Strategic Priorities

IWMI’s work in Southeast Asia has developed around seven priority areas that address the overall development challenges in the region. Geographically, research focuses on the Greater Mekong sub region, particularly Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam, while remaining nimble enough to respond to strategic opportunities.

The aim of IWMI’s work is to support countries in Southeast Asia in their endeavors to better manage water and land resources, to improve livelihoods, reduce poverty and safeguard the environment. A program of work of IWMI Southeast Asia is developed around seven priority areas, as follows:

  1. Improved water governance. Develop pragmatic recommendations for policy change that bring about more efficient and equitable water resource management and allocation.
  2. Sustainable intensification of agriculture. Investigate how agricultural intensification can be made sustainable and bring tangible benefits to poor farmers, both men and women.
  3. Water-energy-environment-food: synergies and trade-offs. Weigh the threats and opportunities that hydropower dams present for the environment and food production.
  4. Sustainable use of groundwater. Demonstrate viable technologies and identify governance structures and strategies that enable enhanced but sustainable use of groundwater for dry season and supplementary wet season irrigation by smallholder farmers.
  5. Implications of land use/land cover change for water resources and livelihoods. Provide insights into the hydrological and livelihood consequences of land use change to inform national land-use planning, as well as identifying and promoting agricultural practices for farmers to cope with such land use change.
  6. Information and data for water resources management. Facilitate water accounts and audits for the Mekong basin and its major sub-basins, which demonstrate how much water is available at any location, how it is used, and by whom.
  7. Climate variability and change. Develop better understanding of the possible consequences of climate change for agriculture and the livelihoods of people dependent on agriculture, as well as developing approaches to both mitigate and adapt the agricultural sector to climate change.