Mainstreaming ecosystem-based climate change adaptation into integrated water resources management in the Mekong region

Sebesvari, Z., Rodrigues, S. and Renaud, F. (2017) Mainstreaming ecosystem-based climate change adaptation into integrated water resources management in the Mekong region. Regional Environmental Change, 17(7), pp. 1907-1920. (doi: 10.1007/s10113-017-1161-1)

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Abstract

Efficient, equitable, and transboundary management of the water resources of the Mekong River Basin (MRB) is challenged by ongoing and accelerating alteration of the river hydrology, land use, water quality, and the uncertainties associated with climate change and its future impacts. Integrated water resources management (IWRM) institutions and mechanisms offer a good entry point for the uptake and implementation of climate change adaptation measures. This review paper provides an overview about IWRM approaches in the MRB and ongoing processes as well as opportunities to mainstream climate change adaptation into existing basin strategies and water management instruments. The review clearly shows that approaches taken by the Mekong River Commission, the Greater Mekong Subregional Economic Cooperation Program, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with respect to water resources management are largely complementary and synergies could be increased to incorporate climate change adaptation into existing schemes. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) has a great potential in the region as its economy is still largely based on the use of natural resources. Despite this acknowledgment, the inclusion of EbA measures as a sustainable land and water management tool for climate change adaptation is still relatively new in the MRB context. We argue that mainstreaming EbA measures in IWRM-guided basin development planning offers no-regret and flexible solutions and opportunities and allows for action despite the considerable uncertainties decision-makers face.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Renaud, Professor Fabrice
Authors: Sebesvari, Z., Rodrigues, S., and Renaud, F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Regional Environmental Change
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1436-3798
ISSN (Online):1436-378X
Published Online:17 May 2017

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