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2017 Lower Mekong Policy Forum on Energy, Agriculture, and Natural Resources, Da Nang, Vietnam

07 – 08 December 2017,

The Lower Mekong Public Policy Initiative (LMPPI) is a four-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). LMPPI is jointly managed by Fulbright University Vietnam and the Vietnam Program of Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation in the United States.

LMPPI supports inter-disciplinary research, policy engagement, and capacity building on the environment, agriculture, and livelihoods across the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB). The research focuses on identifying how improved local and trans-boundary policy coordination can sustain the environment, boost agricultural productivity and raise standards of living for the Basin’s residents. Numerous sub-topics are relevant in this endeavor. They include natural resource governance, water use and energy generation, climate change adaptation, sustainable agricultural systems, regional trade, gender empowerment, and integrated urban and rural planning.

The Lower Mekong Policy Forum is an annual event. Its themes this year are energy, agriculture, and natural resource management. Meeting in Da Nang City, Vietnam on December 07 & 08, the Forum examines recent research findings and stimulates policy dialogue on energy development, the transformation of agriculture, and efficiently managing natural resources. Participants in the Forum include policymakers, researchers, representatives of regional agencies, LMPPI’s research partners, and other stakeholders.

This year's conference will feature three consecutive sessions. The first discusses the latest research on the role of hydropower within the Mekong Basin and its contribution to energy development within Lao PDR. The presenters will explore alternative approaches designed to move the region to a sustainable energy path. Increased national integration of power systems together with appropriate energy pricing will be critical in this effort.

The second session examines the continuing transformation of agriculture and its impact on national development. In Vietnam and Cambodia, the rice sector plays a central role in meeting domestic market demand and in generating foreign exchange. By exploring the role of intermediaries and land use policies, the session helps to identify the major factors which would boost the agricultural sector’s contributions to the economy and raise its capacity to improve the income and welfare of famers.

The third session focuses on the impacts of government policies to sustain the natural resources and the ecosystem services they generate. Researchers will share insights on the problems and opportunities of more efficiently and equitably managing key resources such as groundwater and ecosystem services through regulations and appropriate pricing. These mechanisms will play an increasingly important role in enabling LMB countries to reduce the over-exploitation of their natural resources as part of their response to the encroaching effects of Climate Change.

 

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LMPPI 2017 Policy Forum - Agenda

0. Mekong Basin in Crisis: Reconciling Competing National Priorities on an International River

1.1. China’s Dam Diplomacy in the Mekong Region: Three Game Changers (to be sent via email as request)

1.2. Power Expansion Alternatives for Economic Diversity and Resilience in Lao PDR

1.3. The Macro-Economic and Environmental Implications of Hydropower Development in Lao PDR

2.1. Transforming Agriculture in the Lower Mekong Basin: Challenges and Opportunities

2.2. Evaluation of New Rural Development (NRD) Program in the Mekong Delta

2.3. Implications of Rice Policy Changes in Vietnam for Cambodia’s Rice Production and Rice Producers in South-Eastern Cambodia

3.1. International Experience in Sharing Access to, Charging for and Managing Water

3.2. Groundwater Environment in Asian Cities: A case of Bangkok

3.3. Hidden in Plain Sight:  The Value of Groundwater Irrigation in Vietnam

3.4. Appropriately Valuing Ecosystem Services in the Lower Mekong Basin