Workshop Summary

Mekong River System Science Data Workshop

“Science for a Sustainable Mekong River System”

September 16-18, 2014

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and

U.S. Department of the Interior (USDOI)

In collaboration with:

University Network for Wetland Research and Training in the Mekong Region (WUN), International Crane Foundation (ICF) and University of Science, Vietnam National University –

Ho Chi Minh City

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Table of Contents

 

Workshop Goals............................................................................................................................................

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Workshop Organizers....................................................................................................................................

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Acknowledgments.........................................................................................................................................

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Executive Summary.......................................................................................................................................

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A.

Opening remarks ....................................................................................................................................

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B.

First Plenary Session...............................................................................................................................

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C.

Country Reports .....................................................................................................................................

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D.

Breakout Session #6: Climate, Hydro-meteorological and Sea-level Rise Data .....................................

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E.

Breakout Session #2: Landscape Use and Change ...............................................................................

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F.

Breakout Session #3: Surface Water, Groundwater and Sediment .....................................................

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G.

Breakout Session #4: Agriculture and Forestry....................................................................................

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H.

Second Plenary Session ........................................................................................................................

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I.

Breakout Session #5: Baseline Ecological, Aquatic Resources, and Biodiversity Data.........................

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J.

Breakout Session #1: Water Quality and Use.......................................................................................

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K.

SPECIAL SESSION: Management of Water Resources in a Mekong Basin that is dominated by

 

 

seasonal and annual hydrological variation, including low flow conditions -- Key Scientific Questions

 

and Data Needs for the Mekong Delta.................................................................................................

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L.

Third Plenary Session: Remarks from international organizations working in the Mekong River basin

 

..............................................................................................................................................................

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M. Closing Session......................................................................................................................................

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N.

Next Steps:............................................................................................................................................

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Appendix 1: Meeting Agenda .....................................................................................................................

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Appendix 2: Participant List ........................................................................................................................

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Workshop Goals

The primary goal of the workshop was to assess scientific information that can be used by government officials and others to validate, identify, and prioritize needed scientific studies in the Mekong River Basin, with a focus on sustainable river resources and dependent ecosystems. This was accomplished through completion of data assessments for six selected science topics. Each workshop session included presentations of topical data assessment by topic co-leaders. The data topics addressed are not all-inclusive, but data for these topics do include most key physical, chemical, and biological data needed to assess key physical and chemical processes. These processes are known to drive the ecological structure and function of river channels and their riparian buffers, and they evaluate changes in river systems in response to climatic, regulatory, and other anthropogenic impacts.

Workshop Organizers

United States Department of the Interior (USDOI)

Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE)

University Network for Wetland Research and Management in the Mekong Basin (WUN) International Crane Foundation (ICF)

United States Geological Survey (USGS)

University of Science, Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City (HCMUS)

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Rector Tran Linh Thuoc and staff at the University of Science, Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City (HCMUS) for their incredible hospitality. We would also like to acknowledge that funds for this workshop were provided by the U.S. State Department Lower Mekong Initiative.

Executive Summary

From 16-18 September, 2014, WUN, USGS, MONRE and ICF held an international workshop in Ho Chi Minh City (Appendix 1). This workshop was conducted under the JCM8 framework (4.2. Data sharing - Mekong River Basin: State of Science Workshop; Mekong Basin Groundwater Database Development Assistance. Timeframe: December 2013-July 2014). We were privileged to have 96 participants from the six riparian countries of the Mekong—China, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, as well as from Australia, Germany, and the United States (Appendix 2).

Through the workshop, it became clear that data resources of the whole Mekong basin are limited and difficult to locate. The only international organization that was engaged in the entire basin in a coordinated manner was the Mekong River Commission (MRC); it has data on water

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resources related to the whole Mekong basin-wide. Yet these data are still limited. For example, MRC only has hydrology data on a broad spatial scale but lacks data that occur at a more spatially refined scale. In addition, few data exist regarding water quality and sediment dynamics. Similarly, data and information related to ecology, biodiversity, socio-economics, and fish distribution or movement are insufficient for any scientific review. Not only are data insufficient, data that exist are limited in their use by differences in methods of collection, gaps in distribution of samples, and uncoordinated timing of sampling.

Solving these problems cannot be accomplished in one meeting, with one group, by a single government or governmental agency, or with any one project. A primary recommendation from the group, besides identifying specific data gaps, is that scientific meetings such as this first effort should continue in a series, held frequently (once a year or more often). This series of meetings would be focused on identifying specific elements of dealing with the responsibilities and opportunities that exist in the Mekong Basin that Consul General Bitter mentioned during the opening session. One theme for a subsequent meeting would be to identify different development scenarios for the Mekong Basin so that the costs and benefits of hydroelectric dams can be compared more quantitatively to the costs and benefits of other development scenarios.

Important data gaps were also identified in this workshop that need to be addressed immediately if the goal of sustainable development, a critical criteria of the 1995 Mekong River Accord, is to be achieved. Immediate, large data gaps exist with sediment loads and transfer, groundwater dynamics, surface water/groundwater interaction, deltaic processes that influence delta geomorphology, biological diversity, fish movement, the role of wetlands in fish ecology and biological diversity, and socio-economic analyses such as developing and analyzing alternative development scenarios.

More broadly, data transparency and accessibility is another key element identified in this meeting. All organizations feel limited by data access but also could improve their own ability to make those data fully accessible to others. Providing open data access is critical. Organizations that fund research and monitoring efforts in the Mekong Basin have their own role to play in solving this problem - they can request, through objectives in their funding strategies, that implementing organizations make their data available in web-based services or through tools such as those identified in the SEAD approach in this workshop.

In making the recommendation to implement a series of meetings that focus on understanding and planning for sustainable development in the Mekong Basin, participants also clearly articulated the need to create effective partnerships that were capable of driving forward such meetings and implementation programs productively. Potential partners that were identified include (but are not limited to) USAID (and aid agencies from other interested governments), MRC, the SUMERNET program, IUCN, and UNDP/UNEP.

Finally, it was identified that partnerships can be effective at scales other than just the large, multinational scales listed above. These partnerships can also have myriad purposes. Two examples of effective partnerships were presented in the workshop—WUN and the Mekong Fish Network. Each example built both capacity and implemented collaborative research projects efficiently throughout the Mekong Basin.

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A. Opening remarks

1. International Crane Foundation (represented by Jeb Barzen)

-Climate change and hydropower development are two of the most pressing issues the Mekong countries are facing.

-Cooperation among countries that share a river has never been easy but the Mekong has one of the strongest international river agreements in the world.

-Science helps us understand sustainability.

-Workshop goals are to review what data are available, discuss how data can be shared, and identify next steps in filling data gaps so that the goal of sustainable development can be achieved.

2. University of Science – Ho Chi Minh City (represented by Rector Tran Linh Thuoc)

- The world is changing fast. Some changes, for example climate change, are troublesome. - High quality data are needed for societies to understand and make wise decisions.

- Data sharing and research collaboration are important.

3. Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (Represented by Deputy Minister Nguyen Thai Lai)

- Climate change is increasing pressures on environment and infrastructure. - Data sharing is important.

- Scientific data are important for resource management and help governments in prioritizing activities.

- Workshop will identify data gaps and ways to fill those gaps.

4. U.S. Consulate Office in Ho Chi Minh City (represented by Consul General Rena Bitter)

Both scientists and lay people alike understand very clearly that the Mekong River is both a treasure and a critical resource to millions of people living within the watershed. Having such a treasure bares important responsibilities as well as opportunities. The theme of this meeting—to understand how to protect and keep sustainable this Mekong system—is important. Consul General Bitter looks forward to learning about the results of our discussions.

B. First Plenary Session

1.Truong Hong Tien, Mekong River Commission. International agreement among the four countries of the Lower Mekong basin and the implication for science needs.

-Introduction about the Mekong River basin (physical environment, biodiversity, human societies)

-Changes in the Mekong basin: Climate change, hydropower development, river hydrology, fish diversity and fish catch, water quality

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-Implications for research: better understand the impacts of climate change; provide a clear set of recommendations

-MRC’s procedure for data and information exchange

o a mechanism for data sharing among MK countries o principles of data sharing

o types of data to be shared

othe need to improve accessibility by users

-Need commitment by all 4 countries to share data

2. James Stefanov, USGS: Success and challenges in trans-boundary collaborations for natural resources.

-Explained common barriers for data sharing

-Explained need for common data management plan

-Gave examples of trans-boundary collaborations

oGroundwater management cooperation between U.S. and Mexico

oGreat Lakes cooperation between U.S. and Canada

-Introduced some science data initiatives related to the Mekong region:

oMekong regional groundwater database

o Mekong Fish Network databank o MRC data & info service portal

- Introduced Lower Mekong Initiative being implemented by U.S. State Department

3. Phan Cam Nhung (World Wildlife Fund for Nature)

Summarized results of a recent study on sedimentation in the Mekong delta conducted by WWF

-Changes in sedimentation caused by hydropower dams

-River morphology

-Delta erosion

-Off-shore sediment plume

C. Country Reports

1.Cambodia (presented by Thay Somony)

- Waste disposal into the Mekong river - Endangered species of the Mekong

- Wetland conservation vs. urban development

- Tonle Sap system’s dependence on the Mekong flow

- Must pay attention to not only what happens on the Mekong mainstream but also on its tributaries

2.China (presented by He Daming)

-China is the source of many of Asia’s big rivers

-Water use in China affects water and food security in many parts of mainland Asia

-Data gaps:

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o Less hydrological stations in west China as compared to east China o No station in upstream Mekong river

o Insufficient water quality monitoring data

o Some hydrological data are classified by China’s government and therefore cannot be shared

o Published in Chinese language

- Database development projects in China

- Capacity building on international water management (workshops, training courses) organized by Yunnan University

3. Lao PDR (presented by Lammai Phiphakkhavong)

- Introduction of the MK basin in Laos

oWater resource use in Laos: hydropower, irrigation, fishery, navigation

-Environmental issues:

oDeforestation: 70% forested cover in 1940; 43% cover in 2004

oWater quality degradation

4.Myanmar (presented by Aung Kyi)

-Introduction about Myanmar and the MK basin in Myanmar

-Sources of data in Myanmar

oPrimary: Administration records

oSecondary: Statistics

-Research activities: Persistent organic pollutants in wetlands as an example

-Future goals:

oPromote more research activities in Myanmar

o Improve data collection

5. Thailand (presented by Chaicharn Wongsamun)

- Introduced Thailand 11th NESD Plan 2012-2016 and the needs of water resource management

- Discussed data availability and adequacy in Thailand

- Identified Thailand’s data gaps:

o Water demand for ecosystem management o Value of ecosystem services

- Discussed issues related to data sharing among Mekong countries o Data quality

oData accessibility and dissemination

6.Vietnam (presented by Nguyen Thi Thu Linh)

- Introduction about the Vietnam Mekong delta

- Introduced a current study funded by Vietnam Government on the effects of Mekong mainstream dams on the Mekong delta

- Data sources available from MRC: Meteorology data, water level and discharge, flood, water quality, sediment, infrastructure and water use, hydropower dams and reservoirs, fishery, biodiversity, agriculture

7.Summary (by Jeb Barzen)

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The diversity of these perspectives represents the diverse views of issues in the Mekong Basin. That diversity is both a challenge to address and a great opportunity.

