Mekong Water Dialogues

The Mekong Water Dialogues (MWD) is coordinated and facilitated by IUCN and supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. It was initiated to work with countries of the Mekong Region - Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam - to improve water governance by facilitating transparent and inclusive decision-making to improve livelihood security, human and ecosystem health.


A woman fishing at a fishing hole in Beung Kiat Ngong.

Women’s groups confirm the importance of biodiversity conservation in Beung Kiat Ngong wetlands, Champassak, Lao PDR

 Mekong Water Dialogue’s work in Champassak Province, Lao PDR includes a study on the women’s groups and their traditional use of natural resources. During a recent field survey in Beung Kiat Ngong wetlands, the MWD field officer, Mr. Vilavong met with local women and observed their daily work. The experience gave Mr. Vilavong a new appreciation for the importance of the aquatic plants and animals in the wetlands to local livelihoods. …  

17 Jan 2012 | Event
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Mekong river in Xayabouri Province

Conserving Biodiversity and Sustaining Livelihoods along the Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Xayabouri and Vientiane Provinces, Lao PDR

The Mekong River above Vientiane, extending upstream to Luang Prabang, is one of the least-studied sections of the entire Mekong mainstream. No detailed bird or other fauna surveys have been conducted in most of this stretch of the river, which is considered a critical habitat, migration and breeding corridor for numerous species of conservation and economic significance. 

09 Jan 2012 | Event
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IUCN MWD Thailand prepares for Mekong Dhamma Yatra

The “Dhamma Yatra” – a walk to raise awareness of Mekong nature organised by MWD Thailand and partners

Between 10 and 19 February 2011, a walk will take place along the Mekong River in northern Thailand to celebrate and raise awareness of the river’s natural beauty and conservation importance. The “Dhamma Yatra” walk for Mekong nature is being jointly organised by MWD Thailand and its partners, the Mekong-Lanna Network for Nature and Culture Conservation, Hill Area and Community Development Foundation (HADF), Living River Siam, Northern River Basin Network, Khun Nikom Phuttha and his Dhamma Yatra Network, Plum Village, a network of people from eight Mekong provinces, Anantara Golden Triangle, Panyapeti Institute, the Tambon Community Organization Network from seven Mekong provinces in northeast Thailand, and the Recycle Band.  

21 Dec 2011 | News story
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IUCN MWD Thailand Indigenous women seminar

Indigenous women discuss managing water resources to enhance food security and adapt to climate change

On 2–3 December 2011, MWD Thailand, together with the Inter Mountain Peoples’ Education and Culture in Thailand Association (IMPECT), the Hill Area and Community Development Foundation (HADF), and the Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand, held a seminar in Chiang Rai for indigenous women to discuss and exchange views on managing water resources to enhance food security and adapt to climate change. Twenty women representing 10 ethnic groups (including Karen, Hmong, Mien, Palong, Lawa, Shan, Lahu, Lisu, Kachin and Akha) from Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai took an active part in the event.  

21 Dec 2011 | News story
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Workshop participants visit ‘water onion’ conservation site.

Lao National Working Group members see environmental flows in action in Thailand

Member of the Lao National Working Group for the Mekong Water Dialogues, Ms Phetlavanh Sinpaseuth from Earth Systems Lao, writes about a recent field trip and training workshop on the importance of environmental flows, organized by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

07 Dec 2011 | Event
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House submerged in Hong Ngu district, Dong Thap Province during floods (taken in September 2011)

Man vs. nature: flooding in the Mekong Delta

The recent flooding in the Mekong Delta has forced decision makers to address an important question: does it make sense for the state to support the high levels of investment in large-scale water resource management infrastructure needed to produce a third crop of rice. The answer depends on who you ask and how you define the costs and benefits. Many researchers and farmers representatives argue that the direct and hidden costs of a third crop exceed the benefits in terms of the extra rice produced. But many government officials insist that a third crop of rice makes economic sense.   …   | Vietnamese

30 Nov 2011 | Article
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Flooding in Ayuttaya, Thailand Oct 23 2011

Thai Floods

As the floods in Thailand reach record levels, they are causing unprecedented damage to human lives, property and the natural environment. …  

03 Nov 2011 | News story

Local woman boats across Beung Kiat Ngong

Lao PDR’s Ramsar sites, Xe Champhone and Beung Kiat Ngong wetlands, learn from each other

Supported by the IUCN Mekong Water Dialogues project, local officials and community representatives from the Xe Champhone Wetland in Savannakhet Province recently travelled together to Beung Kiat Ngong in Champassak Province to strengthen capacity and build a vision for sustainable wetland management. …  

04 Oct 2011 | Event
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IUCN Mekong Water Dialogues Cambodia NWG meeting October 2011

Increased impact from wetlands policy

MWD Cambodia is striving to achieve support and endorsement from the Cambodian government for the establishment of a national framework for wetlands management to secure adequate protection of wetlands for long-term conservation and sustainable livelihood practices. Initially MWD had set out to establish a National Wetland Strategic Plan or National Wetland Strategic Guidance for Cambodia. However, based on a strategic review MWD Cambodia has reassessed and decided that the establishment of Sectoral Wetland Guidelines is a higher priority and also more effective within the timeframe of MWD.

30 Sep 2011 | News story

Fishing on Ang Soui Lake, Xe Champhone Wetland

Implementing Conservation and Wise Use in Lao PDR’s two Ramsar sites

Since joining the Ramsar Convention last year, the Government of Lao PDR and its partners have stepped up implementation of the Convention and its principles of conservation and wise use of wetlands. 

30 Sep 2011 | Downloads - publication
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supported by
  • Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
MWD overview by Dr Robert Mather, MWD Project Manager & Head of IUCN Southeast Asia Group


Mekong film trailer

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  • The Lower Mekong River Basin countries and the Mekong river
What are Dialogues?

Dialogues are a series of facilitated discussions that allow participants to share their perspectives and experiences to promote and build a deeper understanding of contentious issues. Dialogues can assist various sectors of society to reflect on previous work, assess future options and openly negotiate workable strategies, agreements and build relationships.