Over the next year the Thailand National Working Group (NWG), Mekong Water Dialogues will be conducting Community Water Dialogues (CWD) throughout Thailand. CWD will establish a platform for local communities to contribute to flood and water management in Thailand.
CWD is a part of the wider Mekong Water Dialogues program which aims to improve livelihood security, human and ecosystem health in the Mekong Region through participatory water governance and mainstream participation by multiple stakeholders including communities and civil society in decision making related to management of water resources in the Mekong Region.
CWDs will directly address the Thailand’s Government Master Plan for Flood and Water Management (Master Plan). The Master Plan describes eight work plans that aim to mitigate flood events. The eight plans have been developed with very little public participation or input and local communities have been given very little information on how the work plans will affect their local environment.
Public participation is an important element of in Integrated Water Resource Management because it:
- Empowers the local community.
- Improves decision making: it helps to develop consensus among key actors, consequently improving the impact and project sustainability.
- Enhanced cooperation and sustainability: developing shared solutions helps to avoid future conflicts.
CWDs will be conducted throughout Thailand and will involve all level of society. Participants will Include, local, provincial and national government, community members, CSOs, NGOS and academics. The dialogues will not only create a platform for mulit-stakeholder participation but help communities have influence over flood and water management in their local area.
By Teigan Allen