-China focused on trans-boundary issues and actions.

-Myanmar, having 4% of the Mekong watershed, focused on more detailed country action and monitoring.

-Lao PDR was all about streams.

-Thailand was never directly involved in wars, so their monitoring is well-established, but poor people do not have access to the data.

-Cambodia is where the biodiversity is and that is on their minds. In addition, Cambodia worries about water that both comes in and leaves Cambodia.

-Since Vietnam is the receiver of waters from all the other countries, it must take what it can get. It is forced to integrate and have a longer term perspective.

D. Breakout Session #6: Climate, Hydro-meteorological and Sea- level Rise Data

1. Session Description

Co-Chairs for Session 6 were Don Cahoon, U.S. Geological Survey and Tran Thuc, Climate Center, Vietnam. The session was 2.5 hours long; five approximately 20 minute-long presentations were given consecutively followed by a discussion period. The session covered the importance of having quality data to forecast change. Many of the ecological processes that are assumed to be at work in the Mekong system are based on science done in other deltas. There is a great need to enhance data collection in the Mekong.

Presentations:

Data and Science Needs for Assessing the Sustainability of the Mekong River Delta and Wetlands, Don Cahoon, U.S. Geological Survey

Data and instrumentation needs for assessing coastal wetland vulnerability in Vietnam, Ken Krauss, U.S. Geological Survey

Toward understanding the extreme events in the lower Mekong basin, Le Xuan Thuyen,

Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City - University of Sciences

Hydro-meteorological Data and Trends, Tran Thuc, Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change – MONRE, Vietnam

River Flow Measurement Activities of DMH in Myanmar, Chit Kyaw (retired), Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, Myanmar

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2. Presentation Summaries

In the first presentation, Don Cahoon described the science processes involved in maintaining surface elevation in a wetland-dominated system and his current work in the Mekong Delta. He explained that the Mekong Delta exists in a delicate balance between freshwater head (river discharge) and marine transgressive processes (tides, waves, sea-level rise, storm surge). Dam construction on the Mekong River and its tributaries for irrigation and electric power will directly impact wetland vertical development and increase vulnerability to sea-level rise in the Mekong Delta in two ways: 1) Reduced sediment load will limit sediment deposition in delta wetlands; 2) Altered freshwater discharge patterns could result in greater marine transgression of the delta and changes in plant communities and soil organic matter accumulation. Tidal marsh or mangrove survival depends on a balance between the forces leading to their creation (mineral and organic sediment accumulation) and the forces leading to their deterioration (sea-level rise, land subsidence, and wave erosion). The critical factor controlling wetland sustainability is the rate of vertical development compared to the local rate of relative sea-level rise. Relative sea-level rise is the combination of the change in sea level and the change in land level as recorded at a tide gauge station. In the near future, the Mekong Delta wetlands will have to survive under conditions of decreasing river discharge; sediment delivery and sedimentation; and increasing subsidence, sea-level rise, wetland reclamation, and frequency and strength of typhoons. Science needs should include improving the understanding of how climate change and human actions impact this delicate balance and the sustainability of the Mekong System and its wetland habitats.

In the second presentation, Ken Krauss described coastal wetland vulnerability as a global concern as countries work to develop climate change adaptation strategies. Coastal wetland ecosystems are unique, highly diverse, and provide a wealth of services and social benefits, including serving as home to many people. Likewise, human societies and natural communities developing in river deltas are often affected disproportionately by landscape-scale changes because changes occurring outside of the immediate region are transmitted through the river corridor. For example, as sediments that originally created coastal wetlands are diverted or retained by dams, human populations along lower deltaic regions may be forced to move periodically, and coastal wetlands may experience greater elevation losses. Indeed, such fluctuation in coastal wetland area related to fluvial versus tidal forcing with sea level rise and fall has occurred throughout the geologic history of every deltaic region of the world. However, understanding how specific actions (e.g., pulsing of river sediments released by dams upstream, etc.) might affect coastal wetland vulnerability by influencing soil surface elevation over decadal time scales would help inform future adaptation strategies at local and regional levels. Ken provided an overview of the types of data collection that will be needed to determine coastal wetland vulnerability in coastal Vietnam on a comprehensive scale. He provided a theoretical overview and described a technique for tracking surface elevation change at local scales that can be adapted for coast-wide monitoring. He also provided an assessment of costs associated with network monitoring of the principal mangrove tracts in Vietnam (Ca Mau, Can Gio, Dong Hoi, Halong Bay), and suggested additional data needs for understanding coastal wetland vulnerability in Vietnam over the next few decades.

In the third presentation, Le Xuan Thuyen provided insights in understanding extreme environmental events within the lower Mekong Delta. Based on his research, as well as others,

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the land in the Mekong Delta is sinking at various rates. Some have calculated that rate using space borne radar to be as high as 1-3 cm of loss per year. Thuyen’s research within different mangrove habitats in the delta has also shown a loss of shallow elevation of 0.2 to 0.4 cm per year. As the land is sinking (subsidence), the sea is also rising. Other efforts/models have shown that the sea level could rise by as much as 1 meter by 2100. This would correspond to 39% of the Mekong Delta land area being flooded. The combination of decreasing elevation and increased sea levels will make the Delta more vulnerable to major coastal storms. Thuyen’s research using sediment cores has showed how mega floods within the Delta help maintain elevation. If future dams limit the floods and sediment loads, then future subsidence could be much greater.

In the fourth presentation, Tran Thuc described hydro-meteorological data and trends within the Mekong Basin. MONRE has 170 metrological data collection stations (170 rain gauges and 10 stations measuring full parameters). There are 40 hydrological stations within the Mekong region. Five river discharge measurement stations have been collecting data for over a decade. Downstream flows have decreased by 7-14% since 2001. MONRE is collecting and analyzing flows and suspended sediments in both the dry and wet seasons. MONRE is also monitoring sea- level trends.

In the fifth presentation, Chit Kyaw, who is retired from the Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, discussed the status of the meteorological and hydrological observation network (DMH) in Myanmar. The near-time network consists of 63 meteorological stations and 28 hydrological stations on the major rivers. The network provides hourly synoptic observations that are sent via phone system to the main database located in NayPyiTaw. They also have an additional 67 non-telemetry hydrological stations that are not used in forecasting yet. Myanmar has being working on updating its instrumentation and is in the process of developing river cross sections and total discharge measurements that feed into the flood forecasting and warning system. They are also working on an information dissemination process that would alert the public of flooding. The website is http://www.moezala.gov.mm.

3.Key Insights

1.Need to improve understanding of how climate change and human actions impact this delicate balance and the sustainability of the MRD and its wetland habitats.

2.Upstream dams will have a direct impact on the elevation of the Mekong Delta, which could lead to increased rates of subsidence, flooding, and land loss.

3.Current environmental drivers include natural and man-induced change. More information is needed to understand the impacts from both drivers.

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E. Breakout Session #2: Landscape Use and Change

1. Session Description

Co-Chairs for Session 2 were Scott Wilson, U.S. Geological Survey, and Lammai Phiphakhavong, National University of Laos. The session was 2 hours long; three approximately 20 minute-long presentations were given consecutively followed by a discussion period. Both regional and local landscape data needs were discussed.

Presentations:

Forecast Mekong: Mapping the Mekong River Basin with time-series imagery, historical data, and local partnerships to support informed decisions, Scott Wilson, U.S. Geological Survey

WISDOM: Water-related Information System for the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta 2010-2014, Marco Ottinger, German Aerospace Center (DLR) - WISDOM Initiative

Landscape use changes in the Lower Mekong Basin, Pham Bach Viet, Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City - University of Social Sciences and Humanities

2. Presentation Summaries

In the first presentation, Scott Wilson described the USGS Forecast Mekong project. Forecast Mekong is a joint effort between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. State Department's Lower Mekong Initiative. It builds upon the USGS Delta Research and Global Observation Network (DRAGON) effort. The Forecast Mekong project has two primary objectives: first, to increase environmental scientific capacity within the region; and second, to provide assistance within the region to improve spatial products that will aid in making resource decisions (i.e., water resources and food security). To date, USGS has provided geospatial assistance with the development of a regional MODIS change detection product, scanned and rectified historical topological maps, conducted GIS/remote sensing workshops and conferences, developed a text-based salinity mapping tool with Can Tho University, supported the exchange of researchers with Vietnam National University and Can Tho University, and supported the mapping of persistent organic pollutants across the Mekong River System. USGS is currently working with regional universities to create improved regional wetland habitat maps and to extend data sharing through web-enabled text services and social media.

In the second presentation, Marco Ottinger described the WISDOM partnership and past results of the effort. The goal of WISDOM, an effort of Vietnamese and German partners, is to jointly design and implement an Information System for the Mekong Delta, containing information from the fields of hydrology, sociology, information technology, and earth observation. The integration of such data will enable the end-user of the system to perform analyses on very specific questions, and thus will supply the end-user with a tool supporting regional planning activities. The current information system has been turned over to the Vietnam government to maintain and ensure future research activities will focus on the whole Mekong

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system. Current data within the system is freely available and the WISDOM effort is looking for new partnership opportunities as they expand north.

In the third presentation, Pham Bach Viet provided insight into the changing landscape in the lower Mekong Basin. Using satellite remote sensing tools, major land use/land cover changes were detected over a 40 year period. Significant amounts of natural systems were converted into rubber plantations, rice fields and shrimp ponds. Significant landscape-level changes were detected within Vietnam and moderate changes were detected within Cambodia. These land use changes may be unsustainable and may unbalance the ecology of the system. Data currently available comes from various sources at different spatial scales, geographic projections, and resolutions. These datasets can be used to forecast economic value of the human landscapes.

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3.Key Insights

1.Spatial data can be used to help bridge different science disciplines.

2.Many agencies are collecting spatial data, but access is extremely limited.

3.Greater emphasis needs to be placed on data sharing and data standards.

4.More consistent data of all kinds is needed for the whole system.

5.Decision makers should be included during the design of mapping projects.

6.A more complete regional landscape monitoring network is needed to interpret landscape trends and help understand regional impacts (e.g., climate change, dams, land use, etc.)

7.Most mapping efforts are limited by the fixed life of the funding project. Once the project stops, so does the monitoring.

8.Mapping biological diversity is critical within the Mekong system. We have not yet determined how to map biological diversity very well.

9.The Mekong system should be compared to other large river systems.

10.There is not enough focus on socioeconomic aspects of the Mekong systems.

11.Cooperation and mutual understanding is a big gap. For example, forests are lost because fisheries industries cut forests, while foresters plant trees.

