Water governance and negotiation training workshop

17 May 2013 | Article

The Water Governance and Negotiation Training Workshop is the key to strengthening the capacity of government and civil society in sustainable natural resource management and livelihood improvement. This workshop was designed to improve skills regarding international negotiations in support of good watershed governance. Siem Reap, Cambodia - Water Governance and Negotiation Training Workshop is key to strengthen capacity of government and civil society for sustaining natural resources management and for livelihood improvement. This workshop was designed to impart key concepts and skills regarding international negotiations in support of good watershed governance to invited stakeholders and practitioners and to help them build communities of practice to further develop these concepts and skills.  

It assisted invited stakeholders and practitioners to develop concepts and skills for a sustainable future. Thirteen key stakeholders, including the Deputy Director and Chief of Office from six Ministries, representatives from NGOs, and university researchers, attended the two-day Training Workshop which was organized by IUCN Cambodia, from 21 to 22 March 2013 at Somadevi Angkor Hotel, Siem Reap, Cambodia. The training workshop was under the BRIDGE project (Building River Dialogue and Governance), one of the projects of “Water Diplomacy Program in Key Trans-boundary Hot Spots” programmed funded by Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).


Effective water governance is an important tool in promoting conservation and improving the livelihoods of people around the river basin. Working in nine trans-boundaries river basins, BRIDGE promotes water cooperation between countries. In the Mekong River basin, the project covers three trans-boundary areas between Cambodia and Vietnam, namely Sekong, Sesan and Srepok (3Ss). Rapid hydropower and mining developments in the 3Ss basin proves an increasing challenge to the sustainable use of water resources. During the workshop, all participants were offered the opportunity to discuss concerns related to the hydropower dam construction project around the 3S basins, and highlight its key issues, challenges and opportunities. Videos outlining key international legal framework in negotiation were shown to demonstrate how to reach a consensus and convert conflict to cooperation.

Negotiation in water governance is vital in minimizing vulnerabilities within a community. The training designed a case study which illustrated a hypothetical conflict scenario between the two countries that share the water basin. The activity required participants to use the practical knowledge and negotiation skills discussed in the training to reach a consensus for cooperation. In addition, this training encouraged participants to use these skills for other conservation and resources management scenarios that may arise. This provided an opportunity for networking and future collaboration between key stakeholders. All participants felt the training was beneficial and encouraged IUCN to provide additional training to communities around the dam construction areas to enable them to effectively use their rights in negotiation to minimize vulnerabilities.



For more information, please contact:

Mr. KONG Kimsreng, Senior Programme Officer, IUCN Cambodia

Mr. SORN Pheakdey, Water and Wetlands Coordinator, IUCN Cambodia

Ms. SAY Chenda, Communication Officer, IUCN Cambodia