HomeNewsFifteen Year Sedone Riverbasin Sustainable Development and Management Plan Adopted

Sedone Riverbasin Sustainable Development and Management Plan Adopted

Lao, PDR – The Sedone Riverbasin contributes an average annual stream flow of 3.3 million m3, which accounts for 4.3% of the total stream flow to the Mekong River (DWR and WREA 2008). The Sedone River has a length of 1,574 km with five main tributaries namely Houay Namsay, Xeset, Houay Kapeu, Houay Palay and Houay Champi. Despite the abundance of water in river, a large part of the basin has poor water holding capacity, except on the volcanic Boloven Plateau, which can retain substantial amount of water during the dry season. About 92% of the annual discharge occurs during the rainy season and about 8% in the dry season. Severe water shortage is experienced during the dry season which is most pronounced in the tributaries of Sedone, Xelabam and Xeset rivers where hydropower plants have been established. The stakeholders aim to address these through a long-term implementation of the plan.
To help address these concerns, the Department of Water Resources (DWR), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), together with the Provincial Offices of Natural Resources and Environment (PoNRE) of Champasack, Saravanne and Sekong in Southern Laos adopted the Sedone Riverbasin Sustainable Development and Management Plan (2015-2030). The 15-year Management Plan was signed for implementation on mid-September 2014 by the head of the PoNRE and the DWR. The Management Plan embodies the collective vision of various stakeholders for "sustainable socioeconomic development, improved quality of life and enriched culture for the present and future generations" in Sedone basin. The plan covers 7,229 km2 of land area within the 13 districts across the provinces of Saravan, Sekong and Champasack. The implementation of the plan is expected to benefit 620,790 people living in the basin.
Four (4) major action programs are included in the Management plan focusing on the protection and management of forest, biodiversity-rich areas and other natural habitats; the sustainable development of water resources; the pursuit of socioeconomic and livelihood activities, consistent with cultural traditions; and the strengthening of governance mechanisms to effectively implement and monitor an integrated approach to manage and sustain the Sedone Riverbasin. Several specific targets are included under the Management Plan which are in line with the Government of Laos’ targets on poverty reduction and environmental management, including the Natural Resources and Environment Strategy 2015-2030.
Key principles integrated into the Plan include developing the Sedone Riverbasin based on its ecological capacity, promoting partnerships among various stakeholders and strengthening institutional and stakeholders’ capacity to develop and enforce policies, laws and regulations for effective management of the Sedone Riverbasin.
Implementation of the management plan will be a collective effort among the various stakeholders led by the concerned agencies in the three provinces and monitoring will be done through the regular meeting of the Provincial-level steering committees.
Author: Singthong Phantamala, Technical staff, Department of Water Resources (DWR)