Conferences, Forums and Symposiums

2018 Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food, and Energy

The Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy is the largest annual knowledge-sharing event in the Greater Mekong. It presents research-based evidence to non-governmental organisations, policy-makers, the private sector, and development agencies. It does this through carefully designed and facilitated dialogues.

Where and when

Inya Lake Hotel

4-6 Dec 2018

Conference focus

Economic Development and the Rivers of the Greater Mekong: The rivers of the Greater Mekong hold great economic value in terms of their hydropower, fisheries, transport and agricultural potential. So too, these rivers are economic and ecological corridors generating immense economic growth for the countries through which they pass. But this economic growth comes with its own social, economic and environmental challenges. The 2018 Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy will focus on ways in which these challenges can be addressed through tried-and-tested solutions, knew knowledge generated by research and through a regional, multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder dialogue.

Forum sub-themes

All forum sessions must fall into one or more forum themes. In 2018, the themes are:

Sub-theme 1: Economic Corridoors: Throughout the Greater Mekong, conduits have been created through which trade and exchange can pass, such as the Belt-Road Initiative, or the GMS Sub-region. What are the implications of these initiatives for the region’s rivers and the livelihoods that depend on them? What steps can be taken to ensure that these initiatives can support regional livelihoods and environmental sustainability?

Sub-theme 2: Diversity, Rivers and Development: Development initiatives across the region have significant implications at local scales, and can generate significant impacts on women and ethnic minorities. Session under this sub-theme will consider how gender and diversity are impacted, and how women and ethnic minorities can seize the opportunities created by large-scale development.

Sub-theme 3: The Entwined Predicaments of Water, Food and Energy: Although the so-called WFE Nexus has been around for some time, its use as an analytical tool in the Greater Mekong has been relatively limited. Nevertheless, exploring the inter-relationships between its facets is highly relevant in the Greater Mekong. This session aims to attract discussions around WFE research, and the discovery of ways in which we can operationalise the idea in analytical and managerial ways.

Sub-theme 4: Transforming Energy: Regional electricity production is changing, with moves to source stable supplies from sources other than hydropower. Sessions under this sub-theme will respond to the questions: what are the changes in electricity supply across the region? What do they mean for those regional countries for whom hydropower is central to national development plans? And what are the implications of these changes to the region’s rivers?

Sub-theme 5: Innovative Governance: What are the region’s promising water governance opportunities? Sessions in this theme will draw inspiration from promising examples at local, national, transboundary and regional levels, and explore the value of cross border cooperation, at state or local level, for the joint management of water resources.

Forum orientation

The Forum is not a research conference. It is oriented towards knowledge consumers. We seek sessions designed with this group in mind, recognising that most, if not all, knowledge consumers have no technical background. We emphasise deliberation and listening, whereby participants can query, debate, and (constructively) criticise the ideas or innovations presented. As a consequence, the Forum is also oriented towards participation.

In 2018, the Forum is projected to have 300 participants. Half of these are expected to be knowledge producers, and the other half, knowledge users.

Forum purpose

The purpose of the forum is to:

  • To create ‘safe’ spaces for stakeholders to come together to informally discuss difficult and controversial water-related discussions.
  • To network and to promote cross-regional learning on water-food-energy nexus-related issues.
  • To encourage and facilitate building of networks across sectors and river basins to support future collaborations.
  • Interface research-based solutions with a non-technical public, policy-makers, and the private sector.
  • Provide would-be users with an opportunity to deliberate and query potential solutions.

More information

Conference website

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