Water Resource Management and Sustainable Development Agenda for Lao PDR

Lao Water Partnership with support from GWP Southeast Asia held a seminar on 15 June 2015 to support the Government of Lao PDR’s policy in relation to preparation and finalization of national socio-economic development plan 2016-2020, Strategy 2025 and Vision 2030, which related to national sustainable development and green economy.

Mr. Thoumma Saleumxay, Deputy Director General of Department of Water Resource, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, chaired the meeting and expressed on the important of Integrated Water Resources Management, sustainable development management in Lao PDR in in his opening remarks.


Development is rapidly grown in the country in the past decade. Water resources are crucial and act as catalyst or center for livelihood of Lao people in the country whose majority live in the rural areas, near the river, stream, canal and other ecosystem. Most of people works are related to agriculture of about 80 percent of the population with link to water uses. In addition, water is important source of food and has income generated from water resources such as: agriculture-livestock, fishery, aquatic vegetables, bamboo shoot and others. 

The impact to natural resources especially water also occurred throughout the country, unsustainable use and multi-sectoral use of water is increasing versus demands. Water resources management  is  needed to ensure sustainable development and to raise greater awareness and in-depth understanding of the importance of water resources, priority areas in water resource management and development‚ direction and decisions.  Mechanisms are needed to coordinate activities implementation on the ground and at grass root level. 

37 participants (11 females) from government institution, private sector, NGO, Academy and resource person from Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and Ministry of Planning and Investment aware of this need and discussed on water resources management strategy contributing to sustainable development agenda of the country in the long run. And start put this understanding into the policy and plans. 

Securing the policy and plans are integrated and aligned with new national vision 2030, strategy 2025 and AP 2016-2020 (SDG, Green Growth, Result Based Planning), reduce the water risks, robust water governance, improve water resource facilities for climate change resilience and disaster risk reduction, sustainable use of water with more coordinated plans, etc. 

In addition, this workshop was a very good chance and platform to build better partnership among water resource management stakeholders with better understanding and coordination among each other as well as increase cooperation in the future. 

All participants agreed of this follow up action, such as:

  • ·         Continue to coordinate with stakeholders who joined the seminar as focal point.
  • ·         Promote and conduct awareness raising activities on water resource management and sustainable development.
  • ·         Government line agencies, private sectors and all related stakeholders in Lao PDR strongly urge to participate and joint implement the national water resources strategy 2025 with support and linkage with national socio-economic development plan, sustainable development goal, green growth.

·         Seek the fund for pilot project on integrated water resource management and sustainable development mechanism in practices.