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Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) Conference, Phnom Penh Cambodia

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) invited three members of the LMPPI team to attend the 2015 Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food, and Energy. The forum was held in Phnom Penh from 21 to 23 October 2015. With approximately 300 invitees from 90 plus organizations, the forum examined key issues related to water governance, the impact of damming the Mekong mainstream,  transboundary cooperation, sustainable hydropower development, decision models for resource development, and methods for valuing ecosystems services. Some excellent technical research has been undertaken. Most researchers recognize the distributional impact of the decisions being made to transform the Mekong Basin. They also understood that the issues related to water, energy and the environment are inter-connected. Nonetheless, figuring out realistic approaches to modeling those inter-connections and practical means for engaging policymakers have a long way to go. A major gap in all of the research is in the formulation of measures that will induce the principal players in the transformation of the Mekong Basin to cooperate. Thus far, both within and among countries, institutions and organizations are largely going it alone.

In this Forum, LMPPI, SEI and SUMERNET co-hosted a session introducing an innovative approach, namely Robust Decision Support (RDS) developed by RAND Corporation. The approach handles complexity, uncertainty and multi-stakeholder engagement in planning for water, food, and energy nexus challenges. The session was divided into two sub-sessions followed by a panel discussion. They introduced the model and its applications such as flood risk management in Ho Chi Minh City and SUMERNET case studies. Then, they organized an interactive group exercise on using the model. The panel discussion dealt with the applicability of the model in promoting coordination and collaboration in implementing long-term plans for resource management.

Source of Photos: 2015 Greater Mekong Forum