Vietnam Fellows visit Australia to explore river basin sustainability

Vietnam Fellows visit Australia to explore river basin sustainability

The International WaterCentre (IWC) welcomed 15 Australia Awards Fellows from Vietnam in November for a four-week program on improving water, land and ecosystems sustainability in the Mekong Delta.

Fifteen water professionals from Vietnam joined the IWC in Queensland, 20 November – 15 December for the Australia Awards Fellowship Program: Improving water, land and ecosystems sustainability in the Mekong Delta. The group of fellows represented the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

The four-week program included a series of field trips, workshops and training activities focused on building the Fellows Integrated Catchment Management capacity.

Program highlights

In week one Fellows were introduced to the fundamentals of Integrated Water Management and Water Governance in Australia. The week included a study tour to North Stradbroke Island to explore the island’s complex water-related issues.

Week two explored the importance of gender equality and social inclusion in water management, as well as ways of enabling collaborative and bottom-up approaches to drive catchment-wide stakeholder action in catchment management (e.g. Water Stewardship). Fellows also learnt about river health and environmental flows from the Australian Rivers Institute, and visited Seqwater’s Wivenhoe Dam to learn about South East Queensland’s history in managing water security in a context of climate variability and uncertainty.

Week three of the program included a trip to Canberra where Fellows met with various Federal Government institutions to learn about Australia’s approach to transboundary water management (i.e. Murray Darling Basin) and further water sector collaboration with Vietnam institutions. Fellows then undertook a road-trip through regional NSW to learn about the irrigation sector in the context of the Murray Darling Basin, with a particular focus on the rice growing industry.

In week four Fellows travelled to Cairns in Queensland’s Tropical North to continue their training. The group was hosted by Terrain NRM and learnt about rehabilitation of coastal wetlands and best practices in coffee and paw paw farming.

What next

The Fellows will use the lessons learnt during their time in Australia to apply them to their own context through the implementation of their change projects – return-to-work project plans that outline a vision for positive change in the Mekong Delta’s water management and agriculture sectors, and the actions needed to initiate that change. IWC will then undertake a follow up visit in Vietnam in June 2018. 

We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who hosted, presented and joined us to deliver this four-week program. In particular: QLD Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM), QLD Department of State Development, Alliance for Water Stewardship, Healthy Land and Water, Australian Rivers Institute, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australian Water Partnership (AWP), Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), RM Consulting Group (RMCG), NSW Murrumbidgee Catchment LLS, SunRice, Murrumbidgee Irrigation, Terrain NRM, QLD Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI) and Skybury Coffee.

More information

Learn more about the IWC Australia Awards Fellowship grants awarded in 2017/18 here.

For more information on the Vietnam Australia Awards Program please contact:

Pablo Orams

Senior Project Officer

T +61 7 3028 7600


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