Dec 05, 2013

Workshops explore risks to food security in the Mekong

Lately, food security in the Mekong region has been challenged by the series of hydropower development proposals on the Mekong mainstream.

Fisherman throwing his net at sunrise on a tributory of the Mekong river.
Fisherman throwing his net at sunrise on a tributory of the Mekong river. Image by Suriya Chat.

Cambodia and the Vietnamese Delta are the most sensitive areas for food security due to the alteration of the Mekong mainstream, and a total of 88 dams are planned or already constructed in the basin.

Shared Waters Partnership recently organised two workshops in Phnom Pen, Cambodia and Can Tho, Viet Nam to address the anticipated changes in the Mekong, including the politically contentious mainstream dams and tributary dams.

Researchers, government officials and civil society representatives based in Cambodia and Viet Nam gathered to discuss the future of food security in the region. Conclusions indicated that hydropower investments along with climate change effects are likely to alter flood pulse significantly. This poses great risks to fisheries, which are the major source of food and nutrients for local people.

The workshops aimed to increase understanding of the food security challenge among key stakeholders, and provide a platform for networking and capacity building which hopefully can enable actors to engage on these issues at the local and national level.