Griffith University researchers are working on a project to support improvement of water governance and management in Lao Peopleâ€™s Democratic Republic (PDR).
They will work with the National University of Laos, Laoâ€™s Department of Water Resources (DWR) at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), as well as representatives from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Australian Water Partnership.
After collaborating previously in 2017 as part of a short-term Australian Award Fellowship program, the Griffith experts will assist their partners in Lao PDR in developing ministerial agreements covering two areas: water quality management and water protection zones.
â€œProviding technical support to the Lao Government will help to improve the implementation of Lao PDRâ€™s Water and Water Resources Law and strengthen the achievement of the United Nationâ€™s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 [Clean Water and Sanitation],â€ said project lead Dr Andrea HaefnerÂ from Griffith Asia Institute.
This importance was also recognised by Rhonda Mann, First Secretary Water & Regional at the Australian Embassy in Laos who highlighted that, â€œAustralia recognises and supports the progress Laos has made in implementing the revised Water and Water Resources Law, which provides a framework and a mandate for an inter-sectoral, integrated approach to management of the shared resources.â€
The two ministerial agreements will help water resource management and ultimately contribute to achieving the SDGs in Lao PDR, most notably targets 6.3 (improving water quality) and 6.6 (protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems).
Dr Haefner will be joined by Griffith’s technical experts Professor Fran Sheldon and Professor David Hamilton, from the Australian Rivers Institute, and Dr Jacqui Robertson from the Law Futures Centre, as well as Dr Lachlan Guthrie from the International Water Centre and support from the International Business Development Unit.
This project has been funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Water Partnership.