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New model for data management and urban planning introduced to government agencies

An exciting new era for data management and urban planning practices in Can Tho has just begun, moving the city closer to its goal of becoming a Smart City.

Series of publications on the promotion of bioengineering in Vietnam now available

Hanoi, Vietnam –  August 7, 2017: Series of publications on the promotion of bioengineering in Vietnam now available

The impact of natural events such as floods, droughts and coastal storms will become more severe as populations grow and the landscape is increasingly modified. Northern Vietnam is one area at risk, as climate change is projected to increase the severity of extreme events in the region. This change puts infrastructure like roads and irrigation schemes at greater risks from impacts of flash floods and landslides. The cost of building new infrastructure and repairing existing infrastructure will be high.

In many parts of the world, vegetation has been incorporated in engineering design to protect natural terrain and man-made structures from the problems associated with land degradation, but bioengineering has seen little uptake in Vietnam.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Capacity Development Technical Assistance project Promoting Climate Resilient Rural Infrastructure in Northern Vietnam demonstrated how non-conventional engineering solutions can strengthen rural infrastructure, resisting the hazards associated with climate change and providing opportunities to enhance community livelihoods.

Objectives included the promotion of effective bioengineering measures in road and riverbank slope protection, and initiating the development of a relevant policy framework so that the techniques employed in these bioengineering demonstrations can be replicated elsewhere in the country. A grant for the project was provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the ADB. The project was carried out by ICEM in association with Philkoei, working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The project focused on rural irrigation, slope stability for roads, riverbank protection, and flood protection works. Lessons learned from the project provided the basis for capacity building activities with local community members, contractors and government staff at local, provincial and national […]

Socio-economic and environmental trends in 3S river basins discussed at regional meeting

What have we learned so far? What are the gaps to be highlighted? And what are the inter-relationships of the issues concerned? These are the questions that were answered during the recent dialogue between government and NGO representatives of the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) countries and technical experts from regional organisations.

ICEM Director General published in handbook of significant scholarly debates

ICEM Director General, Dr Jeremy Carew-Reid contributed a chapter on strategic environmental assessment of mainstream hydropower development in the Mekong to the recently published Routledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia.

3S River Basins Study set to begin

The Sekong, Sesan and Sre Pok are transboundary tributaries of the Mekong River. The 3S basins, as they are collectively known, are richly endowed with natural resources and make an important contribution to national and regional development while supporting the livelihoods of 3.5 million people living in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. However, there is a critical need to understand and respond to the risks inherent in the current "growth at all costs" paradigm.

ICEM Releases Cutting Edge Documentary on Green Infrastructure in the Mekong

How do we bring nature back? ICEM answers that in its documentary on green infrastructure and bioengineering in the Mekong region. Bringing Nature Back outlines some of the worst climate impacts to be faced by the Mekong over the coming decades and how nature-based solutions can be employed to mitigate them.
By |January 12th, 2016|Mekong news, News|0 Comments

ICEM’s Bioengineering, Healthy Rivers Feature in 2015 Mekong Forum on Water, Food, and Energy

Among other activities, ICEM hosted two working sessions at this year's Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food, and Energy. Co-hosted by the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems, the Ministry of Environment of the Royal Cambodian Government, and the International Water Management Institute, the Forum is the largest event in the Mekong Region to address the confluence of water, food and energy.
By |October 28th, 2015|ICEM team, Mekong news, News|0 Comments

Flooding in Lao PDR highlights need for improved dam design, communication

Flooding in the Xe Ban Fay River in central Lao PDR has recently inundated several hundreds of hectares of rice fields adjacent to its banks. Heavy rains have caused the river to reach water levels of almost 19 meters. An agreement signed between the Lao PDR government and Nam Theun 2 states dictates that when water levels reach 14.40m, the dam slows its release into the river. The dam halts releases completely when that level reaches 14.90m. As such, the Nam Theun 2 has been withholding releases for several days.
By |August 7th, 2015|Lao PDR news, Mekong news, News|0 Comments

