From 22-24 Oct, ICIWaRM held a Shared Vision Planning (SVP) and Collaborative Modeling (CM) training workshop at the Mekong River Commission (MRC) in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The event was co-organized by the MRC, Global Water Partnership – Southeast Asia, and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). This engagement was designed to build capacity for the MRC and National Mekong Committees (NMC) to implement the SVP process. Specifically, the workshop was aimed toward helping evaluate MRC “Council Study” trade-offs for future development of the MRC Basin Development Strategy and Basin Development Plan.
Over fifty water professionals from nine countries participated; one-third were women. The primary instructors were Drs. Guillermo Mendoza and Seth Cohen of USACE’s Institute for Water Resources–the host institution of ICIWaRM.
The regional training and workshop had the dual objective of introducing the SVP collaborative modeling approach to MRC and GWP participants, while also building on previous SVP work between USACE and MRC. Participants included water managers, technical modelers, and decision makers from the Mekong River Basin countries and other regional Southeast Asian nations.
The current effort is an outgrowth of two USACE workshops with the MRC Joint Committee and MRC technical staff that occurred in 2017 to introduce SVP and interest-based negotiation techniques to assist with the challenges of economic, social and environmental trade-offs between Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos. Outputs from the MRC’s Council Study on Sustainable Development (CS) were incorporated into the SVP model, which showed participants the potential of the process.