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Environmental flows in South East Asia

Population growth, industrial and farmland expansion in Asia are stretching the limits of water allocation for nature’s needs. Environmental Flows, or ensuring sufficient water for both people and nature, was the theme of a recent IECN training workshop in Khao Lak, Thailand.

Expansion at the expense of traditional paddy fields and naturally draining watersheds and floodplains can lead to the failure to allocate enough water for the environment. This causes ecosystems – already under stress – to seriously affect the health, well-being, and security of local livelihoods in many Asian regions.

During the training workshop, participants from South-East Asia were able to gain a more common understanding of Environmental Flows (Eflows) and learn how to integrate Eflows in their work on water resources management.


Many of the workshop attendees shared their perspectives and experiences to promote and build a deeper understanding on complex water issues through the Mekong Water Dialogues (MWD). The MWD, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, were initiated to support water governance, by facilitating transparent and inclusive decision-making to improve livelihood security, human and ecosystem health.

“A key to engaging with senior decision makers and stakeholders is being able to communicate effectively, and being able to present technical information on Environmental Flows in such a way that will convey the key message and inspire action, such as using river health score cards“ commented Fiona Chandler, Program Manager at the IWC.


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