The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Brunei Darussalam then joined on 7 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up what is today the ten Member States of ASEAN.
ASEAN Working Group on Water Resources Management (AWGWRM)
ASEAN has established the ASEAN Working Group on Water Resources Management (AWGWRM) to enhance regional cooperation on freshwater management in the ASEAN region. The AWGWRM aims to:
- promote networking and engage in collaborative action towards the practical implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM);
- promote and facilitate the exchange of relevant information, expertise, technology and know-how among water resource agencies of member countries; and
- provide or make arrangements for relevant training, education and awareness-raising campaigns.
To achieve the above IWRM-related objectives the ASEAN Environment Ministers have endorsed in 2003 the development and implementation of an ASEAN Long Term Strategic Plan for Water Resources Management (ASPA-WRM). Subsequently, the ASEAN Strategic Plan of Action on Water Resources Management was developed and adopted in 2005 with the aim to promote the sustainability of water resources to ensure equitable accessibility and sufficient water quantity of acceptable quality.
The ASPA-WRM contains actions on four key issues – (i) water supply; demand and allocation; (ii) water quality and sanitation; (iii) climate change and extreme events; (iv)governance and capacity building. The four key issues have been translated into ten project concepts for implementation.
One of the ten project concepts: Project Concept 2 is the development of an “ASEAN IWRM Country Strategy Guidelines”, which is described in detail in this website.
Another project is the “ASEAN Water Data Management and Reporting System” which is described in detail at this weblink.
Click here to get the latest updates on “Water Resources Cooperation” in the ASEAN region and on the progress in the implementation of the ten ASPA-WRM Project concepts.
ASEAN IWRM Country Strategy Guidelines
The objectives of the “ASEAN IWRM Country Strategy Guidelines” project are:
- To guide individual country IWRM strategies by developing a generic ASEAN IWRM framework (for surface water and groundwater) that is capable of local adaptation and implementation.
- To enable ASEAN to measure regional performance and progress towards IWRM goals against a regionally consistent set of strategies.
The desired project outputs are:
- A set of agreed regional goals for IWRM
- A set of explanatory guidelines that
- describe the rationale for each of the regional goals
- give guidance on development of appropriate national goals and on the policies and processes that need consideration in achieving the goals.
- Simple performance monitoring tools for ASEAN to use in assessing progress in the achievement of IWRM across the region.
In March 2009 the AWGWRM agreed to focus its IWRM goals on six water management issues as listed below. The AWGWRM developed and adopted a simple IWRM performance indicators report format to monitor and assess the progress and achievement of IWRM in each member country for the six water management issues.
- Water Supply Management
- Irrigation Management
- Stormwater Management
- Flood Management
- Water Pollution Management
- Sanitation Management
Subsequently, in March 2015 the AWGWRM developed a more detailed version of the IWRM performance indicators report format. The detailed version of the report format has been used by the respective ASEAN member states to report on their Country IWRM Performance on this website.
The AWGWRM hopes that the annual IWRM Performance Reports in this website will be useful to all users and be the authoritative source for information on IWRM progress in the ASEAN region. In addition to the annual reporting this website also allows the ASEAN member states to share and highlight significant water-related “Events and News” in their respective countries on a regular basis.
What is IWRM?
According to the Global Water Partnership (GWP), Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximise economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. Click here for details on “What is IWRM” according to GWP.
IWRM helps to protect the world’s environment, foster economic growth and sustainable agricultural development, promote democratic participation in governance, and improve human health. Worldwide, water policy and management are beginning to reflect the fundamentally interconnected nature of hydrological resources, and IWRM is emerging as an accepted alternative to the sector-by-sector, top-down management style that has dominated in the past.
IWRM is a cross-sectoral policy approach, designed to replace the traditional, fragmented sectoral approach to water resources and management that has led to poor services and unsustainable resource use. IWRM is based on the understanding that water resources are an integral component of the ecosystem, a natural resource, and a social and economic good.