SUMERNET Roundtable Discussion: The Future Implications for Social and Environmental Safeguards of a Mekong Region that is Warming and Economically Integrated

A Roundtable Discussion hosted by the Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET) at the Mekong Partnership for the Environment’s (MPE) Regional Symposium “Safeguarding Sustainable Development in the Mekong Region: Perspectives for Achieving Success” during 25-27 August 2015, Bangkok, Thailand.

this roundtable discussion aims to discuss and think through some of the options that the region needs to explore in terms of its safeguards mechanisms to prepare for the impacts of climate change and to adjust to deepening regional economic integration.

Key researchers, practitioners, and policymakers will discuss guided by the following questions:

  • Given the Mekong region in a 4C world, what are the implications for social and environmental safeguards?
  • How does existing pattern of development in the region lock us in a carbon intensive future instead of enabling a transition towards a low carbon development path?
  • How do we inform existing national safeguards mechanisms to prepare it for the impacts of climate change and regional integration?
  • What best practices exist in current safeguards mechanisms, at national and regional levels, that we can learn from and harness for the future?
  • Where do we see bottlenecks in existing safeguards mechanisms and how can we reform them?

Duration: 70 minutes

Session Chair: Dr Eric Kemp Benedict, SEI Center Director and Chair, SUMERNET Secretariat


Confirmed Speakers

  1. Dr Louis Lebel <> – Chiang Mai University [to bring a critical view on existing development in the region how it might be complicated by climate change and economic integration; will talk about how existing development patterns might lock us in towards a carbon intensive future and safeguards mechanisms need to adjust to respond to this scenario]
  2. Dr Chayanis Krittasudthacheewa <> – Ayerawaddy Futures Program and SUMERNET [perspectives on the work of SUMERNET and AFP as well as impacts of 4C world on the hydrology of the region]
  3. Mr. James Tager <>, Satter Human Rights Fellow (Harvard Law School) at International Commission of Jurists [perspectives on human rights and environmental and social safeguards]
  4. Dr Pakamas Thinphanga <>, Thailand Environment Institute and ISET [to share insights on how cities in the region need to respond to a 4C world through social and environmental safeguards and other approaches]
  5. Mr Ho Long Phi <,>, Director, Center for Water Management & Climate Change, Vietnam National University [to provide perspectives from a riparian academic on water resources and development in the region especially the Mekong Delta in a 4C change]
  6. Ms Khon Ja, <>, Coordinator, Kachin Peace Network [a Myanmar NGO perspective on existing developments in the Myanmar in particular and Mekong in general and how might climate change will complicate these and what their impacts would be on indigenous peoples]