Ian Taylor/CPWF Mekong.

Greater Mekong

Building on 10 years of experience under the Challenge Program on Water and Food, the Greater Mekong program believes that realizing the potentials of large scale reservoir management will require long-term change and the ability to bring different groups together to approach the challenges collaboratively. This is done through a unique research for development approach.

Work is carried out across Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and China's Yunnan province in four Greater Mekong river basins: the Irrawaddy; the Salween; the Mekong; and the Red.

Canal off the Hau River in Can Tho Province, Vietnam

The cornerstone of our adaptively managed research-for-development (R4D) approach is communications. We believe that dialogues, partnerships, fora, and neutrality are essential to foster meaningful knowledge sharing, as outlined in our communications strategy.

The Greater Mekong has developed a number of innovative communication products which can be found on the program's website

WLE seeks to build bridges between communities, hydropower companies and governments

The primary interface between the technical work produced by WLE Greater Mekong and potential users of that work is the Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy. In 2015, 306 people representing 139 institutions attended. [read more]

- and to promote benefit sharing and dialogue

Sharing the benefits from rapid hydropower development in the Greater Mekong is a major focus of the program. Communities that are resettled to make space for these massive infrastructure projects must make major adjustments to their way of life.

One past project explored the possibility of using the highly fertile land that is exposed around the edges of reservoirs during the dry season to grow cassava. By introducing a new fast growing strain, the project was able to improve community livelihoods and food security by mitigating the threat of losing crops to flooding. [read more]

Preparing cassava to transport to the processing factory
Preparing cassava to transport to the processing factory.
CPWF MK1 project.

Another project has worked to improve the knowledge base of communities facing resettlement in Cambodia. By organizing trainings, meetings and a study tour to Lao resettlement communities, the project has worked to empower villages who will lose their homes so they can have a say in where they will be relocated and how the process will proceed.