After 2 implementation phases which generated credible research results, SUMERNET has now established a successful and expanding regional research network with expertise in several policy areas critical to sustainability. Building upon the foundation of SUMERNET – a collaboration among 50 research and policy-making institutions with a strong track record, SUMERNET Phase 3 will be in a strategic position to inform and influence policy-making in the Mekong Region towards more socially inclusive and gender-responsive sustainable development.
In response to shifting knowledge demands and policy debates in the region, SUMERNET Phase 3 will focus its work on three key issues:
- Climate-compatible development. The rising energy demand and rapid urbanization that have typically accompanied economic growth in Southeast Asia represent significant challenges and opportunities for climate-compatible development. SUMERNET research is promoting human development while addressing both mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.
- Regional economic integration. Greater regional economic integration has been promoted widely in the region, most notably as part of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) activities leading to increased transborder trade and investment activities. But poverty and inequality as well as transboundary environmental degradation need pressing attention.
- Ecosystem services and local development. Local development in rural and peri-urban settings is often greatly affected by the condition of ecosystems and the services they provide. Research and policy-oriented assessments are needed to help maintain and improve ecosystem services throughout the Mekong region to ensure the well-being of societies and households who derive their livelihoods from natural resources.
SUMERNET Phase 3 is being supported by Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).