Press release: SUMERNET policy forum

Agus Nugroho By Agus Nugroho - May 19, 2014

On 4 March 2013, a day before the opening of the Mekong Environmental Symposium (MES) 2013, the Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET) of Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) will hold a policy forum on “Local Government Planning and Policy in a Rapidly Changing Mekong Region: A Dialogue at the Boundaries”.

SUMERNET’s half-day policy forum brings together invited panelists involved in policy and planning in the riparian countries of the Mekong Region. 

The invited panelists – both practitioners and analysts including local government agencies – will share their perspectives on: Managing change in urbanizing regions, and Incentives for more sustainable agriculture and forestry (please see details of venue, panelist profiles and forum agenda below).

The forum offers an opportunity for practitioners and analysts to share perspectives and discuss how key challenges to sustainability are addressed in their work. 

The policy forum will help to explore the kinds of relationships and information flows that are needed across the boundaries between planning and decision-making on the one-hand and research or analysis on the other.

MES 2013 to be held on 5-7 March 2013 in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City brings together more than 300 participants including scientists and governmental decision-makers to address topics crucial to the future of the Mekong Basin such as river ecology, environmental monitoring, hydrology, socio-economics, energy, disaster management, and trade (see SEI press release on SUMERNET researchers in the MES for more details).

This is an open forum. Media and interested people are welcome. If attending, we kindly request you to confirm your participation by 1st March by emailing

SEI welcomes inquiries from the media on SUMERNET work and topics being presented in the MES 2013 and for interviews with panelists and researchers. Please contact Agus Nugroho ( or Rajesh Daniel (email:


Grand Hotel Saigon
8 Dong Khoi Street, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam 
Tel: +84 8 3915-5555;

Brief Profiles of Panelists 

Mr Trinnawat Suwanprik, Sanitation Researcher, Chiang Mai Municipality, Thailand

A government official with Chiang Mai municipality, Mr Trinnawat Suwanprik received his Master’s in Environmental Engineering from Naresuan University, Thailand. He is a research partner with AIT and Hue City, Vietnam on the SUMERNET research project “Sustainable urban tourism through low carbon initiative: Experiences from Hue and Chiang Mai”. 


Ngo Cong Chinh, Director, Research Center on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change, Asian Management and Development Institute (AMDI), Vietnam

Mr Ngo Cong Chinh is an expert in DRR, climate change adaptation, and sustainable development. He has led a number of projects and research on DRR and CCA with key stakeholders in Vietnam and the Mekong region.


Dr. Thun Vathana, Manager, Rural Agricultural Development Association (RADA), Cambodia

Dr Thun Vathana is Manager of RADA, an organization focusing on rice seed production through contract farming. Trained as an agricultural economist, he is a lecturer at the Royal Cambodian University of Agriculture since 1996. 


Mr. Phouvieng Sikaysone, Deputy Head of the Information, Culture and Tourism Office, Vang Vieng District, Vientiane Province, Lao PDR

Mr. Phouvieng has played an important role as boundary partner in one of the SUMERNET research projects on “Impact of Urban Expansion on the Hinterland and Local Responses in the Mekong Region: A Study in Khon Kaen and Vang Vieng.


Mr. Mai Tan Nhung, Agriculture Commune Officer, An Giang Province, Vietnam

Mr. Nhung in his capacity as commune officer in charge of Agricultural sector in one of the commune in An Giang Province, has played an essential role supporting SUMERNET research project on “Communicating water-related climate change risks to improve local adaptation in the deltas of the Mekong Region”.


Dr. Maniemai Thongyou, Deputy Director for Research in the Center for Research on Plurality in the Mekong Region, Khon Kaen University, Thailand.

Dr. Maniemai has the expertise and interest in rural development and planning particularly she is very familiar with the context of North-Eastern Thailand. In her capacity as Deputy Director of Research, she has been actively leading and contributing towards research project under SUMERNET addressing urban expansion and it implications in Khon Kaen (Thailand) and Vang Vieng (Lao PDR).


Mr. Vo Dinh Tho, Director, Vietnam Fund for Forest Development and Protection, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam

Mr. Tho is instrumental for providing cooperation and collaboration with SUMERNET research partners in his capacity in support of research project addressing evaluation of payment for environmental services in Lam Dong, Vietnam.


Mr. Win Htut Aung, Asian Development and Research Institute, Myanmar

Mr. Win is currently leading the team from Asian Development and Research Institute (ADRI) in the collaborative research on “Making economic integration work for the rural poor through contract farming practices”. ADRI itself, where Mr. Win is affiliated, is the only research institute which is actively involved not only in Myanmar market but also in the international markets especially in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS).


Ms. Bui Huy Hop, Department of International Cooperation, Vietnam Academy of Agriculture Science, Vietnam

Ms. Hop has been actively involved in facilitating her institution, VAAS, collaborative work with other International Institution, including in SUMERNET research project addressing planning and costing on climate change adaptation efforts in Mekong region.

You can download the printable version of press release here (PDF Format)




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Sustainable Mekong Research Network

Building research for policy towards sustainable development in the Mekong Region

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