History

The University Network for Wetland Research and Training in the Mekong Region (Wetland University Network – WUN) was formed in 2002 when leaders of 8 regional universities convened to create a process that would improve their collective understanding of wetlands in the Mekong region and build the capacity of universities to study wetlands at the same time.  Though each university was strong in some fields of wetland study, the founding universities (Can Tho University, Chulalongkorn, Mahidol, National University of Lao, Nong Lam University, National University – Ho Chi Minh, Royal University of Agriculture, Royal University of Phnom Penh) recognized that no single university was strong in enough of the myriad disciplines that define wetland study and management to teach the important discipline alone.  Their proposed solution was to collaborate.  The collective knowledge of the WUN provided an excellent foundation for advancing wetland study and provided the basis for resource sharing that defines the Mekong Basin countries if sustainability will ever be achieved.  Since wetlands are a cornerstone of resource productivity in the Mekong Region, the study of wetlands hold great importance to the wise use of Mekong Basin resources. 

By 2008, the network grew by another 5 universities (An Giang, Champasak, Khon Kaen, Mahasarakham, University Sans Malaysia) and an further 5 universities (Kasetsart, Southwest Forest University in Yunnan, Tay Nguyen, University of Forestry in Myanmar, Yezin Agricultural University) were added in 2009. 

The final institution, Build Bright University and Pannasastra University of Cambodia , were added in 2014, making up the current 20 member universities. 

Since 2003 the network has taught 11 regional courses on wetland ecology where students and faculty from each member university attend.  Each year the course is hosted by a different member university and the collective number and diversity of wetlands that we have sampled over the decade has ranged from extensive wetlands such as the million-plus hectare Tonle Sap or the Plain of Reeds to Nongs (small wetlands) that are about a hectare in size.  The network now has 243 wetland course graduates, most of whom still work on wetlands in the Mekong Basin. 

 

About Network

The Mekong River is one of the great rivers of the world. Wetlands of the lower Mekong basin are intimately linked with the ecological balance and socioeconomic well-being, nourishing a population of 60 million people of 6 countries: China, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Read more

Mission

Overall Purposes

  • To build and enhance the capacity of university lecturers and researchers of the Mekong region in teaching wetland-related courses, conducting scientific research in wetland-related fields, and assisting wetland conservation practices;
  • To enhance the understanding in wetland’s values and threats to the sustainable socio-economic development of the whole Mekong river basin;
  • To enhance the knowledge and understanding in wetland ecology and management of protected areas staff, junior staff of GOs, NGOs and CBOs, grassroots and ...

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Contact Details

Duong Van Ni

CEO, Wetland University Network (WUN)

College of Natural Resource Management

T: +84 909 987 887

E: duongvani@gmail.com

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