CPWF Mekong

Upcoming Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy


12 September 2013 | Announcement

In December, 2011, we held the first Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Discussions here centered on how to develop, manage and operatehydropower in ways that help nations realize their development potential.

The 3rd Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy will continue this constructive dialogue on the relationship between the cost and benefits of water development. The Forum will focus in particular on technical and institutional innovations, which can make hydropower more sustainable and which can ensure that benefits are equitably shared.

The Forum will focus on dialogues surrounding water, food and energy, and will present and debate CPWF-Mekong research results and ideas. It is built around three themes:

  • What has the CPWF achieved through its work in the Mekong Basin?
  • Based on current trajectories, what will the Mekong Basin look like in the future?
  • How do we want the Mekong Basin to look like in the future, and how would we achieve this?

It is a prerequisite to sustainable development of the water resources in the Mekong River Basin to depart from past, polarized debates and to strive instead for constructive dialogues, transparency and accountability in decision-making. One objective of the 3rd Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy is therefore to build on the successes of the 2011 and 2012 forums, and to further foster the open and constructive dialogue between representatives from government, industry, financers, civil society and research institutions.

The Forum is being convened by the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF). Confirmed co-hosts of the event are the Institute of Water Resources Planning, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Government of Vietnam; and the Mekong Program on Water, Food and Resilience (M-POWER). This event is a CPWF initiative, funded in part by Australia through AusAID.

Who can participate in the Forum?
Participation in the forum is by invitation only.

Why a forum on Water, Food and Energy in the Mekong region?
The Mekong River is among the richest rivers in the world, both with regard to water volume as well as biodiversity. It plays a central role in the lives of the more than 300 million people who live in the region – its Lao and Thai names meaning literally “Mother of Water”.

The river is an important source of livelihoods: for centuries, it has yielded fisheries, irrigation for agriculture, silt for agriculture, water for households and as a major transportation route into the southeast Asian peninsular. Today, the countries of the Mekong are undergoing dramatic change and rapidly developing. This, in turn, demands considerable amounts of energy to achieve, including electricity. Up and down the length of the Mekong, hydropower is being developed to meet this growing demand.

How, then, are the demands on water for food to be reconciled with water for energy? This represents a ‘nexus’ (i.e. a connection or series of connections linking two or more things), with which the CPWF is committed to exploring and understanding.

What will we aim to achieve during this Forum?
We aim to move towards a shared understanding of the relationships between water development, food and energy in the Mekong region; to better understand technical and institutional innovations, which can make water resources development more sustainable; and to further strengthen the dialogue and exchange between representatives from governments, industry, financers, civil society and research institutions.

Practical matters
The seat of Viet Nam’s Government, Hanoi has been a busy and frenetic city since 1010. Boasting ancient architecture, superb food, a wonderful Asian-French ambiance, and an excellent springboard from which to explore northern Vietnam, we are proud to be holding this year’s forum here.

Many nationalities require visas to enter Viet Nam.

  • Citizens of Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand can enter Vietnam without a visa for a period of 30 days.
  • Philippine citizens can enter Vietnam without a visa for a period of 21 days.
  • Citizens of Denmark, Norway, South Korea, Finland, Russia, Sweden and Japan can enter Vietnam without a visa for a period of 15 days.
  • All other nationalities must obtain a visa in advance from a Vietnamese consular mission to enter Vietnam.
  • In November, Hanoi is cool, with average temperatures between 19-25C, so dress warmly!


This announcement was originally  posted on CPWF Mekong. To read the original announcement, click here.