ICEM Launches New Resilience and Green Infrastructure Resource Kit for Mekong Towns

Led by ADB as part of Promoting Climate-Resilient Development. Prepared by ICEM - International Centre for Environmental Management. As the impacts of a changing climate begin to appear across the GMS, it becomes increasingly important that Mekong towns develop strategies to adapt and thrive. The Resource Kit for Building Resilience and Sustainability in Mekong Towns is a seven-volume kit that contains the tools to do just that.
By |June 26th, 2015|Mekong news, News|1 Comment

Biochar Project Begins with Rapid Tour of GMS Countries

Biochar Project Begins with Rapid Tour of GMS Countries ICEM's Biochar team has kicked off the project with a tour of the region's six participating countries to perform the project's rapid fire assessment of biochar potential in the GMS.

ICEM Participates in the Workshop on Climate Risk Management in Planning and Investment Projects

MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES – 9-10 February 2015: ICEM Participates in the Workshop on Climate Risk Management in Planning and Investment Projects

APAN and the Asia Development Bank (ADB) co-organised the “Climate Risk Management in Planning and Investment Projects” workshop in February 2015 in Manila, the Philippines.

Aimed at building capacity amongst government officials on climate risk assessment and management, the workshop provided participants with a comprehensive two-day training on climate risk management approaches, climate data utilisation for impact and vulnerability assessment, economic and technical analysis in adaptation assessment and planning, and financial architecture on climate change adaptation initiatives in partnership with the private sector.

ICEM’s Tarek Ketelsen, Director – Technical Programs, presented on the Climate Risk & Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA): Central Mekong Delta Connectivity Project. The aims of the CRVA were to integrate climate change risk management into the detailed design of roads and bridges associated with the Central Mekong Delta Connectivity Project, and to pilot-test a rapid climate change vulnerability and adaptation methodology for transport infrastructure projects.

View the presentation here.

 Read the CRVA final report here.

ICEM workshop on Nam Ngiep 1 climate vulnerability brings with it a number of firsts

In 2014, Nam Ngiep 1 Power Company (NNP1PC) commissioned ICEM to undertake a climate change risk and vulnerability assessment (CRVA) of their Nam Ngiep 1 hydropower facility. The NNP1 CRVA was to be the first comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts to a hydropower facility in Lao PDR and the Mekong Region, and one of the first few comprehensive studies worldwide. The overall objective of the study was to assess the climate risk of the proposed Nam Ngiep Hydropower 1 Project (NNP1) in Lao PDR, and to identify measures to increase its climate resilience.
By |February 28th, 2015|Mekong news, News, Water news|0 Comments

ICEM Brings Spatial Expertise to Mekong Delta Forum

ICEM Brings Spatial Expertise to Mekong Delta Forum The Mekong Delta Forum, co-hosted by MARD, MONRE, World Bank, Australian Aid, Kingdom of the Netherlands, was held in Ho Chi Minh City over February 2 & 3, 2015. The Forum brought together experts, dignitaries, and professionals to address the "what" and "why" of:

Initial Field Mission Establishes Groundwork, Implements Hydraulic Monitoring Program in Khone Falls Channels

ICEM hydrologists have been undertaking field monitoring and training with researchers from WorldFish, the National University of Lao (NUoL), and Ubon Ratchathani Universtiy (UBU). The project Informing Fish Passage in the Mekong River aims to assess the swimming capabilities of migratory fish species in the Khone Falls, Chapasak in Southern Laos.

ICEM wins USAID and UN Urban Resilience Competition

ICEM has been awarded an Asia wide Urban Resilience prize for its work on “Green Infrastructure as a Foundation for Resilience in Mekong Towns.” In October, the U.S. Global Development Lab, USAID's Regional Development Mission for Asia, UN Habitat and UNDP hosted the Asia Urban Futures Workshop, a two-day international meeting to address climate-related issues and opportunities facing rapidly urbanising Asian cities. The meeting brought science and technology together with the development community to discuss these rising challenges and share solutions.

