Alumni Expert seminar along with the Mekong River Commission Summit 2022and 2023: Multinational cooperation on the River Mekong for sustainable development

ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR APPLICATION

On behalf of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) the University of Siegen in cooperation with the Technische Universität Dresden, the Thuy Loi University and the Vietnamese-German University are organising the

International Germany Alumni Seminar 2022-2023

Multinational cooperation on the River Mekong for sustainable development

The seminar is organised in two parts:

Part 1: A series of six online training sessions in 2022

Part 2: A seven days training seminar in presence in March / April 2023

at Ho Chi Minh City, Thuy Loi University and Vietnamese-German University

followed by the participation in the

4th Mekong River Commission Summit (MRCS) 2023

April 2023 in Vientiane, Lao PDR

The four-yearly MRC Summit of Heads of Government is the highest political forum of the MRC whereby outcomes of cooperation are assessed, and directions set for the following four years.

 

Seminar aims

The lower Mekong catchment area provides an important livelihood for its more than 60 million inhabitants. More than two-thirds of the population in parts of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam live directly from agriculture and fishing and are thus completely dependent on the water resources of the Mekong River. Especially for the people living directly on the banks, the river has a special significance in securing their nutritional basis. The river with its potential for transport, tourism and energy production is an important prerequisite for the socio-economic development of all riparian states. As demands on natural resources continue to grow, the system is coming under increasing pressure, which can only be countered with a well-thought-out management system.

Basis for the seminar are the following hypotheses:

  • The Mekong River is of great importance for the economic development of the region.
  • Currently, this river is facing great challenges as countries in the upper Mekong catchment are focusing on hydropower development, seriously affecting the sustainable development of the lower Mekong catchment region.
  • The role of the MRC in the management of the Mekong can be significantly strengthened compared to other river basin organizations in Germany and Europe to provide effective solutions for sustainable management of the Mekong.
  • The role of climate change impacts on the security of water supply in quality and quantity is significant.
  • The socio-economic and -ecological impacts of intensified and regionally oriented management of the Mekong will have a major impact, especially in the middle and lower parts.

The online phase (2022) will prepare the Alumni to update on latest applied research developments and project activities in the Mekong area. Participants will prepare recommendations and a form of presentation for the MRC Summit. Experts from Germany, Vietnam and other Mekong riparian states will present current research projects and show possible solutions for the complex situation. These issues will be further elaborated at the seminar to be held in presence (2023) a week before the 4th MRC summit 2023. Excursions to the provinces of the Mekong Delta are foreseen to get direct contact to the situation on site. Based on the experiences gained, the group of Alumni will develop recommendations for the sustainable and safe management of the Mekong. These recommendations will serve as a basis for the development of new co-operations with German universities and will also include recommendations for participants of the Mekong River Commission Summit. Subsequently, the participation in the 4th Summit of the Mekong River Commission 2023  in Vientiane, Lao PDR, is planned.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers the participation in the seminar and the summit in the framework of the programme Alumni Special Projects (www.daad.de/alumni-special-projects). The International Germany Alumni Seminar is jointly organized by University of Siegen, Technische Universität Dresden, Thuy Loi University and Vietnamese-German University. The costs will be mainly covered by funds from the DAAD provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

 

Tentative Programme

 

2022: The online part of the International Germany Alumni training seminar consists of:

Six online training sessions, where each session takes around 3 hours. Two sessions at a time will be combined into a two-day event. In total, there will be three 2-day events in the period from April to November 2022. At least one session will be developed as a joint session with two further MRC Summit related alumni seminars of ITT Cologne and TU Dresden.

2023: The presence part of the International Germany Alumni training seminar consists of three components:

·         5 days of seminar training in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), organized by the Universities

·         2 days excursions in the Mekong Delta (Vietnam), organized by the Universities, and

·         3 days participation in the 4th Mekong River Commission Summit 2023 in Vientiane (Lao PDR), organized by the DAAD Alumni Team

The exact dates for the 4th MRC Summit are not yet fixed. The final programme of the training seminar in Ho Chi Minh City will be published once all applications have been reviewed. It is necessary to participate in the whole programme: online training seminar, presence training seminar, excursions, 4th MRCS and social programme.

 

Eligibility criteria for participation

This seminar targets Alumni of German universities

·         from the riparian states of River Mekong listed on the DAC list of the Global South[1],

·         who carried out research or studied in Germany for at least 3 months, and

·         who are currently living and working in their home countries.

 You should have

(1)    a proven background in academic fields relevant to the topics of water resources management, water security, watershed monitoring, and political activities related to water, natural resource management and environmental studies,

(2)    professional experience and personal interest in one of the following areas: research, education, NGOs, government agencies, policy making, project development, local communities, and related stakeholders,

(3)    the requirements to act as a potential change agent (multiplier) who will present the training seminar results in your home country and thus disseminate the acquired knowledge as well as develop ideas and projects for regional implementation,

(4)    adequate language proficiency which is essential to actively participate in the workshops and discussions as the seminar will be held in English.

Eligibility for repeated attendances at Alumni Special Projects: Participations in Alumni Special Projects are limited to a maximum of 2 participations within 4 years. The year of participation, not the year of application, is decisive for the calculation. (This rule does not apply for attendance in a completely digital Alumni Special Project).

It is essential that you participate at all online sessions 2022 and from the first day of the training seminar in presence 2023 in Ho Chi Minh City to the last day of the 4th MRC Summit in Vientiane.

Application procedure

If you are interested in joining the seminar, download

the call for application and

the application form

read them carefully and follow the procedures described.

Please send your application, as one single pdf file, latest by March  04th, 2022, 12 p.m. CET, via email to: Alumni-Seminar-HCM(at)tu-dresden.de

Special Note

Given the world-wide pandemic and the status of uncertainty of its development, DAAD will decide in due course to replace the seminar in presence in 2023 by an online version. This will imply modifications of the programme which will be announced to participants.

For further questions, please contact Alumni-Seminar-HCM(at)tu-dresden.de

 

 


1 Myanmar, Lao People´s Democratic Republic, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam