Integrated Water Resources Management-based Basin Development Strategy 2016-2020 for the Lower Mekong Basin

The Basin Development Strategy for 2016- 2020 (henceforth BDS 2016-2020) replaces the 2011-2015 Strategy. This updating re ects the dynamic challenges encountered in the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB).
The Mekong, one of the world’s greatest rivers, is an exceptionally complex system with high intra-annual and inter-annual ow variability caused by the Southwest Monsoon, bringing both great risks and opportunities. It is also a rapidly changing river because of its contribution to the rapid economic development of the basin countries, but also as a consequence of this development on the river itself, including the impacts of increasing population, urbanisation and industrialisation. Adding to these on-going changes are uncertain futures, particularly as a consequence of climate change. In all river basins, futures are uncertain and solutions are always provisional. This is particularly so in the Mekong basin due to the rapidity of change, within and outside the water sector. The dynamic updating of the Strategy is an essential response to these challenges. This updating aims to engage stakeholders in a regular cycle of cooperative engagement, re ective analysis, adaptive strategy preparation and pragmatic, achievable action.

Adaptation to climate change in the countries of the Lower Mekong Basin: regional synthesis report

The Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) covers an area of approximately 606,000 km2 within the countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Based on the outcomes of recent national and regional studies, there is growing concern about the potential effects of climate change on the socio-economic characteristics and natural resources of the LMB region. There is an identified need for a more informed understanding of the potential impacts from climate change. In response, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) has launched the regional Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative (CCAI). The CCAI is a collaborative regional initiative designed to address the shared climate change adaptation challenges of LMB countries. The Regional Synthesis Report (RSR) has been prepared as part of the initial phase of the CCAI to provide a snapshot of current knowledge and activities related to climate change in the LMB countries. The speci c objectives of the RSR are:
• To inform a wide audience of the current state of knowledge of climate change issues in LMB countries and across the region;
• To provide up to date information on regional and national adaptation activities and policy and institutional responses in relation to climate change;
• To present the results of a climate change ‘gap analysis’ identifying information de ciencies and shortcomings in planned activities and policy and institutional responses;
• To present a series of recommendations for future climate change related actions in the LMB.

TRANSBOUNDARY DIALOGUE under Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management Project

The Mekong River flows 4,900 km across six countries in Southeast Asia from China to Vietnam before emptying into the sea. It is one of the largest and most bio-diverse rivers in the world, providing rich ecosystems and abundant natural resources to the riverine countries and their people. It is important to manage the resources beyond national boundaries as water, fish and sediment, all flow from one country to another. However, governing the river across borders has been a challenge for the Mekong countries due to differing national interests and priorities. Transboundary dialogue can help reduce tension and increase cooperation among countries. The Mekong River Commission (MRC) supports its four member countries in the Lower Mekong Basin – Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam – to enhance transboundary cooperation through the Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management Project (M-IWRMP). The project promotes IWRM practices of coordinated planning and management with the application of MRC’s procedural rules, known as Procedures, and technical tools on water use planning, data sharing and flow monitoring.
The project originally began in 2009 with three inter-linked regional, transboundary and national components to increase IWRM-based water cooperation among the four countries at both basin-wide and local levels. The regional component, funded by the Australian government, was completed in 2015 after it advanced the application of the MRC Procedures and their technical guidelines and developed a package of modeling tools for basin-scale water utilisation. While the transboundary component focuses on bilateral water cooperation, the national component supports each member country to improve governance mechanisms and build technical capacity to carry out coordinated planning and utilisation of water within the national boundaries. The World Bank finances both the transboundary and national components.

Do No Harm: A Toolkit for the Tourism Industry

This Do No Harm toolkit has been developed for businesses, not-for-profit and government organisations that directly or indirectly supply goods or services to the tourism, travel and hospitality industries.
The toolkit presents a background to conflict, peace and Do No Harm in the context of the tourism sector. This is followed by practical analysis templates to help tour operators and companies approach their business activities in a manner that promotes positive relationships with, and limits the risks of causing harm to, local people and places.
This toolkit was developed by the UK aid-funded Business Innovation Facility (BIF) in Myanmar, in collaboration with CDA Collaborative Learning Projects. As Myanmar is the first country in which an international donor has supported training programmes on tourism and Do No Harm approaches, the practical examples and case studies in this report are based on field experiences from BIF Myanmar.
The toolkit is also intended to be relevant to other nations undergoing significant periods of political or economic transition and aims to contribute to the responsible and inclusive growth of the tourism sector.

The Development and Service Quality Management of Hotel Business in Lao PDR

Lao PDR is selected as the World Best Tourism Destination for 2013 by European
Council on Tourism and Trade. Enriched with natural and cultural spots under the
slogan of “Simple Beautiful”, Lao PDR attracted more than 3.2 million visitors in 2012
or a half of its population, which has increased by over 3-folds as compared to 2005.
This achievement suggests that the boom in hotel industry will be continuing in the
following years. This paper aims to review the historical development and to examine
the service quality management in hotel business in Lao PDR. The study finds that
the recent development of hotel business in Lao PDR can be devided into three phases
as of Prior to 1986, 1987 to 1999, and from 2000 until the present. About 40% of hotels
in the country concentrates in the Vientiane Capital. The birth rate is especially high
in recent years. Domestic private firms still dominate the majority of the total,
whereas foreign investment and joint venture show a fast growing

BIF Burma (Myanmar): Tourism Market Analysis and Strategy

The BIF Advisory Group short-listed the tourism market as a priority for further investigation in December 2013 following a high score for this market in the BIF market selection process. Key points that were noted by the AG to make this a market of great interest to BIF included1:
 High growth rate of the market (30% per annum);
 Important to the economy. Tourism contributed 1.5% of GDP in 2012 with significant growth
predicted well into the future;
 Many sites of special historical, cultural and natural interest which attract high spend visitors,
as well as several as yet undeveloped potential tourism sites and coastline;
 Strong government interest in and support for the market. Tourism is a national government
priority and has been prioritised in the government’s framework for economic and social reforms.

Community-Based Tourism in Myaing and Thandaunggyi

This research aims to explore the community’s participation in CBT initiatives and the impact of CBT on host communities including how CBT could be seen as an engine of household income and therefore local economic development. This study specifically focuses on the community-based tourism of Myaing, Magway Region and Thandaunggyi, Kayin State which were both initiated under the previous government.