Mekong Institute and the implementing parties of the joint project on Sustainable Development in the Lower Mekong River Basin based on the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus launch the Official Kick-off Event and the First Steering Committee Meeting of the project on May 4, 2022, in order to provide better access to water, food, and energy to communities in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The five-year project, which was approved in September 2021 and is supported by the Ministry of Science and ICT, Republic of Korea and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), will be implemented by Mekong Institute, UNOSSC Regional Office for Asia-Pacific (UN Office for South-South Cooperation), Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI), and MRC (Mekong River Commission) in collaboration.
This four-million-dollar initiative intends to improve disadvantaged populations' access to water, food, and energy in the Lower Mekong River Basin by improving development approaches and management in these areas. Based on South-South and triangular cooperation modalities, it will pursue integrative and multi-sectoral methods in the implementation of highly-demanded technologies in water, energy, and food to better people's livelihoods.
MI is proud to be a part of this endeavor to increase awareness and appreciation of the WEF nexus and its advantages, as well as to support capacity development processes that enable on-the-ground impacts.
"Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus is becoming more important and relevant to the lower Mekong subregion today. This takes into consideration that WEF nexus relates directly to the people's lives and their wellbeing as well as help address the transboundary nature of WEF. Maintaining the balance of the WEF nexus will not only contribute to stable development at the country level but also supporting continued regional cooperation and integration. Science, technology and innovation will help us to find new innovative approaches to implement WEF nexus and ensure impacts on the ground,” said Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, Executive Director of Mekong Institute.
In light of the COVID-19 recovery processes, the WEF nexus becomes even more relevant, as the nexus approaches will promote the "build-forward-better" concept for greener and more resilient economic and development in the sub-region.
“WEF nexus is not new to the sub-region. But putting the concept in the implementation needs to learn from the past, put the people in the center through multi-stakeholder collaboration. We can cut short the learning curve through peer-to-peer learning and south-south cooperation,” Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn added.