As growth accelerates across the region, stronger PARTNERSHIPS, increased PARTICIPATION, and access to INFORMATION – across borders and sectors – are crucial for achieving responsible development. Increasingly, new dams, mines, roads, industrial zones and other projects are connecting communities and countries creating a more integrated region. Integration will distribute both benefits and risks throughout the region. To reduce the risks, inclusive decision-making practices need to be strengthened. Governments need to provide proper oversight. Business needs to be a strong partner. Information needs to be shared. And citizens need their voices heard.
Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) brings together regional governments, civil society and the private sector to support responsible development that makes sense economically, but still protects communities and the environment. Through partnerships, working groups and networks, we promote better informed decision making around large-scale development. We support robust Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) policy and meaningful participation of citizens.
Our vision is a Mekong region where social equity and environmental sustainability provide the foundation for regional prosperity.
WHAT IS MEKONG PARTNERSHIP FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
Mekong Partnership for the Environment is led by Pact, an international NGO, along with a consortium of local partners, including Internews, Stockholm Environment Institute, Wildlife Conservation Society, East West Management Institute, and others. We support constructive engagement between stakeholders to facilitate socially and environmentally responsible development decision-making processes in the Mekong region. We work with partners in Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Our primary donor is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
WHAT DOES MPE AIM TO ACHIEVE?
MPE supports responsible investment and participatory decision-making practices, such as Environmental Impact Assessments, to increase sound social and environmental safeguards for regional development. We take three approaches:
STRONG PARTNERSHIPS: We bring together civil society, business and governments because long-term prosperity depends on regional collaboration among all partners. MPE aims to advance social and environmental safeguards through robust EIAs and environmental and social risk management tools for investors. Governments can ensure clear policies and effective implementation. Businesses can work together to support common standards that are clear and fair. Banks can minimize risk by investing responsibly. And civil society can ensure community input so projects gain public support. MPE supports, networks and platforms to develop partnerships across stakeholder groups that help them reach these goals.
MEANINGFUL PARTICIPATION: We help civil society to constructively engage in development decisions because the impacts are increasingly being felt by citizens and communities across boundaries and borders. Community participation reduces the risk of conflict and can build stronger projects. Through events, research and program grants, and other activities, MPE supports civil society to help improve their capacity to participate.
ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION: We help decision-makers and the public get the vital information they need to make smart decisions. Businesses and governments need to know the impacts projects may have on communities and the environment. And the public needs access to that same information. Through networks, workshops, websites, research and other tools, MPE works with media, civil society and others to ensure information is accurate and available.
WHAT DOES MPE DO?
MPE supports civil society, government and the private sector from across the Mekong region through our:
EIA Working Group: A multi-stakeholder Regional Technical Working Group on EIA to develop regional guidelines on public participation for EIA and advance regional collaboration on EIA policy
Civil Society Network: A “network of networks” of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from around the region. CSOs access grants, dialogs with business and governments, and training to better participate in development decisions.
Journalist Network: The Mekong Matters Journalism Network, supporting, connecting and training over 100 journalists to report on regional development issues.
Finance Network: A Mekong Finance Sector Working Group connects with regional banks who are working towards broader adoption of responsible investment practices.
Info Portals: MPE supports three innovative regional websites:
- The Mekong Eye: curated and original news from our network of journalists and regional media, along with maps, visuals, resources and expert opinion (www.mekongeye.com)
- Open Development Mekong: a comprehensive storehouse of downloadable data on development trends, aggregated from across the region and presented on interactive maps (opendevelopmentmekong.net)
- Mekong Citizen: local stories, videos, blogs and groups to give voice to regional practitioners, youth and other active citizens (www.mekongcitizen.org)
Events, Grants & Info Products: MPE supports regional practitioners through workshops, network events, program grants, journalist funds, research grants, analytical reports and other tools.
- Learn more about applying for grants for civil society activities or small research grants from MPE by visiting the Thailand procurement page.
- Learn more about our Regional Technical Working Group on Environmental Impact Assessment
- Learn more about the Mekong Matters Journalism Network that MPE supports by visiting the Earth Journalism Network
- Check out The Mekong Eye for the best of the region’s environmental journalism
- Click on the tabs at the top of this page for events, newsletters, press releases, resources and contacts
See more at: Pact
Download our info sheet: MPE_FactSheet_08_15