Water governance in the Mekong region

The Mekong Region is located among the fastest growing economies of East and Southeast Asia. Industries such as mining, agriculture, fisheries and renewable energy are dependant on the river systems. Equitable and sustainable use of water is crucial to livelihoods and economic development in this important region.

The Mekong Region is shared among five countries: Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam. Each country faces similar challenges with water governance. However, different priorities cause conflicting management and decision making, resulting in risks to equitable development.

The Mekong Region Water Dialogues

The Mekong Region Water Dialogues is an ambitious IUCN programme designed to improve water governance in the Mekong Region by facilitating transparent and inclusive decision-making among business, government and civil society.

The Mekong Region Water Dialogues aims to improve environmental decision-making in the Mekong Region by enabling wider stakeholder involvement in processes associated with water resources governance. The agenda will encompass issues surrounding public participation and deliberation, accountability, transparency and protection of rights such as access to information.

The Mekong Region Water Dialogues aims to:

  • Improve decision-making processes around water-related investments in the Mekong Region
  • Provide an opportunity for business, government and civil society actors in the Mekong Region to participate in dialogues – to inform, and be informed
  • Enable different perspectives on Mekong Region water-related development to be considered in decision-making

IUCN’s objective within this programme will be to utilize its convening role to bring state and non-state actors together to address the governance challenges of water resources management in the Mekong Region. Given the complexity and sensitivity associated with water governance in the Mekong Region, IUCN’s authority to convene different stakeholders will form an integral part of this dialogue process.

For more information please visit the Mekong Region Water Dialogues at:


Or contact:

Dr. Erik Nielsen
Country Programme Coordinator

Email: erik@iucnlao.org
Tel: +856-21-216401ext. 109