1. role of narratives in shaping sesan transboundary water management and governance


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3rd Mekong Forum on Water, Food & Energy. Presentation from Sessions 4 & 6: M-POWER Solutions for Mekong Region Governance

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  • A transboundary river such as the Sesan River faces a number of challenges in terms of water resources management and governance. Improved water governance in transboundary river basin requires effective mechanism for cross-border cooperation, accountability and meaningful stakeholder participation (Ratner, 2003). Transboundary governance in the context of the Sesan River encompasses accountability of the dam development projects in the Sesan, Srepok and Sekong (3S)region and conflict resolution where transboundary impacts caused by dam developments on the 3S Rivers are fully addressed. The challenge lies at negotiating contested development visions and views of transboundary governance as well as meaningful participation. Situating the research in the framework of transboundary governance allows dominant arguments of the Sesan water players to be analyzed against the social, economic and ecological backdrops of Sesan water use and river resources. The arguments reflects narratives or storylines that are told and communicated as frame of actor’s action in order to justify their action and position in the Sesan water resources management and governance.
  • 1. role of narratives in shaping sesan transboundary water management and governance

    1. 1. Role of Narratives in Shaping Sesan Transboundary Water Resources Management and Governance Worawan, MPOWER Fellow University of Sydney
    2. 2. • • • • What did I research? How do I do it?- methodologies What did I find? How does the finding contributes to water governance?
    3. 3. The CAMBODIA DAILY Workers Begin Clearing Land for Lower Sesan 2 Sesan- contested waterscape, governance issues and injustices
    4. 4. What did I research? Tb water resources management and policy analysis • Examines the role of narratives in Sesan River water resources policy making and management in the context of transboundary conflict caused by upstream hydropower development and transboundary impacts • Unpacking the narratives reveals strategies of different key water players such as development bank, river basin commission and NGOs and how they impose their views on other social actors in order to shape the Sesan transboundary governance
    5. 5. Narrative analysis and ethnography • The study involved narrative analysis and ethnography. Written and oral narratives of the dam affected people, government officers, development bank, NGOs such as river protection network and river basin commission involving dam developments on the Sesan, Sekong and Srepok Rivers are analysed. • An ethnographic study was conducted in Ratanakiri province during November-December 2012 and June 2013 including fieldwork and interviews about the Lower Sesan2 dam and village focal point meeting where the narratives of the dam affected people are of focus.
    6. 6. What did I find? • Narratives of Sesan water resources management and development, argued by different social actors are told strategically to impose one actor’s worldview of Sesan transboundary governance on other actors • The interplay of Sesan narratives plays a vital role in shaping the Sesan transboundary governance such as legitimizing claims of powerful actors, justifying powerful position to manipulating Sesan river resources and renegotiating rights of the dam affected people and thus draw a space of engagement by different social actors in Sesan governance.