12.There isn’t a clear understanding of Mekong ecology (e.g., the relationship between trees and fish in wetland systems).

13.Although there are many groups collecting geospatial data, there is a lack of community to learn best practice and share experiences.

14.Remote sensing is a great tool, but local, on-the-ground knowledge is critical to developing accurate data.

15.More workshops focusing on geospatial data, analysis, and data sharing would be extremely useful.

16.The Mekong Delta system is extremely complex, and baseline landscape data are inconsistent and incomplete.

17.Standardized geospatial databases are needed to enhance data sharing and collaboration.

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F.Breakout Session #3: Surface Water, Groundwater and Sediment

1. Session Description

Co-Chairs for Session 3 were Heng Suthy of the Mekong River Commission and Matt Kondolf of the University of California–Berkley. The session was 2 hours long; four approximately 20 minute-long presentations were given consecutively followed by a discussion period. The discussion focused largely on data related to sediment and groundwater as surface water data is comparatively abundant and accessible in the Mekong River Basin.

Presentations:

Cumulative Effects of Planned Dams on The Mekong, Matt Kondolf, University of California– Berkley

The MRC Hydro-Met Network, and Data Availability, Heng Suthy, Mekong River Commission

Groundwater Monitoring System in Thailand, Tussanee Nettasana and Alin Chintraruck, Thailand Department of Groundwater Resources

Challenges in Groundwater Management in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta, Huynh Vuong Thu Minh, Can Tho University

2. Presentation Summaries

In the first presentation, Matt Kondolf described the potential cumulative effects of the seven dams under construction on the main stem and 133 proposed for the Lower Mekong River and tributaries. Assessing the likely impacts is confounded by the lack of suitable sediment data for many parts of the basin and a lack of recognition of the importance of sand movement (base load) in the system. He aptly framed the issue of decreased sediment load impacts such as increased erosion between dams by sediment-starved water and greatly reduced amounts of essential sediment reaching the delta. Under a ‘definite future’ scenario of 38 dams (built or under construction), cumulative sediment reduction to the Delta would be 51%. Under full build- out of all planned dams, cumulative sediment trapping will be 96%. That is, once in-channel stored sediment is exhausted, only 4% of the pre-dam sediment load would be expected to reach the Delta. This scenario would have profound consequences on the productivity of the river and persistence of the Delta landform itself and suggests that strategies to pass sediment through/around dams should be explored to prevent the consequences of downstream sediment starvation.

In the second presentation, Heng Suthy described the MRC monitoring system, how the MRC distributes data, and data needs. He emphasized the importance of monitoring hydrological conditions over the entire Mekong Basin to help people deal with extreme water events. The MRC network provides essential information and data for flood and drought forecasting.

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Technical capacity on sediment monitoring has been improved through partnerships with USGS and others. More regional collaboration on sediment needs to occur, especially with China. A technical report on groundwater data in the Lower Mekong Basin was recently completed. Groundwater basin maps for the Lower Basin currently in use were created in the 1960s, and areas now being monitoring were delineated based on this 1960s data. There are many groundwater data gaps, and data management needs to be improved. Future groundwater monitoring efforts should provide data to better understand groundwater/surface water interaction through the use of coupled surface and ground water models.

The third presentation by Tussanee Nettasana and Alin Chintraruck focused on groundwater monitoring challenges and data availability in Thailand. There are many Thai agencies focused on groundwater resources and monitoring started in the late 1970s. The amount of groundwater data is limited in many areas, but geophysical data is relatively abundant. Saltwater intrusion into freshwater aquifers and subsidence induced by groundwater pumping are now important issues. Groundwater models are needed to understanding long-term rates of change in aquifer systems, sustainability of groundwater resources, and the vulnerability of aquifers to contamination. Major knowledge gaps include geological data needed to establish the geological framework of aquifers, groundwater use data, and data needed to develop coupled surface water/groundwater models. A major implementation gap is the lack of integrated water resources management.

The fourth presentation by Huynh Vuong Thu Minh focused on groundwater levels and quality in the Mekong River Delta. Groundwater plays an important role in controlling salt water intrusion and providing consumption supplies of water. Groundwater levels in the Delta are falling; however, because of limited data it is not clear if this is caused by groundwater overexploitation or for other reasons. Groundwater levels are falling by as much as 0.36 m/year in some provinces, and salinity concentrations are increasing as groundwater levels decrease. Groundwater management is not adequate and doesn't have the data and human resources necessary to manage groundwater resources. Groundwater use data are critically needed to reduce groundwater use in areas being overexploited and to better understand the relationship between groundwater level and saltwater intrusion. There is a lack of groundwater data and tools needed to conduct numerical modelling of aquifers. Sharing of existing data at the regional level and provincial levels must improve.

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3.Key Insights

1.The lack of depth-integrated sediment sampling data results in inaccurate estimates of sediment load.

2.There is a total lack of data on sand movement (base-load) in the system.

3.There is an acute lack of groundwater data and tools needed to conduct numerical modelling of aquifers and understand groundwater dynamics.

4.The geological framework data needed to understand groundwater systems is lacking in many locations.

5.Understanding interactions between surface water and groundwater is a critical need that can be addressed by coupled surface water-groundwater models.

6.Data management must be improved to enhance data sharing and regional collaboration.

7.Water use data is needed to understand the impacts of groundwater withdrawal on aquifers.

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G. Breakout Session #4: Agriculture and Forestry

1. Session Description

Co-Chairs for Session 4 were Chaichan Wongsamun, Khon Kaen University, Thailand; and Pham Trong Thinh, Southern Institute of Forest Survey and Inventory, Vietnam. The session was 2 hours long; five approximately 20 minute-long presentations were given consecutively followed by a discussion period.

Presentations:

Current Situations and Some Future Prospects for Agriculture Development in the Mekong Basin, Chaichan Wongsamun, Khon Kaen University, Thailand

Forest Survey and Inventory in the Coastal Provinces of the Mekong Delta, Pham Trong Thinh, Southern Institute of Forest Survey and Inventory, Vietnam

Agriculture and Forestry Sectors Development in Myanmar, Aung Kyi, Ministry of Agriculture, Myanmar

Agricultural and Forestry Data in Cambodia, Kim Soben, Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia

Livestock Production and Research in the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam Vo Lam, An Giang University, Vietnam

2. Presentation Summaries

In the first presentation, Chaichan Wongsamun provided an overview of the agriculture status within the Mekong Basin. The Mekong Basin is the “supermarket” for the local people and is critical to maintain sustainability. Also, the Mekong has incredible biodiversity, which is important not only for the environment but also for the development of new drugs. Approximately 70 million people live within the Mekong Basin, including 70 ethnic groups. By 2030, over 82 million people will live in the Basin. About 70% of the population directly depends on agriculture and forestry for survival. About 20% live below the poverty level, and 15% are undernourished. About 41% of land is in some form of agriculture production, but only 10 % is irrigated. The main food crops are rice, sugar cane, cassava, and maize. We need to improve the productivity of existing agricultural areas. Due to better opportunities in cities, more young folks are leaving the rural areas and moving to cities for higher paying jobs. The second major threat to the Mekong (climate change is the first) is human migration to the cities. This is having a major impact on agricultural development, family life, and issues with nourishing cultural traditions and values. To counter the migration threats within the system, policies need to be considered at the national, regional, and local levels. These governmental policies should include harmony between agriculture production and natural conservation. It’s critical that implementation agencies have annual plans and effective coordination with all impacted groups. At the community level, they need to identify real needs and participate in policy making. The

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locals are needed to provide local wisdom and knowledge to the planning efforts. Different strategies need to be explored to work with different ethnic groups. To slow the migration threat, farmers’ income must be increased. This can be achieved by sharing information between farmers, finding ways to increase crop yields and profit, and improving education. With suitable policies and implementation programs for human resource development, agricultural occupations can help improve the well-being of people across the nations of the Mekong Basin.

In the second presentation, Pham Trong Thinh described forest surveys and inventories in the coastal provinces of the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta in Vietnam is comprised of 8 coastal provinces and 216,000 ha of forests (mangrove and Melaleuca), of which 56,000 ha are natural forests and the rest plantations. Over 700 km of Delta shoreline is experiencing serious impacts of climate change. Many coastal provinces are experiencing more frequent flooding. Vietnam has successfully restored many mangrove areas in both the east and west sides of the Mekong Delta. Mangroves provide many ecological functions and are very important. They have developed forest survey methods using satellite images (mainly SPOT) and existing forest land map data. Verification is completed using local villages to assist with correcting the results. The status of the project is ongoing. For the 8 completed provinces, most of the mangroves, about 66%, are in plantations as opposed to natural forests. Mangrove forest area declined from 1943 to 2000 but, since 2000, has begun to increase slowly. Some of the areas that were harvested for timber are naturally regenerating.

In the third presentation, Aung Kyi presented agricultural and forest development perspectives in Myanmar. The agriculture sector is the backbone of the Myanmar economy. In 2011-2012, it contributed 26% of the country’s GDP and employed 61.2% of the labor force.

Myanmar has encouraged the transformation from traditional to mechanized agricultural production of crops appropriated for climate and the extension of irrigated areas. Goals include attaining a maximum market share in regional and global markets for agro-based value-added agriculture and specialty food products; improving food security; alleviating poverty, particularly in rural areas; and lately managing for green growth. Dr. Kyi went into detail in the constraints, opportunities, and challenges that the government faces. Myanmar is also rich in forest resources, and about 47% of the total country is still forested. There are 1,347 species of big trees, 741 species of small trees, 1,696 species of shrubs, 96 species of bamboos, 36 species of rattan, and 841 species of orchids so far recorded. Out of the 2,088 tree species, 85 have been recognized and accepted as producing multiple-use timber of premium quality. In conclusion, Myanmar has huge potential to produce diverse food products using its rich natural resources under given favorable climatic conditions. Under the given state policy and current policy of development for agriculture and forestry development, several opportunities exist to make collaborations with Mekong countries.

In the fourth presentation, Kim Soben described agricultural and forest data collected in Cambodia. Land use is divided into 7 categories, but they are working on updating the database to 24 categories. Currently, forests comprise 56% and agriculture comprises 24% of the land cover. The main crops include rice, maize, cassava, soy beans, and green beans, with rice representing 83% of all crops. Crop yields are increasing for all crops. Agricultural constraints include water quality, soil fertility, good quality seed, disease, limited investment in research, and marketing. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has made a strong commitment to promote the development of the agricultural sector. In this regard, the RGC has set the year 2015

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as the target year to: (1) achieve paddy rice surplus of more than 4 million tons and achieve milled rice export of at least 1 million tons and (2) ensure the international recognition of Cambodian rice. Equally important, the RGC has an ambition to become a major exporting country by the year 2015 with an export volume of one million tons of rice. Overall, forest cover is declining. Evergreen forest is greatly declining while deciduous forests are slightly increasing. In 2013, the definition of forest was changed to include rubber or cashew plantations as forest areas.

