Supported by the IUCN Mekong Water Dialogues project, local officials and community representatives from the Xe Champhone Wetland in Savannakhet Province recently travelled together to Beung Kiat Ngong in Champassak Province to strengthen capacity and build a vision for sustainable wetland management.
A total of 18 people from relevant government agencies, the chiefs of 10 villages from Champhone District, Savannakhet Province, and local media joined the exchange visit, which was led by Mr. Moun Vorlathamniem, Vice District Governor for Champhone.
Over four days, from 29th August to 2nd September, 2011, the team from Xe Champhone met with Mr. Chanthavy Siphounsouk, Vice District Governor of Pathoumphone District, and was welcomed by the Ban Kiat Ngong Village Committee and representatives from eight villages surrounding the Beung Kiat Ngong Wetland to share experiences on wetland management, including conflict resolution.
To learn more about wetland conservation experiences, the Xe Champhone team also traveled to Ban Don Hoad in Khong District, which has established a fish conservation zone and frog conservation since 1996.
The Savannakhet participants also made a visit to the Champassak Province Water Resources and Environment Office (WREO) to learn more about the role of WREO in wetland management, as well as to report the outcomes of the successful exchange visit.
As noted by Vice District Governor Mr Moun Vorlathamniem, “This was a great opportunity to raise the understanding of the Savannakhet participants of the value and importance of wetlands, and to see the valuable experiences of Beung Kiat Ngong Wetland. This experience will be utilized to improve wetland management in Xe Champhone.”
Beung Kiat Ngong Wetland in Champassak Province and the Xe Champhone Wetland in Savannakhet Province are Lao PDR’s first two Ramsar sites, recognizing them as wetlands of international significance. Lao PDR acceded to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Significance on 28 September 2010.
About the Mekong Water Dialogues:
The Mekong Water Dialogues Programme (MWD), convened by IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature and supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, was initiated to work with countries of the Mekong Region - Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam - to improve water governance by facilitating transparent and inclusive decision-making to improve livelihood security, human and ecosystem health.
For more information about this activity and further work in the Ramsar sites of Lao PDR, please contact Mr Vilavong Vannalath, IUCN Mekong Water Dialogues Field Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.