Developing an operational framework for river health assessment in the Mekong River Basin
Led by: Water Engineering and Management, AIT (Thailand)
Project Leader: Babel Mukand - msbabel@ait.asia
Partner Organizations:
Pollution Control Department (PCD), Thailand
Thai Water Partnership (TWP)

MK25 held their inception workshop on 12 May 2015 in Bangkok. Please find information about and resources from their inception workshop below



Date: 12th May, 2015
Time: 08:00 – 1500h
Venue: Miracle Grand Convention Hotel; 99 Kamphaeng Phet 6 Road, Talad-Bangkhen, Laksi, Bangkok

IMGP8556.JPG

On May 12, 2015, the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), in collaboration with the Thai Water Partnership (TWP), and the Pollution Control Department (PCD) of Thailand’s MONRE, carried out an inception workshop at the Miracle Grand Convention Center in Bangkok for a ‘research for development’ project, “developing an operational framework for river health assessment in the Mekong River Basin”. Current health assessments in the basin are centered exclusively on river water quality indicators. The project, to be carried out over three years (2015-2017), and supported by the CGIAR’s Water Land and Ecosystem (WLE) Greater Mekong (GM) Program, seeks to plug existing knowledge gaps by developing a holistic river health indicator (RHI) system—capable of addressing a variety of dimensions of river health in the Mekong River Basin. According to Prof. Mukand Babel of the AIT, and the team leader for this project, “We propose to develop a state-of-the-art indicator system that would not only consider traditional dimensions of river health, but be more forward-looking by addressing anticipated drivers of river health as well”.

IMGP8546.JPG

The ultimate vision of the project is to institutionalize the new RHI system in Thailand, which cannot be made possible without the cooperation of the various relevant government agencies. The workshop endeavored to provide a platform for these various national stakeholders to discuss, and arrive at a shared understanding of, the river health issues in Thailand. The discussions with these stakeholders—National Health Commission (NHC); Office of Natural Resources & Environmental Policy & Planning (ONEP); Department of Water Resources (DWR); Department of Groundwater Resources; Department of Fisheries; Department of Agriculture; Land Development Department; and Department of Environmental Quality Promotion—supported by experts from universities and research institutions in Thailand, provided excellent food for thought in developing the new RHI system.

One of the notable outcomes of the workshop was the identification of key actors—a focused group of national stakeholders and academicians— who are excited about the project, and would be glad to be engaged in the development of the new RHI system for Thailand.