Basin Development Strategy priorities and results chain

Considering the strategic needs, risks and challenges, as well as sustainable development opportunities, the BDS sets out a results chain directed at improving the State of Mekong Basin in the next 5-10 years, taking into account the Basin Vision and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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“An Economically Prosperous, Socially Just, Environmentally Sound and Climate Resilient Mekong River Basin”

The Mekong River Basin Vision embodies a balance between economic development, social justice and environmental integrity, with climate resilience a cross-cutting focus. All dimensions are equally important to achieving the sustainable development, utilisation, and conservation of the basin’s water and water-related resources.

Economically Prosperous The Basin is one with substantially higher GDP and higher incomes for the people that live there. Inclusive economic growth is driven by the continued shift to industrial and service sector led economies, creating opportunities for all groups and helping eradicate poverty. Agriculture is more productive and globally competitive with an emphasis on higher value and green produce, using improved technology. Navigation enables people and bulk goods to move long distances cheaply, safely and environmentally friendly. Energy generation from hydropower and other renewable sources provides low-carbon, reliable and affordable electricity for all. New economic potential is realised in nature-based tourism, leveraging the basin’s unique environment and culture.

Socially Just The Basin is one where the benefits of water resource development are shared with the people impacted by those developments, in order that sustainable livelihoods for all people are possible. There is less direct dependence on water-related resources as people previously in vulnerable situations have opportunities to earn higher incomes in other sectors and increase their standard of living. The Basin is food, water and energy secure and economic growth is inclusive. Men and women have equal opportunity to realise their full potential through access to and control of economic resources.

Environmentally Sound The Basin is one where people live in harmony with nature, where the remaining environmental assets, especially the important wetlands and natural forests, are protected from further decline. Natural resources are managed sustainably within ecological limits so that ecosystem services including flood and drought protection are maintained for the benefit of the countries’ economies and people. The basin remains one of the world’s most biodiverse places with sufficient habitat and regulatory controls to arrest the decline in species. Watersheds serve an important role as refuge for plants and animals, regulating runoff and groundwater recharge and reducing soil erosion.

Climate Resilient The Basin of 2040 has enough water during the dry season to minimise the effect of droughts while salinity intrusion in the delta is not materially worse, even as sea-level rises. Water is of good quantity and quality to enable sustainable development while minimising water-related disasters. Flood impacts are less severe through a combination of upstream reservoirs, protected floodplain areas, and by coordinating the design, location, construction and operation of flood protection infrastructure. Transboundary flood management effectively operates as a single integrated system between countries.