The Wetlands Alliance Programme | WWF

The Wetlands Alliance Programme

Posted on
17 December 2006
Over 100 million people in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Lao PDR are heavily dependent upon coastal and inland fisheries for both subsistence and income. Effective management of coastal and inland wetlands and aquatic resources is vital for the future well-being of these people, and for biodiversity conservation.

WWF is a key implementing partner for the Wetland Alliance Programme (WAP), which is jointly managed by four organizations: WWF, WorldFish Center, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and the Coastal Resources Institute of the Prince of Songkla University (CORIN). Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA), WAP operates in four lower Mekong countries, and aims to build capacity of local change agents to improve management of wetlands, and to improve livelihoods of the poor living around wetlands.

WAP operates in nine areas, mostly building onto existing WWF projects on the ground. In Lao PDR, WAP works in Vientiane, where WWF will soon start the That Luang Marsh management project, as well as seven provinces of southern Lao PDR, building onto the WWF Community Fishery Programme and the Xekong River Management Project.

The Lao-Cambodia border area of the Mekong main stem is another ecologically critical area that includes a diversity of riverine habitats, important for many migratory fish species and the Mekong Irrawaddy dolphin. Here, provincial governments on both sides of the border have recently reached an agreement to work together, after two years of facilitation through the Mekong River Commission (MRC).

WAP will support implementation of this key agreement, where WWF will also start a transboundary wetland management project. Moving further downriver on the Cambodian part of the Mekong, WAP works in the Stung Treng - Kratie Mekong stretch, where the Cambodia Mekong Dolphin Conservation Project (CMDCP) operates. Coastal Cambodia is another WAP area, which borders with southern Vietnam, where the WWF Vietnam Marine Programme has been working on dugong and sea grass conservation.

In Vietnam, WAP also works in Quang Nam Province, where the WWF MOSAIC Project works within the Annamite mountain range and a marine project works on Cu Lao Cham Marine Protected Area. In Thailand, WAP will build onto the WWF Marine Programme in Krabi, as well as the WWF Community Wetland Management Project in Nong Khai Province.

Since the launch of WAP in April 2006, WAP partners have been conducting a series of consultations in each area, to prioritize local needs for specific WAP interventions. As a result, WAP currently has a range of interventions varying from site to site including: strengthening capacity for managing fisheries and riparian vegetation; developing capacity to support alternative income generation and tourism management; strengthening inter-sectoral coordination bodies for wetland and aquatic resources management; and strengthening capacity of educational institutions to support wetland and aquatic resources management through research, in-service training, and degree courses.

For more information, please contact: Yumiko Yasuda, Livelihoods and Sustainable Resource Use Coordinator, Living Mekong Programme
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