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank, and in the Indo-Burma hotspot is also supported by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. …  

29 Jul 2013 | Article
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Public hearing on a draft of water law in Thailand

Public hearings contribute to draft law on water management

The draft law for facilitating Thailand’s integrated water management is being developed since January 2013; in partnership with the Law Reform Commission of Thailand, the NGO Assembly for the Protection of Environment and Natural Resources, the Asia Foundation, and IUCN through the Mekong Water Dialogues (MWD). The Drafting Committee is formulating a draft Integrated Water Management Law though public participatory process. …  

17 Jul 2013 | Article

Mekong river in Xayabouri Province

MWD Evaluating Progress and Charting the Way Forward

Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam: On 12 June 2013, the Mekong Water Dialogues (MWD) Project Steering Committee Meeting was held in Ho Chi Minh City. The aim was to discuss and evaluate the progress of the MWD project and to exchange ideas and experiences in a Southeast Asian context. …  

17 Jul 2013 | Article

Sovann Morm, Head of Community Fisheries Coalition in Beoung Chhmar Ramsar Site

Fisheries Conservation expected to improve fishers’ livelihood

Through the Prime Minister's Sub-Decree 37, all commercial fishing lots around Tonle Sap Lake were abolished in favour of community fishing and fish conservation. Local fishers can now catch more fish and have access to fishing grounds that were previously off limits. Mr. Sovann Morm, Head of Community Fisheries Coalition in Beoung Chhmar Ramsar Site, bore testimony on 21 June 2013 to the fact that sustainable fisheries resources management will improve local livelihood around Tonle Sap.  …  

10 Jul 2013 | Article
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Plov Touk Commune: discussion on site selection

Integrated key stakeholders’ opinion for selection of community fisheries conservation zones and setting a priority action plan

 A five-day field visit and meeting were conducted by IUCN and the Fisheries Action Coalition Team (FACT) from 19 to 21 June 2013 in order to understand the real situation on the ground, and to identify sites for fisheries conservation for effective implementation of the EU-Non State Actors project (EU-NSA).  …  

10 Jul 2013 | Article
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Community meeting on tourism development for Beung Kiat Ngong wetlands

Conserving wetlands through tourism

Beung Kiat Ngong Ramsar Site, located in Champasak Province in southern Lao PDR, consists of various features such as swamps, lakes, peatlands and marshes. The wetland is home to 43 fish species in the wet season and 20 fish species in the dry season. It doesn’t only offer a passage for fish to move upstream, but is also a spawning ground for them. Water birds use Bueng Kiat Ngong as a nesting site. …  

30 Jun 2013 | Article

Forest ranger with a felled Siamese rosewood tree left behind by loggers after the raid. Forest rangers are tasked with laborious and dangerous jobs to protect the forests, but with little support from the government.

More must be done to safeguard our Natural World Heritage

On 14th March 2013, 33 year old forest ranger Thaweesak Chomyong, was killed trying to prevent illegal Phayung (Siamese Rosewood) logging in Pang Sida National Park. This tragedy shocked many people in Thailand. It made us stop and think, and ask the question “What is really happening in our most important protected forests?” …  

26 Jun 2013 | Article

Major-General Gamon Suwabhabh welcomes the participants

Water, land and forests for national security

How do natural resources relate to national security? This question has been at the heart of a joint workshop of Thailand’s Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) and IUCN held in Chiang Mai from 29-31 May 2013. …  

06 Jun 2013 | Article
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Ghost Forest lake

Protected Ghost Forest Areas: A Benefit for Fisheries, Natural Resource Conservation and Livelihood of the Local Community in Plov Touk

Kampong Chhnang province, Cambodia: The Ghost Forest is a flooded forest at a distance of about 700 m from the Peam Khnorng village along the Plov Touk creek. Clearing of patches of the forest and fishing by those living outside the commune are resulting in environmental degradation. If this area is better protected, it can support biodiversity and improve fisheries’ resources. IUCN and its partner Fisheries Action Coalition Team (FACT) have selected this site to implement an EU-funded project to strengthen the capacity of local fishermen in sustainable and ecologically responsible ways. 

28 May 2013 | Article
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Mark Smith speaking at the Second Asia Pacific Water Summit

Asia Pacific Water Summit: regional cooperation essential

The Second Asia Pacific Water Summit concluded on 20 May 2013 with leaders from nine countries – Brunei, Georgia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, Vanuatu and Viet Nam – pledging to prioritize water-related concerns in their countries. …  

20 May 2013 | News story

supported by
  • Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
MWD overview by Dr Robert Mather, MWD Project Manager & Head of IUCN Southeast Asia Group


Mekong film trailer

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  • The Lower Mekong River Basin countries and the Mekong river
What are Dialogues?

Dialogues are a series of facilitated discussions that allow participants to share their perspectives and experiences to promote and build a deeper understanding of contentious issues. Dialogues can assist various sectors of society to reflect on previous work, assess future options and openly negotiate workable strategies, agreements and build relationships.