The Mekong is the longest river in Southeast Asia, beginning its 4,200 km journey in the mountains of the Tibetan Plateau, passing six countries and reaching the South China Sea. Policy reforms to adopt integrated water resources management had been initiated and water related laws had been developed. However, there were still major gaps in the supporting knowledge and information. IUCN and its program Water &Nature Initiative (WANI) supported to scale up so called Tai Baan research (villagers’ research) that enabled local communities to represent their own social reality and through media and public forum, this knowledge can be mainstreamed into water management research and implementation.
Rural and peri-urban areas are often neglected when making infrastructure investments. However, these areas could gain from treatment of domestic wastewater through the construction of wetlands. In Bulgaria, the problem of wastewater treatment was addressed through the construction of a wetland for treating wastewater from domestic sources. The lesson learnt is the importance of community initiatives.