Written by Mekong Institute

The Mekong Institute conducted a two-week training course on “Integrated Water Resources management for the Mekong” for eight Junior Riparian Professional from line agencies of National Mekong Committees of the four lower Mekong Countries and 6 young GMS Professionals from China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao, Thailand and Vietnam. The program, which was carried out from 19 to 30 July 2010, aimed to provide the participants with knowledge and skills related to water resource management in the context of Mekong Cooperation. The topics covered included integrated water resource management principles, water resources management functions, basin planning and decision support framework, development potentials in the lower Mekong Basin, and key water resources management issues.

The use of participatory approaches and a strong focus on practical knowledge was highlighted in the course. Likewise, two structured learning visits were included in the program, one on Pak Mu Dam and another on Huay San Mor Watershed Management, to give the participants some insights on the various problems involved in the planning and implementation of water management and hydro-power projects in Thailand.  

The participants evaluated the course as successful and provided some recommendation for training improvement in the future. Among the recommendations were to provide more case studies specific to four lower Mekong Basin countries and more specific examples to illustrate the IWRM concepts. The approaches and training methods employed such as the use of case studies, simulation exercises, videos, and field works were highly appreciated by the participants and they suggested continuing its use as they found those methods an integral part of their learning experience. They also recommended that the training program should include participants from upper Mekong countries in order to develop a common understanding of water resources management in the context of the Mekong basin.

The Mekong River Commission and New Zealand’s International Aid and Development Agency provided the financial support for thus training program.

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