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The Lower Mekong River Region


First regional workshop

Phnom Penh, 6/7 May 2002

Hosted by the Mekong River Commission (MRC)


Download the report on the first regional workshop [PDF 170 KB]

The first regional review workshop hosted by the MRC provided an opportunity for representatives of the national review teams to share the lessons of the past decade and to discuss the results of the field studies.

Government and institutional representatives from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar attended the workshop along with representatives from UNDP, ADB, WWF, IUCN, Fauna and Flora International, SDC, Danida, ICLAM, Wetlands International, ICEM and the MRC Secretariat.

List of participants



The objectives of the workshop were:

  1. To exchange views on the lessons learned from the past decade of experience with protected areas and development in the region;
  2. To present and discuss the findings of the four field studies on the economic contributions of protected areas;
  3. To define key national and regional issues for further analysis and attention through the review;
  4. To identify the most appropriate ways to integrate protected area economic benefits and development planning at national, sector and local levels.



Day 1

Welcome Remarks
H.E. Dr Mok Mareth, Minister, Ministry of Environment and Vice Chairman of CNMC, Cambodia

Opening Remarks
Joern Kristensen, CEO, Secretariat of the Mekong River Commission

Protected areas as productive units of the economy
David James, Senior review economist


Presentation of field studies

Flag of Lao PDRLao PDR: Nam Et and Phou Loei National Biodiversity Conservation Areas
Presented by Kaisorn Thanthathep, Senior Expert, Science, Environmental Research Institute Technology and Environment Agency

Flag of VietnamVietnam: Thua Thien Hue Province
Presented by Vu Huy Thu, Vice Director, Department of Fisheries Management and Protection, MoFi

Flag of ThailandThailand: The Eastern Forests Complex in Rayong and Chanthaburi provinces
Presented by Piti Kantangkul, Head of Natural Resource Management Branch, Agriculture and Natural Resources Ecomonic Development, Economic Faculty, Kasetsart University

Flag of CambodiaCambodia: The South West Cluster of Protected Areas
Presented by Ros Seilava, Financial Controller, Ministry of Finance and Heng Sophearith, Environment Programme Coordinator, Cambodia National Mekong Committee


Working group discussion
Working groups on day one focused on three questions:

  1. What are the key lessons from the field study reports for the Region?
  2. How can the contributions of protected ares to development be enhanced?
  3. How can we achieve better integration of protected areas into the local, national and regional development process?


Day 2

Presentations of lessons learned on protected areas and development

Flag of Lao PDRLao PDR
Presented by Savanh Chanthakoumane, Senior Officer, Department of Forestry, MAF

Flag of Lao PDRLao PDR: Hydropower development and protected areas
Presented by Oudomsak Philavong, Project Officer, LNMC.

Flag of VietnamVietnam
Presented by Tran Quoc Bao, Head of Nature Conservation and Environment Protection Division, FDP/MARD

Flag of ThailandThailand
Presented by by Wallop Bangkurdpol

Flag of Special Focus on Cambodia

The Cambodian experience
Kol Vothana, Deputy Director, DNCP, Ministry of Environment

Economic planning and protected areas
Ros Seilava, Financial Controller, Ministry of Economy and Finance

Forestry development and protected areas
Lic Vuthy, Forest and Wildlife Research Institute, Department of Forestry and Wildlife, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Fisheries development and protected areas
Pich Serey Vath, Ministry of Fisheries


Working group discussion
Working groups and discussions on day two focused on two questions:

  1. What are the key regional issues for protected areas and economic planning (eg. water, trade, and transboundary ecosystems)?
  2. What are the strategies for dealing with these issues on a regional scale?


Summary of workshop discussion


Closing Remarks
Joern Kristensen, CEO, Secretariat of the Mekong River Commission




The workshop provided direction and guidance for the review, particularly by making specific recommendations relating to the important issues for inclusion in the national and regional reports.

The workshop helped reinforce the regional protected areas and development network established through the review and enhance ongoing exchange between its members. It raised awareness on the methods for gathering information on the economics of protected areas and the use of that information in influencing national and local development planning. The working group sessions at the workshop also provided advice on the most appropriate ways to integrate protected area benefits into development planning.