In the final presentation, Vo Lam described livestock production and research within the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Livestock production in the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam is based on smallholder production systems, which provide about 70% of animal products for domestic markets. Smallholder livestock production is characterized by housing small number of animals and using family resources to maintain the farm. Knowledge is passed down within the family. This is a low profit model but is very important to the family economy and traditions. Some of the constraints include the cost of feed and the disposal of animal waste. Education can help. For example, the farmer spends resources removing animal waste and then more resources buying chemical fertilizers from the market. Diseases and parasites are also problems. Flooding has become more of an issue. To help address these issues, An Giang University is conducting research on these problems.

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3.Key Insights

1.One strength of the Mekong River is its biological diversity.

2.The future is likely to hold 83 million people, 20% in poverty.

3.10% of the area is currently cultivated.

4.Must focus on production AND conservation.

5.Traditional practices are important to understand and move forward, but there also needs to be integrated technology.

6.Gaps include how to irrigate more efficiently.

7.Climate change will affect forested areas, but forested areas are also part of the solution (e.g., mangroves can protect shorelines under sea level rise).

8.The practice of conservation in mangroves by local people provides an example of bottom- up activities that can still occur at meaningful geographic scales that are related to sustainable development in the Mekong Basin.

9.Myanmar is very diverse and cultivated areas are very fertile.

10.Increasing crop productivity is important and needs research.

11.Agriculture covers 24% of land in Cambodia. Forested area decreased from 73% to 59% from 1965 to 2005.

12.One constraint to agriculture in Cambodia is water supply (both over supply and under supply).

13.Livestock production in the Mekong Delta is done mostly by small farmers.

14.Another constraint is feed shortage.

15.Better education is needed to help inform all parties (i.e., farmers, locals, regional planners, law makers).

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H. Second Plenary Session

1.Sansanee Choowaew (Mekong University Network): The role of universities in the Mekong basin in filling research needs.

-The network began in 2000 with colleagues from several universities recognizing the need to deal with many threats facing the Mekong and the need for greater conservation efforts. Building capacity was a part of this need. The network was officially established in 2002 and now has 21 university members located in 7 countries. These universities are distributed throughout the entire Mekong Basin. This network is officially recognized through executive agreements from 2002, 2003, 2008, and 2013.

-Eleven wetland courses have been taught producing 243 alumni and students from 10 countries. Field trips to 40 different wetlands scattered throughout the basins have occurred. Courses focus on soil/geology, hydrology, socioeconomics, and biodiversity, as well as interactions between the latter two.

-Basin-wide collaborative research is a second important activity. The POPs study is one example, with participation from 70 researchers and 12 research institutions. The project established a wetland database for data sharing. The SET is another important basin-wide research project. Six universities are involved and collaborate with USGS. The next project to occur is wetland classification and mapping.

-Academic collaboration. Students and faculty exchanges have occurred, as have regional conferences, such as our alumni conferences.

2.Dharma Akmon, SEAD Program, funded by National Science Foundation: Improving Data Management Capacity in the Mekong Basin using SEAD.

-SEAD (Sustainable Environment Actionable Data) wants to develop tools to share data. SEAD is a part of NSF’s Data Net Program. Collaboration occurs between University of Michigan, Indiana University, and Illinois University. Responding to needs and challenges related to sustainability include data integration and data sharing.

-The project provides a platform for collaboration. Project spaces are tools to manage data early in a project.

-The project serves as a staging area for Data Sharing/Preservation. SEAD partners with institutional archives rather than building their own.

-SEAD is currently working with 18 different projects.

3.Sinsamout Ounboundisane, FISHBIO: Roles of NGOs in Data Collection for the Mekong Basin

-NGO examples are non-profit organizations, private companies, and citizen groups. NGOs can often fill data gaps of various themes such as biodiversity assessments. FISHBIO goals include building the technical capacity of local people and institutions and facilitating dialogue.

-Participatory approaches are commonly used because NGOs are often gathering data from people living in the areas that NGOs seek to study. Examples include the fish survey projects FISHBIO is carrying out in Lao PDR.

-Science data gaps and needs in the Mekong Basin include fish population status, ecosystem impact to climate change, ecosystem impact of human development, capacity building, and best practices for environmental conservation.

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-Benefits NGOs can provide for government and academic research include already developed relationships with local communities and sharing data and resources that can increase geographic and temporal scope of research.

-Challenges include a lack of standardized formats for data collection, data collected without time or resources to conduct analysis, data quality, staff continuity, lost or corrupted data, and difficulty in communicating why data matters.

I.Breakout Session #5: Baseline Ecological, Aquatic Resources, and Biodiversity Data

1. Session Description

Co-Chairs for Session 5 were Thay Somony of the Cambodia Department of Aquaculture Development and Luu Hong Truong of Southern Institute of Ecology–HCMC. The session was 2 hours long; three approximately 20 minute-long presentations were given consecutively followed by a discussion period. The discussion covered bird and plant data in the Mekong Delta, inland fisheries, and invasive exotic plants.

Presentations:

A preliminary review of the plant data availability in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, Luu Hong Truong, Southern Institute of Ecology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology

Baseline Ecological, Aquatic Resources and Biodiversity Data, Chheng Phen, Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute.

Invasive Exotic Plant Species in Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Lan Thi, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Science, HCMC

2. Presentation Summaries

In the first presentation, Luu Hong Truong described available bird data available from the 16 protected areas in the Mekong Delta. Plant data for the Mekong Delta is available for 1,693 higher plants of which nearly 1,400 are wild species, and 30 of those species are ranked as threatened. Ecosystems covered include wetlands, limestone mountains, mangrove, and low (i.e. non-limestone) mountains in An Giang Province. It's uncertain if species lists are accurate and taxonomic changes cause confused identification resulting in uncertain species distribution. It is hard to confirm checklists as there are no vouchered specimens/herbaria. No systematic data exists on lycophytes (club mosses). The same problems described for plants likely exist for other taxonomic groups such as insects, mammals, birds, etc. A reliable digital database of biodiversity following conventional protocol such as the Darwin Code is needed. The database must have multiple data fields per record, allow quick retrieval of statistical data, and support exchange of data between various software programs.

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In the second presentation, Chheng Phen described the nature and monitoring of Cambodia’s inland fishery at Tonle Sap. Key monitoring parameters include trends in abundance, diversity, species composition, and yield. The monitoring methodology uses 4 strata: upstream high yield, upstream low yield, downstream high yield, and downstream low yield. Monitoring is conducted October to March every year. The abundance, distribution, and diversity of fish larvae are monitored each year from May to September. Fishermen collect data on yield (kg/person/day) from the Mekong River and tributaries. A project is underway to develop a monitoring system to provide high quality data on status and trends of inland fisheries resources in Cambodia and the Lower Mekong Basin. This project will involve the creation of a fish database, conducting baseline surveys, and training of provincial officers, fishermen, and volunteers.

In the third presentation Nguyen Thi Lan Thi described invasive exotic plant species challenges in Vietnam where 9% of the total plant species are invasive. Invasive plant species of special concern include giant mimosa (Mimosa pigra), water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta), and Mikramia micrantha. The management of invasive species has been limited due to a lack of early detection/response and a lack of basic knowledge on many species. Studies on the impacts of invasive plants and exotic animal species in the Mekong River are needed, as well as a website to share invasive species information. A key scientific question is how dams and climate change will affect invasive species. Knowledge gaps include what effects will variable water quality, quantity, timing, and flow have on invasive species?

3.Key Insights

1.Uncertainties of species lists and taxonomic changes hinder species research.

2.Consistent biodiversity databases following conventional protocols are needed.

3.Inland fisheries require more data and research, creation of a fish database, conducting baseline surveys, and training.

4.There is a lack of basic knowledge on many invasive plant species impeding early detection and response.

5.Little is known of exotic animal species in the Mekong River.

6.Research is needed on how dams and climate change will affect invasive plant and animal species.

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J. Breakout Session #1: Water Quality and Use

1. Session Description

The Chair for Session 1 was Chu Thai Hoanh of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). The session was 2 hours long; three approximately 20 minute-long presentations were given consecutively followed by a discussion period. Both regional-scale and local-scale water quality needs were discussed.

Presentations:

Water Quality Challenges, Andrew Wyatt, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Mekong Water Quality Data and Use, Chu Thai Hoanh, International Water Management Institute

Water Quality and Use—Water Resources Modelling and Management, Van Pham Dang Tri and Nguyen Hieu Trung, College of Environment and Natural Resources, Can Tho University, Vietnam

2. Presentation Summaries

In the first presentation, Chu Thai Hoanh described the water quality monitoring network in the Mekong Basin, including a map of station locations and parameters monitored. A system of standards and thresholds has been developed to classify water quality in the Mekong and its tributaries and is used to assess Mekong trans-boundary water quality. Water quality data are also used to assess conditions for human consumption, agricultural use, and the protection of aquatic life. More research and data are needed to understand the effects of tides on groundwater and surface water salinity and sediment/soil quality. Key water quality data issues/needs include the need for a more regional monitoring network, standardized data collection and analysis methods, greater frequency and improved timing of water sampling assess tidal effects, and improved data sharing. The question was raised as to whether sediment should be included in water quality monitoring; currently, it is not included.

In the second presentation, Andrew Wyatt described the need to better understand the effects of high dykes on sediment dynamics, water quality, and coastal geomorphology. There is also a need for more research on the impacts of controlled flooding on sediment dynamics, soil fertility, and fisheries. New salinity control structures have been proposed, but the potential effects on coastal salinity, sediment dynamics, mangroves, and fisheries are unknown. The potential impacts of agro-chemicals released from behind salinity control structures are also not well understood. He aptly framed the possibility of treating salinity as an opportunity by looking at potential economic benefits of open brackish/saline water systems. Meeting future freshwater needs may involve technology such as reverse osmosis powered by wind.

In the third presentation, Van Pham Dang Tri described the need for real-time water quality and flood data in the Mekong Delta to support modeling. Data currently available comes from

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various sources at different spatial scales, including data collected at the local level by citizens. There are problems with the quality of data collected by local citizens and not enough data collected by professionals. A complete monitoring network, standardized database, and the technical capacity to operate and maintain the network are needed. Improved mechanisms for people (government, universities, research institutions, farmers) to work together is also greatly needed. Long-term funding to support monitoring remains a major challenge.

3.Key Insights

1.Data are needed to understand the effects of tides on groundwater and surface water salinity.

2.A more complete regional water quality monitoring network is needed to interpret regional water quality trends and the impacts those trends have on local water quality.

3.Standardized data collection and analysis methods, greater frequency, and improved timing of water sampling are key needs.

4.More data and research are needed on the impacts of controlled flooding on sediment dynamics, soil fertility, and fisheries.

5.Real-time water quality and flood data are needed in the Mekong Delta to support modelling of the complex Mekong Delta system.

6.Standardized water quality databases are needed to enhance data sharing and collaboration.

