PCCP organizes jointly with the MRC a training workshop on Transboundary Water Conflict Management and International Water Governance
A training workshop on Transboundary Water Conflict Management and International Water Governance, organized by PCCP and the Mekong River Commission was held from 3 to 10 June 2009 at the Mekong Institute in Khon Kaen, Thailand. This course was organized in cooperation with USAid, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education.
The workshop brought together two types of participants:
- Eight policy and decision-makers. They came from ministries or National Mekong Committees. They were at the level of assistant director general, deputy director general, deputy of secretary general.
- Twenty three mid-level professionals and academics who address the subject not only nationally but also regionally in organizations (e.g. ministries, National Mekong Committees) related to water, public works, foreign affairs, environment, agriculture and forestry as well as academics who have the potential of becoming future trainers.
The objectives of this training workshop were to allow the participants to:
- Learn, analyze and apply principles of international law and treaties relevant for the Mekong context;
- Identify, analyze and understand issues, differences and disputes related to floods and flood management;
- Select and apply appropriate approaches and techniques that can address, mitigate and resolve issues, differences and disputes.
For some participants (mainly those coming from academic institutions) this training was also aimed at building their own training skills for future training phases in the region.
The training workshop started with a review of the main issues related to transboundary water management. It presented the participants with the main principles of international law and treaties relevant for the Mekong context such as the Mekong Agreement of 1995. It addressed international and regional best practices, instruments and case studies in the field of water conflict management. Examples of local and regional practice as well as examples drawn from other international river basins were presented.
The workshop then provided an intensive training on the different approaches and techniques that are needed to address transboundary water conflicts. It presented a wide array of dispute resolution tools and techniques needed for successful negotiations, such as, but not limited to, active listening, the identification of position and interests of parties in a conflict, the preparation of negotiation processes and how to handle stalemates in cooperative dialogues.
Assignments, role plays and simulations were used to illustrate the theoretical part of the workshop and involve the participants in a practical way.