Mekong for the Future

Speeches Shim

The Mekong is home to some of the world’s most abundant biodiversity and is rich in natural resources critical for the region’s long-term sustainable development.  These natural resources are also the primary source of food and livelihoods for an estimated 70 million people.  The Lower Mekong countries are facing multiple environmental challenges that threaten their long-term social and economic development.  Many of these challenges are driven by fragile governmental systems and limited civil society participation in the decision-making processes that govern natural resources.

USAID Mekong for the Future, implemented by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), works to improve natural resource governance in the Lower Mekong region by strengthening civil society’s participation in natural resource management.  By advocating for rights-based and inclusive programs and strategies that address transboundary environmental challenges, and conducting policy and environmental data analysis, the project aims to increase civil society’s engagement in the decision-making processes and promote diverse and inclusive working relationships through regional and international organizations and networks.

STRATEGIC APPROACH

USAID Mekong for the Future works across three primary work streams:

  • Strengthening national, regional, and international civil society networks and coordination.
  • Increasing the capacity of civil society organizations and citizens to effectively engage in policy development, oversight, and advocacy. 
  • Promoting the transparency of public and non-governmental natural resource information and improving understanding and use of that data.

The project is currently focusing on four key thematic areas:

  1. Renewable energy and regional integration;
  2. Climate change adaptation for resilient rivers;
  3. Transboundary infrastructure investments;
  4. Enabling civic space to address shared regional governance issues.

Growing inequities for resource-dependent communities, specifically the impacts on women and marginalized groups, informs and guides the USAID Mekong for the Future’s approach to activity planning, monitoring, and stakeholder engagement.  Gender Equality and Social Inclusion principles are mainstreamed throughout the project lifecycle to identify the unique strengths, limitations, priorities, and needs of the communities in the Mekong region.

Last updated: August 31, 2021

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