K. SPECIAL SESSION: Management of Water Resources in a Mekong Basin that is dominated by seasonal and annual hydrological variation, including low flow conditions -- Key Scientific Questions and Data Needs for the Mekong Delta

1. Session Description

This four-hour special session focused on questions raised through the Government of

Vietnam’s LMI concept proposal titled “Management of Water Resources in Lower Mekong

Basin in Dry Season." The session covered numerous topics related to both dry season low flow and high flows, including water quantity and quality, fisheries, climate change and development impacts, and drought/flood management. The session provided an opportunity to assess the current state of the knowledge on extreme flows and to discuss ideas for next steps to improve the state of knowledge.

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Presentations:

Data Needs for the Mekong and its Delta, Chu Thai Hoanh, International Water Management Institute

Seasonal Variability: Dry and Wet Seasonal Flows, Nguyen Hieu Trung, College of Environment and Natural Resources, Can Tho University

Floods and Drought: Annual Hydrological Variation in the Mekong River Delta, Le Anh Tuan, College of Environment and Natural Resources, Can Tho University

Drought and Flood Management, Tran Thuc, Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology, and Climate Change, Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

2. Presentation Summaries

In the first presentation, Chu Thai Hoanh provided hydrological facts about the Mekong and its Delta, described observed and anticipated changes in flow conditions, and summarized data collection, analysis, and sharing needs. Natural flows in the past had greater fluctuations upstream during the wet season with decreasing fluctuations downstream. Development has decreased flow in the wet season and increased flow in the dry season. Climate change will likely increase rainfall and flow in both seasons. Combined, development and climate change will counteract each other’s hydrological inputs to flatten flow during all years. Even within the Mekong Delta, rainfall will increase in some areas and decrease in other areas. Higher tides, when combined with changes in rainfall, will result in large changes in water levels in the Mekong Delta. Tidal effects vary by season with tidal effects minimal once the flood waters get high. In low flow season, however, tidal influences go all the way to Phnom Penh. Most of the Cau Mau Peninsula and Delta coast is affected by tide-induced salinity. Combined, flood and tidal effects will impact agricultural productivity in over more than half of the Delta. Hydrological data, topographic, and water use data are needed to develop hydraulic and water quality models with a temporal resolution of every 15 to 60 minutes. Topographic (elevation) maps are greatly needed in the Delta because small dikes change water flow significantly. High- resolution topographic maps will also aid in understanding connectivity between storage plains and streams. Data collection and processing is inconsistent as national networks are managed by national governments while regional networks are managed by local governments. More permanent observation stations are needed with regular observations and more parameters measured. Advanced technology is needed to measure flows in large channel areas with tools such as moving boat measurements. Water use data are needed for agriculture, domestic water supply, industrial use, and ecosystems. Harmonization of data collection procedures and data analysis is a critical need, as is the need for agreed-upon procedures for data sharing within a country and between countries. A first step forward would be an inventory of available data.

In the second presentation, Nguyen Hieu Trung described the current flow monitoring system, monitoring and modeling activities and needs, and seasonal variability during dry and wet seasons. Basin-wide there are 48 real-time flow monitoring stations on the Mekong River and its tributaries. Monitoring and modeling of extreme flows must be on a basin scale and sub- basin scale with deltaic formations (Tonle Sap and Delta) and the upper part of the Mekong

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Basin. Models to predict flows and water quality are labor-intensive and need to be revisited often as conditions change. Changes in water use policy and land use policy can dramatically affect the models. Salinity thresholds and effects are important to understand as sudden changes in flow can cause problems even when they occur in the direction you want to see. The relationship between rice yield and salt concentrations is very complex and requires in-depth analysis. Data needs include better boundary data for models such as upstream dam operations and irrigation projects and downstream information such as sea level rise scenarios. Also needed are current and future water demand data, better weather data, updated digital elevation models, information on hydraulic structures, more and better water quality data, and combined wet/dry season modeling. Ongoing work needs to integrate land-use systems, focus areas, data acquisitions, partnerships, and stakeholders to make projects work well.

In the third presentation, Le Anh Tuan described historical floods and droughts, current hydrological monitoring programs, and impacts of hydrological extremes. From 1926 to 2014, the frequency of high to major floods (exceeding 4.5 meters above sea level) has become less. In recent years, lower level floods have had longer duration than some past major floods. The drought of 1998 resulted in the most severe salt water intrusion the Mekong Delta ever observed. The MRC operates a very good basin-scale hydro-meteorological network with data available online. The Vietnam national hydro-meteorological service network has over 400 stations, and data are available online. The hydrological and water quality monitoring systems in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta is run by MONRE. Impacts of hydrological extremes in the Delta have changed due to dike construction. The 2011 flood was lower than the 2000 flood, but water levels during 2011 were actually higher in some specific areas due to the presence of closed dikes that moved water to areas of the Delta that did not flood in 2000. Higher peak floods tend to result in higher fish catches. It is anticipated that future floods will inundate larger areas in the lower parts of the Delta, especially in the Ca Mau Peninsula. Salinity intrusion is expected to increase in the future due to rising sea level, prolonged droughts, and development effects.

In the fourth presentation, Tran Thuc described drought and flood monitoring and early warning systems, assessment and prediction tools, mitigation and preparedness planning, as well as management strategies and planning. In the southern region of Vietnam there are 93 rainfall stations, 29 meteorological/climate stations, 1 upper air station, and 1 weather radar station. Also in the southern region there is a 50-station hydrological network (41 automatic water level stations and 9 ADCP). During flood season, the network expands to 242 water discharge stations, 108 water level stations, and 21 water quality sampling stations. Data transmission is now all done remotely through the VINASAT-1 satellite. Sophisticated computer forecasting systems are used for weather and flood warning. Needs for future modeling efforts include quantitative rainfall forecasts for upstream areas, a dense hydrological monitoring network, and better information on upstream operation and infrastructure. High floods have occurred about every 4 to 6 years. In 2011, human deaths were few compared to the year 2000 because the government response in 2011 was much better. This included early warning but also community preparedness such as plans to relocate people to safe areas. NGOs also assisted with getting the message out to local people. The MRC also helped develop a flood response strategy and conducted training. Key challenges for the upper Delta include coping with increased seasonal fluvial floods and enhancing water retention capacity through adapted land and water use (e.g., living with floods). For the middle Delta, strategies include coping with dry season fresh water shortages and droughts and securing fresh water supply. Finally, for the coastal Delta, strategies

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include coping with brackish water and salinity intrusion (e.g., living with brackish water) and sustainable coastal protection. More attention is needed on flood preparedness and infrastructure improvement. Modernization of the early warning systems through application of new technology and improvement in the accuracy and timing of flood forecasts are important needs.

3. Panel Discussion

The panel discussion was mostly in a question and answer format. Questions covered a wide spectrum of topics related to extreme flows. Following are summaries of those Q&A discussions:

Do typhoons create problems with coastal flooding?

Yes, huge damage. Typhoons are not common but when they do come it is a disaster. If climate change causes an increase in typhoons this would be a big concern. Typhoons more commonly occur in the central and northern part of Vietnam. Only recently have there been typhoons in the Mekong Delta. The recent typhoon in the Ayeyarwady Delta provided an example of what could happen to the Mekong Delta. A key question is how should we prepare for this type of event? The strength of typhoons (not necessarily the frequency) is expected to increase because of climate change. The recent typhoon in the Philippines was devastating. How can you be sure that will not occur in the Mekong Delta? Would models help examine the possibility of a major typhoon striking the Mekong Delta? The Delta is not as prepared for typhoons because there is little history of typhoons in the Delta.

Do we have high resolution elevation models for the delta? Yes, but better elevation models are needed. Even 200 km inland there is only a 3 m change in elevation, so the Delta is very flat, making high accuracy elevation data very important. Tools previously used were not accurate enough to distinguish elevation changes of 30 cm or less, and these areas are very important to understand.

Can relative sea level rise be predicted? Relative sea level rise is difficult to predict because we do not know how changes in sedimentation will impact the coastal delta. When flood waters come to the upper delta, sediments drop out quickly when they come into contact with acid waters, and more sediment will be trapped behind upstream dams depriving the coastal delta of land building sediments.

What are the impacts of policies to increase rice exports? To grow rice you need lots of water which impacts water quality. Soil productivity can be affected as well. Who pays for the costs associated with degraded water quality and soil? Farmers make money in newly reclaimed land, but after a time they cannot afford the larger inputs needed to improve poor soils. So long- term costs are different from short-term costs.

What kind of data do local people need to make decisions? We often do not ask these questions. If we do not ask these questions we are missing important stakeholders in the process. Delivering reports to target users doesn’t work if the stakeholders receiving the reports don’t understand them. We need to know more about what the stakeholders need and respond to those

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needs better. Demonstrations of what we propose are critical for people to understand or to evaluate. At the national level, policies can have large impacts but are these impacts intended? Is there feedback between policy implementation and what happens afterwards? Do our strategies work? These details are important if we are to be successful.

What are the key scientific questions for both low and high flows? Often authorities pay more attention to high flows than low flows. Local people who depend upon the resources pay attention to both low flows and high flows because conditions caused in both extremes directly impact their livelihood. Because floods often cause many deaths, authorities cannot ignore this; no one dies from salt water intrusion as this process is slow. Important questions related to low flows include how do low flows affect salt water intrusion, and how do low flows affect fisheries?

What are the benefits of high and low flows? The Mekong Delta needs both high and low flows. High flows flush unwanted materials from the system, increase local storage of water, and provide sediment. Sedimentation in fields is minor but the nutrient addition is important for production. Low flows are important for rice cropping. Building small reservoirs for local irrigation in dry season should be considered. Small reservoirs for individual communities have been successfully developed in India with local people being responsible for small reservoirs that also provide ecological services.

What are the roles and functions of water in the Mekong Delta? Transportation, aquatic resources (i.e., fish), water quality improvement (i.e., flush out toxins), soil nutrient addition, sediment distribution which increases soil elevation to offset subsidence, groundwater recharge, and cultural uses (Vietnamese people in the Delta love to be in the water; it is part of who they are).

Is vegetation a factor to consider in hydrological models, especially with natural vegetation? Yes, vegetation has a large impact on water movement. Nypa palms and Melaleuca trees influence water greatly because they can store water.

What is a "good" flood? This is different for fishing and farming. Timing, rate, and level of flooding are all important. We do not fully understand the functions of water in our systems like the Mekong Delta or the Tonle Sap. The Tonle Sap fluctuates 10 m annually. The fish catch of Tonle Sap is comparable to fish catches over much larger areas elsewhere. The Tonle Sap is the epitome of an energy subsidy system. Will dams destroy this system by disabling the energy piston?

What effects do low flows have on fisheries? Low flows create anoxic areas, especially for white fish groups. White fish can serve as indicators of water quality, especially dissolved oxygen. Freshwater shrimp do this as well. Aquatic biological diversity can inform us about sensitive areas that we do not yet understand very well.

Can science inform issues related to dam operation? Yes, right now we are researching water temperature and water pulsing related to dam operations. Dam operators have been asked to take water pulsing into consideration and to change the structure of their dams to trap less sediment.

