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WCC 2020 Res 013 - Progress Report

General information
IUCN Constituencies implementing this Resolution
IUCN Members: 
Ministry of Environment, Cambodia / Cambodia
Ministère des Affaires étrangères / Lao
Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation / Thailand
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Viet Nam ( MONRE ) / Viet Nam
IUCN Commissions: 
IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management 2021-2025 (CEM)
IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law 2021-2025 (WCEL)
IUCN Secretariat: 
Other non-IUCN related organisations: 
International Rivers, national NGOs and academics in the 4 countries
Indicate which actions have been carried out to implement this Resolution : 
Convene stakeholders/Networking
Policy influencing/advocacy
Scientific/technical activities
Describe the results/achievements of the actions taken: 
IUCN secretariat, at ARO, has been supporting the implementation of the resolution through the IUCN global BRIDGE programme, SDC funded, which aims at strengthening transboundary water governance, with a component in the Mekong.
A number of activities have been conducted to implement Resolution 013 - Supporting the Lower Mekong Basin countries with the transboundary management of water resources, ecosystems and biodiversity.
As an example, the study A window of opportunity for the Mekong Basin: The UN Watercourses Convention as a basis for cooperation, developed before resolution 13 is acting as a regional guidance to promote the strengthening of the 1995 Mekong river agreement, highlighting its compatibility but also differences with the UNWC. The recommendations are regularly discussed with the Mekong River Commission.
IUCN has also supported regional dialogues on energy integration with an aim to reduce the portion of hydropower in the energy mix, building on the opportunities given by a more competitive solar and wind energy generation. The Sekong, Sesan and Srepok River Basin energy profile, looking at potential scenario for energy cooperation in the largest sub-basin of the Mekong acts as a scientific basis to trigger dialogues and influence planning in the region.
Specifically, IUCN has advocated for a review of the proposed, and ongoing Vietnamese-supported Sekong Dam A project, in Lao PDR. IUCN DG sent a letter to the prime minister of Viet Nam (Viet Nam private sector being the main support to the project) to highlight the fact that the Sekong A dam will have serious impacts on sediment and fisheries because of its location. The Sekong is the Mekong’s largest free-flowing tributary and a vital channel for fish migration, spawning, and stock recovery. If built, the Sekong A dam would produce just 86 MW, a tiny fraction of electricity relative to regional power supply. Yet it would disconnect all but 126 km of the Sekong’ s 1,917 km from the Mekong, further restricting sediment delivery to the delta thereby threatening the success of Viet Nam Resolution 120. It would also gravely weaken Vietnam’s widely admired leadership on sustainability regionally and globally. There are numerous alternative power projects that Lao PDR and Viet Nam could develop. The very small amount of power produced by the Sekong A dam could easily be substituted by investing in solar and wind, which would be quicker to build and have zero impact on river connectivity and consequently on sediment delivery and fisheries migration. IUCN was invited by the Lao Ministry of Energy and mine to present the project and also worked closely with NGOs and CSOs, including IUCN members to mainstream key facts and findings about the project.
IUCN is also engaging with the MRC in developing a GEF IW project on transboundary fisheries. The 8 million project would look at 1) Scaling up transboundary fisheries management measures, including seasonal closures, fish conservation areas, etc. 2) Protect the remaining freshwater ecosystems, including migratory fish pathways and spawning grounds and 3) Improve fisheries governance at local, national, and transboundary scales. IUCN was invited to facilitate a session on transboundary fisheries during the recent 12th MRC stakeholder forum in Bangkok, Thailand in June 2022.
IUCN is also acting as the executing agency for a GEF IW project looking at groundwater management in the Mekong delta between Cambodia and Viet Nam.
IUCN is also supporting the MRC in mainstreaming the Green List in management framework of key freshwater sites in the Mekong basin as part of the implementation of the MRC Strategy for Basin-Wide Environment of Prioritised Environmental Assets with Regional Significance. The Green List will be implemented in 4 pilot wetlands in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet nam.
What challenges/obstacles have been encountered in the implementation of this Resolution and how were they overcome : 
The current funding to implement this resolution is limited, relying on the SDC funded BRIDGE programme. Fund raising to strengthen the water governance programme is now leading to results, with several GEF IW about to start or under development.
The development of hydropower remains an important risk on the Mekong basin with several dams under construction or planned.
Briefly describe what future actions are needed for the implementation of this Resolution: 
BRIDGE 5 will provide the framework for future implementation of Res 13.
The programme running from september 2022 until august 2026 will support
- national and regional government dialogues on water governance;
- stakeholders trainings on transboundary water governance, legal framework for cooperation, benefit sharing in transboundary river basins;
- further research and awareness on opportunities to build on renewable energies and decrease the proportion of hydropower in the energy mix
- support site based activities directly or via small grants to CSOs working on water governance or Nature-based solutions for water
- direct support to the Mekong River Commission in developing a regional programme on transboundary fisheries
Are these actions planned for yet: 
Status of implementation
Status of implementation for this Resolution: 
On-going: implementation consisting of repetitive, recurrent action (attending meetings, reporting, etc.)
Additional information