Better management of water resources in the Mekong River Delta
With funding from the Australian Government, ANUE provided services to the Mekong River Commission (MRC) with the aim of identifying how best Australia can help improve the management of important water resources in the Mekong River Delta.
The region, which includes parts of Vietnam and five other countries, has been dubbed a biological treasure trove and is home to 1,068 species discovered between 1997 and 2007 including a rat thought extinct for 11 million years.
Unfortunately, the region is also suffering substantial environmental degradation, and many of the unique natural bio-systems are being severely damaged. Furthermore, human habitation in the Delta faces increasing risk from flooding and pollution.
In response ANUedge conducted a review of existing studies and papers to gain an in-depth understanding of previous research and considerations. The review also included consultation with the Mekong section at AusAID, the Australian Mekong Resource Centre (AMRC), and the Murray Darling Basin Commission. By establishing this group of specialists, ANUE could employ significant expertise to analyse lessons learned from relevant experience in the Mekong region.
A mission to Laos was conducted and discussions were held with stakeholders including the World Bank, MRC, the Asian Development Bank and others to examine the relationships between stakeholders and how best to address the issues at hand.
Drawing on review findings, ANUE liaised with AusAID to produce a discussion paper. The paper recommended options for bilateral support – backed by sufficient consideration of alternatives – and outlined different forms of aid which included appropriate institutional channels for Australian assistance.