Hydropower stakeholders must be invited to join in these discussions so science can inform their

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decisions. Size, timing, and rate of pulses are all important for dam operators to consider. An important question is how dam operations will affect sedimentation in Tonle Sap Lake. The livelihoods of people need to be taken into consideration when releasing water because they are directly affected. Operation schedules are difficult to understand because private companies are reluctant to release data. Local people are not necessarily against water fluctuations, but they simply need to know when water releases will occur so they can adapt to these changes. Data on the autecology of fish species is being studied in areas upstream of dams to further examine responses to changes in hydrology. These are data that power companies are asking for. Studying how farmers are using fish is also being done to study the impacts of dams. A study of a dam in Malaysia revealed that for the first 5 years people were happy because fish populations were large as inundated vegetation was eaten. In the second 5 years predatory fish increased, so people were still happy. In the second decade the population of fish declined, and people were not happy. These longer-term data are critical. What do farmers want? Every year a flood is needed. If hydropower is built on the Mekong River, what will happen when dam operations differ from natural flows? Science is needed to inform this.

What are some of the data sharing successes and challenges? There are good relationships between the 4 lower Mekong Basin countries through the MRC. Flood forecasting is now benefitting from cooperation with China. The frequency of data collection is not keeping up and dry season data is lacking. There is so much we do not understand which is why the discussions taking place in this workshop are needed. We need time to understand each other and to build trust. After the war, there was a data-sharing program to review water level in the Mekong Basin; however, budgets were inadequate to build all of the monitoring stations needed. Country capacities have not yet matched MRC capacity, creating problems with data-sharing. National programs often have more data than the MRC. Semi-formal and informal data-sharing might create better balance.

Do countries still agree to maintain minimum dry season flows? Yes, this agreement still exists and was embodied in the 1995 Mekong agreement. This is the procedure for the minimum water flows and is implemented by the 4 lower Mekong Basin countries, but this needs more time because upper Mekong flow data are needed.

Why did USGS open their data to everyone? The public demanded it, and transparency allowed for more trust in decisions based on those data. USGS is not a management agency, so they already had to make data available to managers. In the past, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) collected data and used the data they collected to make management decisions. The public claimed that USFWS had a conflict of interest by operating this way. The system to make data available is still imperfect, but USGS is finding that money is saved by making those data available. Why make data available to the whole world? If you give out data you get more investment. The question comes down to what do you value more, private data or better solutions? This counters normal human behavior, but data should be public property.

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3.Key Insights and Questions

1.Changing land use and climate will greatly alter hydrologic extremes, requiring more harmonized monitoring on a basin scale.

2.Land subsidence in the Mekong Delta combined with rising sea level and tide effects will severely threaten the agricultural economy of the region.

3.Increasing salinity will impact agricultural productivity in over more than half of the Delta. Hydrological, topographic, and water use data are urgently needed to develop hydraulic and water quality models to better manage salinity.

4.Water quality impacts of low flows are poorly understood. An expanded monitoring network and modeling are needed to fill knowledge gaps.

5.How low flows affect salt water intrusion and fisheries is poorly understood and requires significant new research.

6.Modernization of early warning systems through the application of new technology and improvement in the accuracy and timing of flood forecasts is a critical need.

7.A scientific understanding of the impacts of reduced sediment load from upstream development (dams, irrigation projects, etc.) on inland fisheries and the coastal delta is essential to making wise management decisions.

8.Science can inform dam construction and operations to minimize negative impacts.

L.Third Plenary Session: Remarks from international organizations working in the Mekong River basin

1. World Wildlife Fund, presented by Hoang Viet

Quantifying ecosystem services data: example from a project in Ben Tre Province, Mekong Delta Vietnam.

-Short introduction about the Mekong Delta. Important for food security in Vietnam. Ecosystem services were often not considered in policy decisions.

-Project partnership with Stanford, Univ. of Minnesota, & The Nature Conservancy:

“Integrated valuation of environmental services and trade-offs” project.

-Project website: http://naturalcapitalproject.org

-Case study in Ben Tre Province: ecosystem service valuation; future development scenarios; coastal vulnerability model.

-Advocacy approach.

-Lead to new governmental policies at national and provincial levels.

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2.IUCN Mekong program, presented by Andrew Wyatt

Summarized IUCN’s activities in Southeast Asia

-Mekong Water Dialogue, involving Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, Vietnam, funded by Finland.

-River dialogue and governance (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam).

-Coastal Resilience in SEA (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, EU).

-Mangrove for the future (10 countries, DANIDA, SIDA).

-Mangrove for climate change (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, DANIDA).

-Mangrove and Markets (Thailand, Vietnam).

-Integrated plan to implement CBD (Colombia, Tanzania, Vietnam).

-Trans-boundary multi-stakeholder Mekong water dialogue (Xayaburi, Se San, Se Kong, Sre Pok).

-Society involvement in drafting water laws.

-Ramsar designation.

-Mangrove polyculture demonstration.

-Organic shrimp certification and market access.

-Coastal protection strategies.

-Coastal governance, payment for environmental services.

-Land use planning, floodplain restoration, alternative livelihood.

3.FISHBIO, presented by Doug Demko

-Impacts of hydropower on fisheries in the U.S.

-Participatory community-based fishery research and training in Lao PDR.

-Study of fish movement in and out of fish conservation zones.

-Fish resource education program.

-Data sharing and collaboration: increase efficiency and lower costs.

-Food security is key, requires research and monitoring.

-Fishery management funding in the U.S.: government, hydro/irrigation, universities, NGOs.

-Fishery management challenges and lessons learnt from the U.S.

-What would benefit fishery management in the Mekong? Species and life history, basin prioritization, data and info sharing.

4.U.S. Department of Interior - Smart Infrastructure for the Mekong Program (SIM), presented by Kulthida Techasarin

-Presented an overview of DOI and ITAP – International Technical Assistance Program.

-Introduced SIM: announced in 2013, funded by USAID, under LMI.

-How it works:

Infrastructure; clean energy development; land and water resources use.

Mekong countries to request assistance from the U.S. through their respective embassies.

No direct money transfer.

Scientific exchange and capacity building.

Collaboration with other agencies in the U.S. (e.g., Department of Energy).

32

Current activities in participating countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, Vietnam).

Vietnam Mekong Delta study – technical assistance from the U.S.

5.I.M. Systems Group, Inc. presented by Vance Hum: Improving climate change adaptation and mitigation in the LMB

-Introducing I.M. Systems Groups, Inc.

-Integrated research program addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation.

-Benefits from monitoring salinization of surface and ground water in the Mekong Delta due to climate change and sea level rise.

-Monitoring impacts of climate change on coastal wetlands.

6.Fulbright Program - Lower Mekong Public Policy Initiative, presented by Rainer Asse:

-3 year project, funded by USAID.

-Address the lack of economic analyses in policy making process.

-Involving 5 lower Mekong countries and partner organizations.

-Expected outputs: scoping paper, research papers, specific country reports, adaptive decision making tools, capacity building, networking, cross-sectoral coalition building.

M.Closing Session

From 16-18 September, 2014 the University Network for Research and Training in the Mekong Region (WUN), USGS, MONRE and International Crane Foundation (ICF) held an international workshop in Ho Chi Minh City (Appendix 1). This workshop was conducted under the JCM8 frame work (4.2. Data sharing - Mekong River Basin: State of Science Workshop; Mekong Basin Groundwater Database Development Assistance. Timeframe: December 2013- July 2014). We were privileged to have 96 participants from the six riparian countries of the Mekong—China, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, as well as from Australia, Germany, and the United States (Appendix 2).

Through the workshop, it became clear that data resources of the whole Mekong Basin were limited and difficult to locate. The only international organization that was engaged in the entire Basin in a coordinated manner was the Mekong River Commission (MRC); it has data on water resources related to the whole Mekong basin wide. Yet these data are still limited. For example, MRC only has hydrology data on a broad, spatial scale but lacks data that occur at a more spatially refined scale. In addition, few data exist regarding water quality and sediments dynamics. Similarly, data and information related to ecology, biodiversity, socioeconomics and fish behavior are insufficient for any scientific review. Not only are data insufficient, data that exist are limited in their use by differences in methods of collection, gaps in distribution of samples, and uncoordinated timing of sampling.

Solving these problems cannot be accomplished in one meeting, with one group, by a single government or governmental agency, or with one project. A primary recommendation from the

33

group, besides identifying specific data gaps, is that scientific meetings such as this first effort should continue in a series, held frequently (once a year or more frequently). This series of meetings would be focused on identifying specific elements of dealing with the responsibilities and opportunities that exist in the Mekong Basin that Consul General Bitter mentioned during the opening session. One theme for a subsequent meeting would be to identify different development scenarios for the Mekong Basin so that the costs and benefits of hydroelectric dams can be compared more quantitatively to the costs and benefits of other development scenarios.

Important data gaps were also identified in this workshop that need to be addressed immediately if the goal of sustainable development, a critical criteria of the 1995 Mekong River Accord, is to be achieved. Immediate, large data gaps exist with sediment loads and transfer, groundwater dynamics, surface water/groundwater interaction, deltaic processes that influence delta geomorphology, biological diversity, fish movement, the role of wetlands in fish ecology and biological diversity, and socioeconomic analyses such as developing and analyzing alternative development scenarios.

More broadly, data transparency and accessibility is also another key element identified in this meeting. All organizations feel limited by data access but also can improve their own ability to make those data fully accessible to others. Providing open data access is critical. Organizations that fund research and monitoring efforts in the Mekong Basin also have a role to play in solving this problem as they can request, through objectives in their funding strategies, that implementing organizations make their data available in web-based services or through tools such as identified in the SEAD approach identified in this workshop.

In making the recommendation for implementing a series of meetings that focus on understanding and planning for sustainable development in the Mekong Basin, participants also clearly articulated the need to create effective partnerships that were capable of driving forward such a series of meetings and implementation programs productively. Potential partners that were identified include (but are not limited to) USAID (and aid agencies from other interested governments), MRC, the SUMERNET program, IUCN, and UNDP/UNEP.

Finally, it was identified that partnerships can be effective at other scales than the large, multinational scales listed above. These partnerships can also have myriad purposes. Two examples of effective partnerships were presented in the workshop—WUN and the Mekong Fish Network. Each example both built capacity and implemented collaborative research projects simultaneously throughout the Mekong Basin.

As an example, WUN filled one research gap by developing a collaborative research project that studied the distribution of persistence organic pollutants (POPs) in wetlands of the whole Mekong Basin. In this research study, more than 70 researchers from 12 institutions participated (8 universities of the network within the Mekong basin—UNS, CTU, MU, MSU, NUOL, RUA, RUPP, YAU—plus ICF, USGS, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and U.S. Department of State). The research created a baseline for 39 POPs in the entire Mekong Basin: 21 Organochlorine pesticides and 18 Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in wetland soils. Within a year, the team designed the study, trained participants, developed a database, selected over 450 sample sites, collected the data, and analyzed all the samples. Publication of the results took a second year (USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2013-5196, available online at

34

http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20135196). This type of collaboration has great potential to add to the process of developing sustainable solutions in the Mekong Basin but currently remains underfunded.

