Sumernet (Network)

Sumernet (the Sustainable Mekong Research Network) is a programme intended to build a long-term research network that informs and influences policy development on sustainable development issues in the Mekong region. Launched in 2005 with support from the Swedish government through the Royal Embassy of Sweden and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), Sumernet grew to include 14 member institutes in the first phase and has successfully catalyzed research on a number of critical development challenges in the Mekong region.

The Goal of Sumernet is to achieve sustainable development in the Mekong region catalyzed by strengthening knowledge-based policy processes. Phase 2 will continue to contribute to this long-term goal of the region in its new phase of 3 years (2010-2012).

To achieve this goal, Sumernet has a strategic role to play in enhancing:

  • Knowledge-policy interface, especially the deployment of networks to produce policy impact.
  • Regional ownership with expanded membership and engagement with other regional policy forums and networks.
  • Delivery of credible research products on key sustainable development issues of the region.
  • Enhancing policy impacts through communications and outreach.
  • Stimulating independent discourse on the key sustainable development issues of the region to support policies for sustainability.

Sumernet Phase 2 will put knowledge-based policy engagement at the heart of its activities. Building on the research collaboration established in Phase 1, the network will constructively engage with policy processes to understand how researchers can provide policy-relevant knowledge that is available to and understood by policy makers in the region. 

Supporting and sustaining high quality research is at the heart of Sumernet.  From the wide vista of sustainable development challenges in the region, four research areas have been identified as the strategic research themes for Phase 2:

  1. Ecosystem services, resource use and impacts, including: (a) conservation of critical ecosystems, (b) environmental sustainability, (c) biodiversity corridors, and (d) economic corridor sustainability.
  2. Trans-boundary issues. The focus is on the analysis of long-term impacts of national economics including trade and natural resources use on the sustainability of the region, and on searching for sustainable paths for regional cooperation and development.
  3. Energy & climate change: energy security, climate change and linkages of the two with economic development. The research under this theme directly aims at this target to support the formulation or development of national strategies in this area.
  4. Poverty and livelihoods: This theme is linked with the other three themes described above and will be a thread that runs through all aspects of Sumernet research activities.

 

Content

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Small Islands and Climate Change

Promoting an understanding of the vulnerabilities and resilience of islands not only among SIDS but also among countries with islands. 

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Adaptation Knowledge Platform for Asia

Strengthening linkages between adaptation and the sustainable development agenda whilst enhancing institutional and research capacity.

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Girls and boys take part in a climate change adaptation project activity in Thailand

Understanding climate change vulnerability and adaptation among young women and girls

A study of young women and girls' climate change vulnerability, impact and adaptation among ethnic minority communities in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

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gis

Application of GIS and Remote Sensing for Environment and Flood Risk Management in Central Viet Nam

This project assessed and implemented new methods and reviewed existing methods of categorising land use in the Mekong areas of Viet Nam and the links between flooding and land-use.

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Mekong Delta

Communicating water-related climate change risks to improve local adaptation in the Mekong delta

The main objective of this project was to understand how different stakeholders in Thailand perceived different types, levels and sources of water-related climate change risks and uncertainties.

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Tropical forest

Evaluation of Pilot Program on Payment for Forest Environmental Services in Vietnam

The pilot project on “Payments for Forest Environmental Services” (PFES) showed promise as a mechanism for forest management and poverty reduction in Lam Dong and Son La provinces in Vietnam.

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Fishermen

Participatory Social Return on Investment (PSROI): Greater Mekong Basin Climate Change Adaptation Planning and Costing Project

The Participatory Social Return on Investment (PSROI) framework assists in the identification of priorities and the analysis of the value of adaptation actions that build community resilience from stakeholders’ perspectives.

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River delta

Communicating water-related climate change risks to improve local adaptation in the Mekong delta

In the past, the annual floods in Cambodia after the monsoonal rains were viewed as predictable in timing and non-destructive in nature, bringing benefits such as sediment for crops and increased fish catches. More recently, the annual floods are more destructive, damaging rice farms livestock and infrastructure as well as resulting in disease outbreaks.

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