The WLE Focal Regions takes a research for development approach to address challenges in four major regions: the Greater Mekong; the Nile-East Africa; the Volta-Niger; and the Ganges. The projects in each region attempt to collectively demonstrate that an integrated multi-sector approach is required to change unsustainable approaches to agricultural intensification and to address the increasing pressure on natural resources.
The Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy will bring together focal region leaders and managers, as well as various government, civil society, and research stakeholders, to discuss issues pertinent to the region. This year's themes are:
Theme 1: The emerging architecture of water governance in the Mekong Region
Extreme climatic conditions, and the rapid development of the Greater Mekong’s water resources are challenging existing governance structures in the region; and leading to the emergence of new governance forms. Sessions in this theme will explore these new architectures, and the degree to which they contribute towards water sustainability across the region.
Theme 2: Gender, ethnic diversity and resettlement in the Mekong Region
Resettlement is a complex process and remains a significant challenge in the Greater Mekong and an important driver of regional migration. Sessions under this theme will explore why this is and how resettlement safeguards may or may not be the best mechanisms to effectively deal with gender and diversity.
Theme 3: My river, my buffet: rivers, food and development
Concern for the impact of water development on regional food supplies remains a serious issue – not least since the launch of the Vietnamese Government’s Delta Study during the 2015 Forum. Sessions under this theme will explore how reductions in food production as a result of water infrastructure can be equitably replaced; and they will consider how water infrastructure can be designed and operated to maximize food production potentials.
Theme 4: Monitoring for management
Monitoring the state of the region’s rivers is a significant challenge; but nevertheless essential to their effective management. Across the region, River Basin Organizations (RBOs) are faced with making decisions over water resources with little baseline information on the state of the region’s rivers. Sessions in this theme will explore options available for the cost-effective monitoring of the region’s rivers.
Theme 5: Changing catchments and catchment changes
Across the region, catchments are being altered by (land, mining and other) concessions, leading to changes in water quality and quantity. Sessions under this theme will consider these impacts and ways in which catchment management can be improved to address these changes.
Theme 6: Energy solutions
A key driver of water development and energy investments is growing energy markets. Sessions under this theme will consider how energy markets can be better managed (through, for example, demand-side conservation), and the mix of energy sources that can help these to be more efficient. They can also explore energy investment trends and the implications of these.
For more information, please visit the WLE Greteater Mekong website.