(ADPC) and its consortium members*, through SERVIR-Mekong, an initiative funded
by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in
partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),
recently partnered with key water resources agencies in Vietnam and Thailand to
help enhance their water resources management.
collaboration was officially recognized on January 11, 2017, in Hanoi, where
ADPC Executive Director Hans Guttman and Vietnam Academy of Water Resources
(VAWR) Director General Dr. Nguyen Vu Viet signed a Memorandum of Understanding
VAWR is a leading
research institution of science and technology in water resources in the
region, advising Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on
national strategy, programs, and plans in the science and technology of
irrigation, hydropower, environment, prevention and mitigation of natural
disasters, and adaptation to climate change. VAWR also performs scientific
research and provides technology transfer as well as consultant services in
investment and construction in water resources, hydropower, and more.
"The signing of
this MoU between the Vietnam Academy of Water Resources and ADPC marks a
milestone in how the USAID- and NASA-partnered SERVIR-Mekong program is shaping
cooperation in climate change action and disaster risk management in the Lower
Mekong region,” said Guttman. “Through the technical assistance mechanism**,
VAWR was able to reach out to SERVIR-Mekong to begin a fruitful partnership
that will only get stronger with this MoU in place.”
Vu Viet expressed his
thanks to ADPC for their cooperation and his hopes for “fruitful collaboration
between ADPC and VAWR in 2017, to contribute more to natural resources
management and disaster risk reduction in Vietnam."
The signing ceremony
took place at VAWR as part of a science policy exchange with 120 scientists and
policy makers to review the agency’s 2016 accomplishments. The new partnership
was prominently featured, with two presentations in plenary.
At the close of the
ceremony, Guttman noted: “I am certain there will be plenty of opportunities to
strengthen our collective efforts and, hopefully, expand this partnership with
other stakeholders in the region as we strive for strong regional and national
capacity in using geo-spatial technology to solve pressing climate change and
disaster risk management challenges."
SERVIR-Mekong will be collaborating under a separate engagement with the Hydro
and Agro Informatics Institute (HAII), a leading scientific agency under the
Ministry of Science and Technology in Thailand. HAII is tasked with developing
and applying science and technology, including collection, synthesis, and
analysis of data, to support better agricultural and water resources management
in the region. Their team of experienced IT professionals and scientific researchers
is committed to delivering the most viable solutions with new technology
initiatives for water resource management.
State-of-the art geospatial information and technologies are key to
“HAII … has been
working on centralized water crisis management, which is a complete integration
of water management from upstream to downstream areas,” explained Dr. Royol
Chitradon, Director of Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute (HAII), Thailand
Ministry of Science and Technology. “We focus on protecting upstream areas from
severe floods, preparing retention areas for diverse floodwater in midstream
areas, and rapid water drainage in downstream areas.”
with SERVIR-Mekong, HAII will have streamlined access to data from NASA and other
sources to further strengthen their existing and future initiatives supporting
integrated water management.
“HAII will use the high
resolution geospatial data from satellite imagery and geospatial technologies
that SERVIR-Mekong provides in monitoring and assessing the extent of
flooding,” said Chitradon. “This will lead to more informed decisions on flood
disaster risk reduction and water management. In normal times, an
implementation of integrated water management will help the country in infrastructure
development and natural resources management to achieve sustainable national
HAII is also looking to
SERVIR-Mekong for involvement in scientific trainings and workshops with NASA
and other experts.
To help SERVIR-Mekong
develop successful and useful applications, HAII will identify specific needs
for improved tools to address present and future challenges in relation to
hydroinformatics in Thailand. They will also provide data needed for validation
and calibration of SERVIR-Mekong tools.
1. SERVIR-Mekong aims
to promote the use of publicly available satellite imagery and related
geospatial decision-support tools/products to help key stakeholders and
decision makers in Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam
better predict and manage floods and other natural disasters, improve
agricultural risk management, manage land-use more sustainably, and help
governments and communities increase resilience to the negative effects of
members: Spatial Informatics Group
(SIG); Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI); and Deltares
identification: From left to right (standing): Mr. Tran Manh Truong, Deputy
Head of Planning Dept./VAWR; Mr. To Viet Thang, Deputy Director of Center for
Training and International Cooperation/VAWR; Dr. Dang Hoang Thanh, Director of
Personnel Dept./VAWR; Dr. Nguyen Thanh Bang, Director of Planning Dept. /VAWR;
Dr. Giap (behind woman in traditional dress), Director of Disaster Prevention
and Preparedness Center/VAWR; Dr. Ha Hai Duong, climate change expert/VAWR; Dr.
Nguyen Tung Phong, Deputy Director General/VAWR; Dr. David Ganz, ADPC; Dr. Nguyen Thi Anh Tuyet, Director of Center
for Training and International Cooperation/VAWR; Dr. Tran Duc Trinh, Head of
International Relations/VAWR (focal person from VAWR in SERVIR Mekong project);
Ms. Bach Phuong Lien, (in blue dress), Staff of Center for Training and
International Cooperation Community-based Disaster Risk Management/VAWR; Dr.
Tran Ba Hoang, Director of Southern Institute for Water Resources
Technical Assistance mechanism, available through the SERVIR-Mekong website, is
a resource for receiving advice and information, and potentially support, for
challenges in the Mekong region that may be overcome by applying geospatial
data and technology to decision making and planning. Users can request training support, technical
advise, or even apply for a new or customized tool or dataset.
5. HAII is a management
agency of the National Hydroinformatics and Climate Data Center (NHC), Thailand