Workshop Examines Climate Change and Development Implications for Protected Areas and Species in the Mekong Region

BANGKOK, THAILAND – 8 – 10 October, 2014: Workshop Examines Climate Change and Development Implications for Protected Areas and Species in the Mekong Region

Written by Robert Mather, Head, Southeast Asia Group, IUCN Asia

Over 60 participants from the 6 countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)  came together in a workshop that examined ‘Mekong Protected Areas and Climate Change – Implications for Livelihoods and Development” The workshop was held from 8-10 October 2014, in Bangkok, Thailand, and was organized by the International Centre for Environmental Management (ICEM) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) GMS Environment Operations Center (GMS-EOC). Environmental policy makers, international and national conservation organizations and protected area managers attended the event.

In kicking off the event,  ICEM’s Jeremy Carew-Reid said that “We are members of the protected area family, a family with a Mission. We are starting on a journey and the destination of that journey  is to put protected areas and biodiversity back where they belong – centre stage in the discussions on sustainable development”

Protected areas in the Mekong Region are still largely set within landscapes and seascapes of small-scale fishers and farmers although over the last 20 years the GMS Region has developed rapidly, regional integration of transport infrastructure and markets has progressed significantly, and large-scale commercial agriculture and industrial-scale plantations have grown in importance. With the imminent arrival of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 this transformation of the region is set to continue.

“Now more than ever, protected areas are vitally important, not just for biodiversity conservation, but for the water food and energy security underpinning all of this economic activity” said Robert Mather, Head of IUCN Southeast Asia group, adding that “ The […]

DELTA Tools Team visits Mekong Delta

DELTA Tools Project Team visits Mekong Delta The DELTA Tools project aims to bring climate modeling, hydropower development projections, and land use change together with data on infrastructure investments to facilitate high quality decision making in the Mekong Delta.

ICEM launches Mekong natural systems and climate change review

In this report, ICEM has drawn from the past decade of climate change and natural systems work in the Mekong region to summarise findings and lessons for small holder farms and landscape management. Mekong farms and their surrounding areas are integrated systems in which all the habitats, species and their genetics interact with each other and the physical environment, and contribute to farm productivity.
By |August 19th, 2014|Mekong news, News|0 Comments

Flood control in the Mekong: ICEM develops tool to identify hydropower dams in need of improved management and design

ICEM recently released the first technical brief from our ongoing study into the impact of water supply infrastructure on floods and drought in the Mekong region (MK12): Reservoir Flood Control Index: Assessing the Flood Risk and Capacity for Control in Mekong Hydro-Electric Reservoirs. The brief outlines a basin-wide tool called the Reservoir Flood Control Index that will allow developers, government and communities to understand the relative risk associated with existing and planned large hydro-electric projects in the Mekong basin.

There are currently upwards of 140 medium and large-scale hydropower projects existing and under consideration across the Lower Mekong Basin. Typically, national and regional planners have had trouble identifying the projects that have the greatest associated flood risk, and developing appropriate measures to incorporate flood control. ICEM’s Reservoir Flood Control Index (the Index) tool will identify these projects and provide an indication of basin-wide priorities for integrating flood control into reservoir design and operations.

