About Us


Vietnam Rivers Network (hereafter referred to as VRN) is an open forum whose membership comprises a broad set of actors concerned with river protection and sustainable development in Vietnam, including NGO’s representatives, researchers, academics, government officials, local communities and individuals. VRN was established in November 2005 and coordinated by The Centre for Water Resource Conservation and Development (WARECOD). Since 2012, Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD) take turn to be responisble for overall coordinatation of VRN’s activities including activities in Central Vietnam. WARECOD continues to faciliate the activities in the North and Centre for Biodiversity and Development (CBD) continues to faciliate the activities in the South. Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) is supporting VRN in advocacy work particularly in the area of energy and development. 

Strategic objectives

  • The network acts as a multi-stakeholder forum to create opportunities for all people interested in protecting rivers and water resources to exchange information, knowledge and experiences.
  • VRN enhances awareness and the capacity of its network members and communities to promote their direct participation in water resource and river system protection and management, as well as in adaptation to the risks and challenges related to water and rivers in Vietnam.
  • VRN expands and intensifies its coalitions and cooperation with both relevant domestic and overseas stakeholders to protect water resources, rivers systems and the livelihoods of communities living in river basins.
  • VRN undertakes the role of independently monitoring, evaluating, and advocating for policies that are related to water resources, based on the evidence.

Key themes

  • Social and environmental impacts of hydropower development;
  • River pollution;
  • Impacts of climate change on water resources and livelihood of riverine communities;
  • Impacts of mining activities on rivers, water resources and affected communities;
  • Watershed forest protection, rivers biodiversity protection;
  • World Bank and ADB safeguard policy monitoring.

Some key projects

  • Running some activities of VRN funded by McKnight Foundation such as information sharing, small studies and science workshop;
  • Capacity Strengthening of VRN: Advocacy and Research on rivers and sustainable energy in Vietnam, funded by ICCO;
  • Building up monitoring and advocacy skills for VRN members to engage with Multilateral Development Banks in Vietnam, co-funded by GGF, KEPA, BIC and International Rivers.
  • Monitoring the implementation of World Bank safeguard policies in the Trung Son hydropower project, co-funded by Care Vietnam, KEPA and Oxfam Hong Kong.
  • Contributing to revised Water Law, funded by IUCN
  • Strengthening the communities’ resilience to the potential risk from proposed dams on the Mekong mainstream
  • Strengthening VRN’s engagement in monitoring ADB and WB funded projects in water and hydropower sector in VN

Some achievements

  • Current total number of VRN members is nearly 300 nation wide
  • 24 bi-monthly newsletters were published and have been distributed to the network members and to other interested people. The newsletters include a whole range of information relating to water and rivers conservation and to alternative energy, both internationally and domestically.
  • Enhancing capacity for members by providing training on research, monitoring, assessment skills on river water quality and other river – related issues.
  • Findings of 26 small studies on topics such as rivers, hydropower were presented to the authorities at all level and relevant agencies.
  • Cooperating with scientists, media to do public awareness raising on challenges from dam development, rivers pollution to communities livelihoods and natural ecosystems.
  • VRN has actively participated in criticizing and givingvaluable recommendations on social and environmental impacts assessment reports: (1) Trung Son hydropower project, funded by ADB from 2010 to 2015. (2) Dong Nai 6 and 6A hydropower projects. (3) Research, advocate to stop Xayaburi dam plan on Mekong mainstream.
  • Enhancing civil society voice in contributing to the revised Water Law.