N. Next Steps:

1.Establish a series of science meetings to develop or refine needed models, fill critical data gaps, and create a process to compare development trade-offs.

2.Identify or create a coordinating organization to implement science meetings.

3.Expand critical models that are relevant to current sustainable development issues:

a.Groundwater

b.Sediment Flow

c.Water use

d.Fish movement

4.Create analytical tools such as comparing alternative development scenarios so that sustainable use assessments can be made.

4.Expand surveys and advance techniques for monitoring regarding:

a.Wetlands of Mekong Basin

b.Biological diversity hotspots

5.Formalize one or more capacity-building networks such as WUN and Mekong Fish Network.

6.Explore the creation and management of a general database for Mekong data to improve data-sharing.

35

Appendix 1: Meeting Agenda

Mekong River System Science Data Workshop

“Science for a Sustainable Mekong River System”

Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and

U.S. Department of the Interior (USDOI) In collaboration with:

University Network for Wetland Research and Training in the Mekong Region (WUN), International Crane Foundation (ICF) and Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City (HCMUS)

September 16-18, 2014

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, September 15, 2014

Arrival and check in to EQUATORIAL Hotel

242 Tran Binh Trong, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: +84 8 3839 7777, Fax: +84 8 3839 0011

Email: info@hcm.equatorial.com, Web: www.equatorial.com/hcm/

18:30-20:30

Dinner (meet in lobby of Equatorial Hotel at 18:30)

Tuesday Morning, September 16, 2014

Venue: Conference Hall I, University of Science, 227 - Nguyen Van Cu, HCM city

8:00 - 8:30 Registration

8:30 - 9:00 Plenary:

-Introductory Comments, Jeb Barzen, Director of Field Ecology, International Crane Foundation

-Welcome by University of Science, Vietnam National University,

Tran Linh Thuoc, President

-Opening Remarks by Minister of Natural Resource and Environment, Vietnam (MONRE), Nguyen Thai Lai, Deputy Minister

-Opening Remarks by US Consul General to Vietnam, Rena Bitter

-Workshop Organization and Approach by University Network for Wetland Research and Training in the Mekong Region, Duong Van Ni, CEO

-Presentation of welcome gifts, Jeb Barzen

Plenary Session #1

9:00 - 9:30

Plenary Speaker #1 (MRC): Changes in the Mekong River System

36

 

Truong Hong Tien (Mekong River Commission): International agreement

 

among the 4 countries of the Lower Mekong Basin and the implications

 

for science needs.

9:30 - 10:00

Plenary Speaker #2 (USGS): Regional Scale Conservation Successes

 

Jim Stefanov (US Geologic Survey): Successes and challenges in trans-

 

boundary collaborations for natural resources: Data and resource sharing in

 

Southeast Asia and in North America.

10:00 - 10:30

Plenary Speaker #3 (NGO): Regional Scale of Threats

 

Pham Cam Nhung (World Wide Fund for Nature): Threats facing the

 

Mekong Region and How Science can Inform Sustainable Development.

10:30 - 10:45

Coffee/Tea Break

10:45 - 12:00

Country Reports regarding data gaps and priorities for the Mekong Region

 

from the perspective of each country (10 min. each)

 

- Cambodia (Thay Somony, Department of Aquaculture, Fisheries

 

Administration)

 

- China (He Da Ming, Asian International Rivers Center, China)

 

- Laos (Lammai Phiphakkavong, National University of Laos, Lao

 

PDR)

 

- Myanmar (Aung Kyi, Ministry of Agriculture, Myanmar)

 

- Thailand (Chaicharn Wongsamun, Khon Kaen University)

 

- Vietnam (Nguyen Thi Thu Linh, Deputy Director General, Vietnam

 

National Mekong Committee)

 

- Summary (Jeb Barzen)

12:00 - 13:30

Group Picture and LUNCH at HCMUS restaurant

Tuesday Afternoon, September 16, 2014

Parallel Sessions: Expert Assessments of Data and Science Needs

13:30 - 15:15 Session 6, Climate, Hydro-meteorologic and Sea Level Rise Data

(Conference hall I)

Co-Chairs: Don Cahoon (USGS) and Tran Thuc (Climate Center,

Vietnam)

Experts: Ken Kraus (USGS), Chit Kyaw (Myanmar), Le Xuan

Thuyen (University of Science - HCMC)

Session 2, Landscape Use and Change (Meeting room I23)

37

 

Co-Chairs: Scott Wilson, (U.S. Geological Survey) and Lammai

 

Phiphakhavong, (National University of Laos)

 

Expert: Marco Ottinger (WISDOM), Pham Bach Viet (University

 

of Social Sciences and Humanities)

15:15 - 15:30

Coffee/Tea Break

15:30 - 17:15

Session 3, Surface Water, Groundwater, and Sediment (Conference

hall I)

 

Co-Chairs: Heng Suthy, (Mekong River Commission) and Matt

Kondolf, (University of California-Berkeley)

Experts: Thassanee Nettasana (Thai Department of Groundwater

Resources), Huynh Vuong Thu Minh (Can Tho University),

Nguyen Nghia Hung (Southern Institute for Irrigation - HCMC)

Session 4, Agriculture and Forestry (Meeting room I23)

Co-Chairs: Chaichan Wongsamun (Khon Kaen University, Thailand) and Pham Trong Thinh (Southern Institute of Forest Survey and Inventory, Vietnam)

Experts: Aung Kyi (Ministry of Agriculture, Myanmar), Kim Soben (Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia), Vo Lam (An Giang University, Vietnam)

18:30 - 20:30

Workshop Dinner (meet in lobby of Equatorial Hotel at 18:30)

Wednesday Morning, September 17, 2014

Venue: Conference Hall I, University of Science, 227 - Nguyen Van Cu, HCM city

8:15 - 8:30

Welcome and summary of previous day activities (Duong Van Ni)

Plenary Session #2

 

8:30 - 9:00

Plenary Speaker #4 (UNIVERSITY) Contributions by regional

universities

 

 

Sansanee Choowaew (Mahidol University): The role of Universities in the

 

Mekong Basin in filling research needs: POPs/University Network

 

example

38

9:00 - 9:30

Plenary Speaker #5 (UNIVERSITY) Data management

Dharma Akmon (Sustainable Environment Actionable Data): Improving data management capacity in the Mekong Basin using SEAD

9:30 - 10:00

Plenary Speaker #6 (NGO)

 

Sinsamout Ounboundisane (FISHBIO): The roles on NGOs in data

 

collection in the Mekong basin.

10:00 - 10:30

Coffee/Tea Break

Parallel Sessions (Continued): Expert Assessments of Data and Science Needs

10:30 - 12:15 Session 5, Baseline Ecological, Aquatic Resources, and Biodiversity

Data

(Conference hall I)

Co-Chairs: Thay Somony (Department of Aquaculture

Development, Cambodia) and Luu Hong Truong (Southern

Institute of Ecology - HCMC)

Experts: Chheng Phen (Inland Fisheries Research and

Development Institute), Nguyen Thi Lan Thi (University of

Science), Hoang Minh Duc (Southern Institute of Ecology)

Session 1, Water Quality and Use (Meeting room I23)

Co-Chairs: Chu Thai Hoanh, (International Water Management Institute)

Experts: Van Pham Dang Tri (Can Tho University), Andrew Wyatt (IUCN)

12:15 - 13:15

LUNCH at HCMUS restaurant

Wednesday Afternoon, September 17, 2014

Venue: Conference Hall I, University of Science, 227 - Nguyen Van Cu, HCM city

Special Session (Duong Van Ni – University Network for Research and Training in the Mekong Region, Organizer):

Management of Water Resources in a Mekong Basin that is dominated by seasonal and annual hydrological variation, including low flow conditions -- Key Scientific Questions and Data Needs for the Mekong Delta

39

13:15 - 13:30

- Opening Remarks by Jim Stefanov, USGS

 

- Opening Remarks by Tran Duc Cuong, Deputy Director General of

VNMC

 

 

 

- Special Session Organization and Approach (Duong Van Ni)

13:30 - 14:00

Data (Chu Thai Hoanh, IWMI)

 

Hydrologic facts about the Mekong and its tributaries

 

Data needs

 

Data collection and analysis (frequency, spatial density, etc.)

 

Data sharing

 

Need for trans-boundary harmonization of data collection and analysis

 

Water demand by sector

14:00 - 14:30

Seasonal Variability: Dry and Wet Season flows (Nguyen Hieu Trung,

 

CTU)

 

Flow monitoring and forecasting

 

Low flow thresholds and effects

 

Peak flow thresholds and effects

14:30 - 15:00

Floods and Drought: Annual Hydrological Variation (Le Anh Tuan,

 

DRAGON-CTU)

 

Historic Mekong Droughts and Floods

 

Current global and regional drought and flood monitoring activities

 

Mekong Basin nation specific drought and flood monitoring activities

 

Impacts of hydrological extremes

15:00 - 15:30

Coffee/Tea Break

15:30 - 16:30

Drought and Flood Management (Tran Thuc, VN Climate Center)

 

Monitoring and early warning

 

Assessment and prediction tools

 

Mitigation and preparedness planning

 

Management Strategy and Action Plan

16:30 - 17:15

Panel Discussion: Data needs to improve hydrological management

 

Brief recap

 

Discussion of next steps

 

Prioritization of data needs and data gaps

 

Potential funding strategies

 

Action item assignments

17:15

CLOSE SPECIAL SESSION

 

 

40

18:30 - 20:30

Workshop Dinner (meet in lobby of Equatorial Hotel at 18:30)

Thursday Morning, September 18, 2014

Venue: Conference Hall I, University of Science, 227 - Nguyen Van Cu, HCM city

Closing Plenary

 

8:00 - 9:30

Reports from Selected Organizations Active in the Basin (15 minutes

each)

 

 

Hoang Viet - WWF

 

Andrew Wyatt - IUCN

 

Doug Demko – FISHBIO

 

Kulthida Techasarin - International Technical Assistance Program

 

SIM, USDOI

 

Vance Hum – I.M. Systems Group, Incorporated

 

Rainer Assé – Fulbright Economics Teaching Program

9:30 - 10:00

Coffee/Tea Break

10:00 -12:00

Closing Session (Duong Van Ni)

Review of special session findings

Request and discuss ideas for integrated project

Closing Remarks by Tran Duc Cuong, Deputy Director General of VNMC; Jim Stefanov (USGS); and Duong Van Ni (WUN)

12:00

ADJOURN SCIENCE DATA WORKSHOP

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch at HCMUS restaurant

41

Appendix 2: Participant List

N

Name

Country

Organization

E-mail

1

Andrew Wyatt

Australia

IUCN

ABWYATT@gmail.com

 