The Index uses multi-criteria analysis to assess catchment hydrological characteristics (or the potential for flooding) against the physical and technical capacity of hydropower dams to store and release floodwater, as well as the possible extent of impact on downstream inhabitants and land-use. By using a two-step process, the Index integrates these diverse characteristics to rank flood threat, flood control and downstream damage for hydropower across the basin in a clear and transparent risk table. Planners can then consult the table to understand whether the reservoir will fall into one of the three main categories:

  • Priority reservoirs which require improvement of management to incorporate flood control;
  • Priority reservoirs which require improvement of reservoir design to incorporate flood control; and
  • Reservoirs that are located in areas with low flood threat […]

ICEM at the at 3rd Mekong Forum

ICEM led a session exploring the potential of renewable energy in the Lower Mekong Basin at the recent 3rd Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy (19-21 November 2013, Hanoi).
The key areas of focus were:

  • Whether small-scale and grid-connected renewables have the potential to substitute or complement the rapid rollout of large-scale hydropower in the Mekong;
  • The technical potential for alternative technologies in the region, and the ‘gap’ that exists between the planned renewable energy expansion and the large technical potential that remains untapped; and
  • The policies needed to promote regional growth in renewable energy supply.

Renewables and hydropower: complements or substitutes?

The electricity sector is the single largest source of GHG emissions. Proponents of large hydropower projects (i.e. with a capacity greater than 30MW) rightly emphasise low emissions relative to other sources of electricity. At the same time large hydropower remains controversial in the region due to significant direct environmental and social impacts. Concerns relating to both global and local environmental impacts have lead to calls for a more serious consideration of renewables as a low carbon alternative to large hydropower, but this begs the question as to the roles played by these very different technologies, and the relationship between them in electricity systems.

The lion’s share of power in lower Mekong basin countries currently comes from gas and large-scale hydropower. Only a small fraction – around 5% – is supplied by other renewables such as wind, solar, biogas and smaller-scale hydropower. But this modest beginning will form the basis for exponential growth. Current power development plans in the basin envisage five-fold renewable electricity generation grow from an estimated 3.5GW in 2010 to 15.5GW or 9% by 2025. Large-scale hydropower is also set to double from 18.2GW to 36GW. Unlike […]

By |December 28th, 2013|Energy news, Mekong news, News|0 Comments

Water shortage in Vietnam’s Central Highlands could be mitigated by utilising the Yali Reservoir

An ICEM study has revealed that the drought suffered by some communities in the Central Highlands of Vietnam could be substantially avoided, if they are given access to the vast resources of the Yali Reservoir.

People living in the Central Highlands of Vietnam are increasingly facing the challenges of  drought and extreme water shortage.  Many rivers and streams, which are used for agricultural,  irrigation and domestic consumption, often completely dry out  in the dry season. Worsening droughts threaten agriculture production, which not only affects community life, but also weakens the provincial economy. 

This is a particular challenge in the Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces – which is where the vast  Yali Reservoir is located. The Yali Reservoir is one of Vietnam’s largest, at 65 square km. Currently this reservoir supplies the hydropower dam, producing approximately 3,680 gigawatt hours (GWh) of power to the national grid system. Since commissioning in 2001, the reservoir has not been utilised by the communities of the Central Highlands. Instead, it has been solely used for the generation of electricity.

ICEM conducted a study as part of the Mekong Challenge Program on Water and Food  to assess whether water from this reservoir could be used to provide the water needs of local communities, and to analyse the  potential trade-offs in terms of energy production. The study investigated community water resource needs in the Yali catchment and found that livelihoods of communities here  – approximately 33, 200 people – rely heavily on water resources for their livelihoods. ICEM researchers considered whether the Yali Reservoir could be used to provide a steady water source for these communities, particularly in the dry season […]

By |September 24th, 2013|Mekong news, News, Vietnam news|0 Comments

ICEM and WorldFish awarded important project to study Mekong fish migration and hydrology

ICEM in partnership with WorldFish has been awarded a project from Cargill Foundation to study Mekong fish migration and hydrology, to inform the sustainable design of fish passes for proposed hydropower projects. The USD 580,000 study represents the first ever scientific assessment of the hydro-geomorphic conditions of fish migration dynamics on the Mekong River.
By |January 29th, 2013|Cambodia news, Lao PDR news, Mekong news, News|0 Comments