The Mekong Region went through an unusually long and intense dry spell in 2015 attributed partly to the El Niño effect. The urgent issue of "drought in the Mekong" is to be highlighted in one of the panels at the upcoming SUMERNET Annual Meeting during 26-28 January in Bangkok.
Faced by higher than usual temperatures and lack of seasonal rains, farmers in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam have left their fields unplanted. Thailand meanwhile recently declared 31 districts in eight provinces as “drought disaster zones”.
The SUMERNET panel titled "Drought in the Mekong: A new normal?" will feature several prominent water and drought specialists and policy advisors from the Mekong Region.
Some of those expected to attend include senior representatives from the: Irrigation Department, Mekong River Commission’s Drought Management Programme, Mekong SERVIR project, and Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) project of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Some other panels that will also take place during the SUMERNET Annual Meeting include:
- How can researchers contribute more to planning and policy decisions? Practical experience from the policy makers and regional networks
- The values of conserving and restoring wetland services
- Trade-offs and synergies between climate and other considerations in development
This year’s Annual Meeting is also an occasion to celebrate the tenth year anniversary of SUMERNET’s founding in 2005. A commemorative booklet for the occasion will also be availabe at the event. The booklet will highlight “Ten Stories of Change from the Mekong” written by research partners who have collaborated in the network over these last ten years towards realising SUMERNET’s vision of sustainable dewvelopment.
For more information about the Annual Meeting and the panel discussions, please see working agenda attached below.