 

 

Inland Fisheries Research and

 

2

Chheng Phen

Cambodia

Development Institute

chhengp@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Mekong River Commission

 

3

Heng Suthy

Cambodia

Secretariat

suthy@mrcmekong.org

4

Khem Sothea

Cambodia

Mekong River Commission

khem@mrcmekong.org

5

Kim Soben

Cambodia

RUA

kimsoben@gmail.com

 

 

 

Department of Aquaculture,

 

6

Thay Somony

Cambodia

Fisheries Administration

monyangkor@gmail.com

 

 

 

Mekong River Commission

 

7

Truong Hong Tien

Cambodia

Secretariat

thtien652004@gmail.com

 

 

 

Asian International Rivers

 

8

Feng Yan

China

Center, Yunnan University

fengyan@ynu.edu.cn

 

 

 

Asian International Rivers

 

9

He Da Ming

China

Center, Yunnan University

dmhe@ynu.edu.cn

 

 

 

Asian International Rivers

 

10

Ji Xuan

China

Center, Yunnan University

jixuan@ynu.edu.cn

 

 

 

Asian International Rivers

 

11

Lou Xian

China

Center, Yunnan University

luoxian@ynu.edu.cn

 

 

 

Asian International Rivers

 

12

Wang Wen Ling

China

Center, Yunnan University

 

 

 

 

Asian International Rivers

 

13

Ying Lu

China

Center, Yunnan University

yinglu@ynu.edu.cn

 

 

 

German Aerospace Center

 

14

Marco Ottinger

Germany

(DLR)

Marco.Ottinger@dlr.de

 

Lammai

 

 

 

15

Phiphakhavong

Lao PDR

National University of Laos

lmphiphak@gmail.com

 

Sinsamout

 

 

 

16

Ounboundisane

Lao PDR

FISHBIO

sinsamout@fishbio.com

17

Aung Kyi

Myanmar

Ministry of Agriculture

aungyiyikyithein@gmail.com

 

 

 

Department of Meteorology

 

18

Chit Kyaw

Myanmar

and Hydrology

uchitkyaw.dmh@gmail.com

 

 

 

Department of Groundwater

 

19

Alin Chintraruck

Thailand

Resources

alin_nuk@hotmail.com

 

Chaicharn

 

 

 

20

Wongsamun

Thailand

Khon Kaen University

chaichrn@kku.ac.th

21

Sansanee Choowaew

Thailand

Mahidol University

sansanee.cho@mahidol.ac.th

 

 

 

Department of Groundwater

N_thassanee@yahoo.com;

22

Tussanee Nettasana

Thailand

Resources

tussanee.n@dgr.mail.go.th

23

Dharma Akmon

USA

University of Michigan

dharmrae@umich.edu

24

Donald Cahoon

USA

USGS

dcahoon@usgs.gov

42

25

Doug Demko

USA

FISHBIO

dougdemko@fishbio.com

26

Doug O'Neil

USA

U.S. Embassy, Hanoi

 

27

Jeb Barzen

USA

ICF

jeb@savingcranes.org

28

Jim Stefanov

USA

USGS

jestefan@usgs.gov

29

Ken Krauss

USA

USGS

kraussk@usgs.gov

 

 

 

U.S. Department of Interior,

 

30

Kulthida Techasarin

USA

SIM

annkulthida.doi.sim@gmail.com

 

 

 

University of California

 

31

Matt Kondolf

USA

Berkeley

kondolf.berkeley@gmail.com

32

Neevy Laningham

USA

U.S. Department of State

 

 

 

 

Fulbright Economics Teaching

 

33

Rainer Asse

USA

Program

Rainer_Asse@hks.harvard.edu

34

Rena Bitter

USA

US-Consulate, HCMC

 

35

Scott Wilson

USA

USGS

wilsons@usgs.gov

36

Vance Y. Hum

USA

I.M. Systems Group, Inc.

humv@imsg.com

 

 

 

Viet Nam National Mekong

 

37

Tran Duc Cuong

Vietnam

Committee

 

38

Nguyen Hoai Bao

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

nhbao@hcmus.edu.vn

39

Nguyen Cong Chuc

Vietnam

Winrock International

chuccong.nguyen@winrock.org

40

Hoang Minh Duc

Vietnam

Southern Institute of Ecology

ducthao71@yahoo.com

 

 

 

International Water

 

41

Chu Thai Hoanh

Vietnam

Management Institute (IWMI)

c.t.hoanh@cgiar.org

 

 

 

Department of Water resources

 

42

Le Thi Viet Hoa

Vietnam

Management

 

 

 

 

Viet Nam National Mekong

 

43

Tran Thi Kim Hue

Vietnam

Committee

kimhue_tran75@yahoo.com.vn

44

Nguyen Thai Lai

Vietnam

Deputy Minister, MONRE

 

 

 

 

Viet Nam National Mekong

 

45

Nguyen Thi Thu Linh

Vietnam

Committee

 

 

Huynh Vuong Thu

 

 

 

46

Minh

Vietnam

Can Tho University

hvtminh@ctu.edu.vn

47

Pham Cam Nhung

Vietnam

WWF - Vietnam

nhung.phamcam@wwfgreatermekong.org

48

Duong Van Ni

Vietnam

WUN, Can Tho university

duongvani@gmail.com

 

 

 

Viet Nam National Mekong

 

49

Nguyen Trung Quan

Vietnam

Committee

 

50

Vo Dinh Hoai Thanh

Vietnam

U.S. Consulate, HCMC

votdh@state.gov

51

Nguyen Thi Lan Thi

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

thi.mimosa@gmail.com

 

 

 

Southern Institute of Forest

 

52

Pham Trong Thinh

Vietnam

Survey and Inventory

thinhwetland@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Vietnam Institute of

 

 

 

 

Meteorology, Hydrology and

 

53

Tran Thuc

Vietnam

Climate Change

tranthuc.vkttv@gmail.com

54

Tran Linh Thuoc

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

tlthuoc@hcmus.edu.vn

55

Le Xuan Thuyen

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

lxthuyen@hcmuns.edu.vn

 

 

 

Southern Institute of Water

 

56

To Quang Toan

Vietnam

Resource Research, HCMC

toan_siwrr@yahoo.com

57

Le Thi Quynh Tram

Vietnam

Fulbright Economics Teaching

tramltq@fetp.edu.vn

43

 

 

 

Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

58

Tran Triet

Vietnam

ICF, HCMUS

ttriet@gmail.com

59

Nguyen Van Trieu

Vietnam

MONRE

 

60

Van Pham Dang Tri

Vietnam

Can Tho university

vpdtri@ctu.edu.vn

61

Luu Hong Truong

Vietnam

Southern Institute of Ecology

hongtruongluu@gmail.com

62

Nguyen Hieu Trung

Vietnam

Can Tho university

nhtrung@ctu.edu.vn

 

 

 

Research Institute for Climate

 

63

Le Anh Tuan

Vietnam

Change – Can Tho University

latuan@ctu.edu.vn

64

Hoang Viet

Vietnam

WWF - Vietnam

viet.hoang@wwfgreatermekong.org

 

 

 

Faculty of Geography - HCM

 

65

Pham Bach Viet

Vietnam

USSH

phambachviet@gmail.com

 

 

 

National Center for Water

 

 

 

 

Resource Research and

 

66

Bui Tran Vuong

Vietnam

Planning

buitranvuong@gmail.com

67

Chau Van Tao

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

cvtao@hcmus.edu.vn

68

Nguyen van Hieu

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

nvhieu@hcmus.edu.vn

 

 

 

Department of Oceanography,

 

69

Dang Truong An

Vietnam

Meteorology and hydrology

dtan@hcmus.edu.vn

70

Tran Thi Anh Dao

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

ttadao.hcmuns@gmail.com

 

 

 

Faculty of Chemistry,

 

71

Nguyen Van Dong

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

winternguyenvan@yahoo.com

72

Nguyen thi Kim Dung

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

kimdunguyen@gmail.com

 

 

 

Faculty of Environment,

 

73

To thi Hien

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

tohien@hcmus.edu.vn

74

Hoang Duc Huy

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

hdhuy@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Center for Water Resource

 

75

Nguyen Van Khoi

Vietnam

Technology

nvkhoi@vijapower.com

76

Le Cong Kiet

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

lckiet@hcmus.edu.vn

 

 

 

Faculty of Chemistry,

 

77

Nguyen Anh Mai

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

nguyen.a.mai@gmail.com

78

Vien Ngoc Nam

Vietnam

Nong Lam University

drvnnam@gmail.com

79

Nguyen Phi Nga

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

ngacuc1974@yahoo.com

80

Luu Thi Thanh Nhan

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

lthithanhnhan@gmail.com

 

Vo Luong Hong

 

Department of Oceanography,

 

81

Phuoc

Vietnam

Meteorology and hydrology

vlhphuoc@hcmus.edu.vn

82

Nguyen Du Sanh

Vietnam

Faculty of Biology

ndsanh@hcmus.edu.vn

 

 

 

Department of Oceanography,

 

83

Nguyen Cong Thanh

Vietnam

Meteorology and hydrology

ncthanh@hcmus.edu.vn

 

 

 

Can Gio Biosphere Reserve,

 

84

Le Duc Tuan

Vietnam

HCMC

leductuan@hcm.fpt.vn

 

 

 

Natural Resources and

 

 

 

 

Environment Institute, Vietnam

 

85

Dao Phu Quoc

Vietnam

National University

quocmina@gmail.com

 

Nguyen Dang Hoang

 

Institute of Tropical Biology,

 

86

Vu

Vietnam

HCMC

nguyendanghoangvu888@gmail.com

44

87

Hoang Viet

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

hviet@hcmus.edu.vn

88

Nguyen Duy Minh

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

duyminhdynamic@gmail.com

89

Nguyen thi Loan

Vietnam

Children of Nature

loan-nguyen2710@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Children of Nature - Mekong

phamtuanquoc@gmail.com;

90

Pham Tuan Quoc

Vietnam

riverbank network

contact@mekonghouse.org

91

Ngo Dac Thuan

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

ndthuan@hcmus.edu.vn

92

Hoang thi Cam Tu

Vietnam

University of Science - HCMC

htctu@hcmus.edu.vn

93

Trinh Kieu Anh

Vietnam

Press

tkieuanh@yahoo.com

94

Pham Manh Tung

Vietnam

Press

xuansoncd2004@yahoo.com

95

Ly thi Anh Thu

Vietnam

Press

anhthukhpt@yahoo.com.vn

96

Nguy n c T m

Vietnam

Press

nguyendactam04@gmail.com

45

Workshop opening remarks. From left: Mr. Jeb Barzen (International Crane Foundation); Prof. Tran Linh Thuoc (Rector, University of Science), Dr. Nguyen Thai Lai (Deputy Minister MONRE), Consul General Rena Bitter (U.S. Consulate Office in Ho Chi Minh City), Dr. Dr. Duong Van Ni (Mekong University Network).

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