Vietnam Rivers Network’s 2015 Annual Meeting was held on December 12, 2015 in Hanoi. Nearly 100 delegates included representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, representatives of Department of Natural Resources and Environment from Tuyen Quang, Dak Nong, Dac Lac provinces, Earthrights International Organization, representatives of organizations and members of the Vietnam Rivers Network, journalists and representatives of communities of people living in the Lo-Gam and Srepok river basins attended the Meeting this year.
Ms. Dao Thi Viet Nga, a member of the Board of Management gave the opening remarks and welcomed the delegates to attend the Annual Meeting. In her speech, Ms. Nga appreciated effort and enthusiastic contributions of the network members as well as communities across the country to protect the resources of rivers in Vietnam. These activities illustrate the growth and strong development of Vietnam Rivers Network in the last ten years. The awareness on environmental protection has been remarkably improved, evidenced by the close cooperation among network members, the state agencies and the media.
Mrs. Dao Thi Viet Nga – Management Board member giving opening remarks
At the workshop, Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong Van, the Network’s National Coordinator, reported the activities that VRN has achieved in 2015. The report showed that activities related to water resources management and advocacy of hydroelectric dams on the Mekong mainstream have been implemented in all three North- Central-South regions. In 2015, VRN and its members have compiled a number of petitions sent to the authorities and stakeholders regarding the Rehabilitation Project on Dong Nai river. VRN also supported community sending their concerns about hydropower development in Mekong River to the governments in the region. These activities confirmed the pioneering role of VRN in water resources protection in the context of unsustainable resource use in Vietnam and in the Mekong Region.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong Van – National Coordinator reporting VRN activities in 2015
A report evaluating ten years of VRN operation over the past decade has been completed and shared in the Meeting by an independent consultant – Ms. Ngo Thu Hang. The report highlighted the successful efforts and tireless contribution of the VRN members to the mutual goals of in recent years. Besides, the report pointed out the difficulties, challenges and weaknesses that the network needs to face and overcome in the future. At the meeting, members of the Advisory Board, the Management Board and the all attending members contributed and added comments to this evaluation report. Dr. Le Anh Tuan, a member of the Advisory Board shared research results of a hydropower impact assessment on the Mekong mainstream (MDS) affecting the development of the Mekong Delta by group Experts Hydrological Institute Denmark (DHI).
Mrs.Ngo Thu Hang – independent auditors presented at the Workshop
In the next session, all attendants discussed 2016 VRN Action Plan made recommendations to promote active engagement of member organizations and community residents in the store different areas of the country. Activities undertaken by VRN in 2016 will be focused on the following key areas: (1) Monitoring and making recommendations for Law and decrees related to water resources; (2) Mobilizing to reduce river pollution; (3) Advocacy involves the construction and operation of hydropower projects affecting the environment and people’s lives; (4) and the Mekong mainstream dams.
Photo of members attending the 2015 Annual Meeting
Hopefully, VRN will continue to implement programs and practices efficiently in order to protect water resources in river basins in Vietnam and the Mekong region in 2016.