Fostering Solutions and Collaboration for a Sustainable Mekong River Delta

1st Mekong Virtual Symposium

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 • 10:00 PM – 11:30 PM EDT

 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 • 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM ICT 

Fostering Solutions and Collaboration for a Sustainable Mekong River Delta

As part of the U.S. Vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific the U.S. government is committed to providing a platform that encourages information sharing, dialogue, collaboration, and stakeholder engagement for cooperative, responsible management of the Mekong River. The U.S. engagement with the Mekong region has long emphasized cooperation on water-related policy and program activities.  This engagement  builds trust among partners and stakeholders and strengthens cooperation not only on water issues but for natural resources management more broadly.

 

This program will engage key stakeholders about the importance of managing drought and salinity and how to mitigate the adverse effects of saltwater in delta ecosystems. The Mekong River is home to one of the most productive and biodiverse river ecosystems in the world with over 1,100 species of fish.  The Mekong River provides freshwater for these ecosystems and for agriculture, fisheries, drinking water, transportation, and energy. Every year, saltwater intrusion, or the presence of saltwater in inland rivers or groundwater, renders freshwater resources unusable for agriculture or drinking.  Saltwater intrusion in the Mekong River, and especially in the delta, is exacerbated by drought, sea level rise, and lower water levels in the river from increasing dam and infrastructure development.  

 

This program on managing drought and salinity builds upon existing efforts in the Mekong region to strengthen collaboration and dialogue on water issues and solutions, and supports the Mekong Water Data Initiative (MWDI).  The MWDI aims to strengthen the capacity of Lower Mekong countries to collect, analyze, and manage water and water-related data in order to reduce water-related risks and promote sustainable economic development across the water, food, energy, and environment nexus.

 

U.S.-based experts engage with Mekong stakeholders to identify strategies and methods to foster longer-term information sharing, collaboration, and expert consultation. This program benefits regional mid-level water, rural and urban development, energy, environment, and health ministry officials, water resource managers and utility operators, academics, and civil society in the Lower Mekong region.

Moderator

Dr. Nguyen Huong Thuy Phan,

Graduate Institute Geneva, Development Policies and Practices Executive Master Program

Dr. Phan Nguyen is a specialist in water and climate change. By training she has a Doctor of Engineering in Water Resource Development. Phan has more than 25 years of combined experiences in hydropower development projects in the South of Vietnam, coastal engineering projects in the Gulf of Thailand, climate change risk assessment programmes in the Vietnam’s Red River Delta and the Lower Mekong Basin (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam), and higher education programmes in development studies in South East Asia.  

Speakers

Dr. Van Pham Dang Tri,

Vice Dean, College of Environment and Natural Resources, Can Tho University

VAN Pham Dang Tri (Assoc. Prof., PhD.) is currently one of the Vice Deans at the College of Environment and Natural Resources at Can Tho University, Viet Nam. With a wide range of scientific background, he focuses on holistic research on integrated water resources management, irrigation, hydrodynamics modelling and possible impacts of climate change on behaviors of the different river networks, and on agriculture and aquaculture in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta. VAN Pham Dang Tri is presently participating in different national and international projects as either a project manager or a technical advisor.

Ms. Nguyen Hong Phuong,

Deputy Director General of Vietnam Mekong Committee 

Dr. Phan Nguyen is a specialist in water and climate change. By training she has a Doctor of Engineering in Water Resource Development. Phan has more than 25 years of combined experiences in hydropower development projects in the South of Vietnam, coastal engineering projects in the Gulf of Thailand, climate change risk assessment programmes in the Vietnam’s Red River Delta and the Lower Mekong Basin (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam), and higher education programmes in development studies in South East Asia.  

Mr. Kib Jacobson,

Project Manager, Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation 

For the past 18 years Mr. Jacobson has been the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Manager and Chief of the Water Quality Group. As the Program Manager he has been responsible for implementing the Title II Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program that was authorized by Public Law 93-320. Mr. Jacobson has spent his professional career of 40 years as a public servant working in different capacities in the Upper Colorado (UC) Region of the Bureau of Reclamation located in Salt Lake City, UT. Mr. Jacobson has a M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Utah State University, Logan UT.

Mr. Malcolm Wilson,

Chief, Water Resources & Compliance Group, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation 

For the past 18 years Mr. Jacobson has been the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program Manager and Chief of the Water Quality Group. As the Program Manager he has been responsible for implementing the Title II Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program that was authorized by Public Law 93-320. Mr. Jacobson has spent his professional career of 40 years as a public servant working in different capacities in the Upper Colorado (UC) Region of the Bureau of Reclamation located in Salt Lake City, UT. Mr. Jacobson has a M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Utah State University, Logan UT.

Missed the event ?

Check out the panelist presentations below and the recorded program in English and Vietnamese! We will be sharing answers to audience questions and the full set of comments soon.

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