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The Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Programme (MWBP) was a joint programme of the four riparian governments of the Lower Mekong Basin – Cambodia , Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam – managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), IUCN – The World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the Mekong River Commission (MRC), in collaboration with other key stakeholders. With funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP, The Royal Netherlands Government, MRCS, the Water and Nature Initiative (WANI) and other donors, the programme tried to address the most critical issues for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in the Mekong wetlands. The programme aimed to strengthen the capacity of organisations and people to develop sustainable livelihoods and manage wetland biodiversity resources wisely.

It aimed to:

  • Improve coordination for wetland planning from regional to local levels
  • Strengthen policy and economic environments for wetland conservation
  • Generate and share information
  • Train and build capacity for the wise use of wetlands
  • Create alternative options for sustainable natural resource use and improve livelihoods

The programme was intended as a five-year (2004-2009) intervention at three levels – regional, national and local – with demonstration wetland areas in each of the four countries: in the Songkhram river basin, Thailand; in Attapeu province in southern Lao PDR; in Stung Treng, Cambodia; and in the Plain of Reeds in the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam.

A significant body of work, data and information about wetlands biodiversity and livelihoods in the Mekong had been collected during the initial phase, from 2004 to the end of December 2006. Some of this had been published, or was almost ready for publication, others still required work to finalise, when it was decided not to pursue with a second phase of the programme. Additional funding from the Netherlands Government enabled the preparation of this annotated bibliography and accompanying CD with almost all the relevant reports, maps and information prepared during Phase A from 2004 – 2007.

These documents raise key findings and recommendations from the Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Programme (MWBP) about threats, opportunities, research, governance and policy gaps for improved wetlands management in the Lower Mekong Basin . They illustrate major economic values and worth of the products and services provided by wetlands and surrounding livelihoods in the region.

We sincerely hope that this collection of technical and working papers, assessments and action plans may sketch an inspiring and practical resource to wetlands biodiversity researchers and practitioners.

Peter-John Meynell
UNDP Team Leader
Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Programme