Abstract: Our activities in the Mekong followed a strategy of mobilizing grass-roots engagement of local stakeholders in decision making, while facilitating high-level dialogues. This helped to build networked, multi-stakeholder processes which could begin to bridge local to national and regional decision making in the basin. Together with partners, we have further tackled challenges in the Mekong River Basin through supporting knowledge-based approaches and emerging dialogue and consensus building between diverse interests and voices. Local collective action and Multi-stakeholder approaches combined with support from national governmental approaches have gained traction in the region and are ongoing. National governments continue to be supported and linkages to regional institutions facilitated.

The emerging issues identified in the early years of WANI initiative continue to be relevant and to resonate across the region. These results were achieved through focusing on the interlocking themes of knowledge, ecosystem services, negotiation and multi-stakeholder platforms. This built on the already existing work under the larger UNDP Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Project. 

Many lessons have been identified from this initiative, carried out in the Mekong basin. Among these is the understanding that multi-stakeholder participatory processes are needed to mobilise partnerships and relationships that form the basis for building mutual understanding between multiple partners and interests; for example, between Ministries, local government, NGOs and civil society.

Authors: Welling, Rebecca; Cartin, Megan; Pangare, Ganesh; Rattanasorn, Tawatchai