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Multi-Stakeholder Platform for ASEM S&T Cooperation on Sustainable Water Use (Coordination Action ASEMWATERNET)

Project Background

In October 1999, the ASEM Science and Technology Ministers Meeting held in Beijing put forward a joint initiative of strengthening S&T cooperation concerning water resources management in the framework of ASEM. In June 2002 in Changsha, an ASEM Forum on Water Resources Management was held jointly by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Hunan Provincial People’s Government and the European Commission (EU), which has adopted a Changsha Declaration on Asian-European S&T Cooperation in Water Resources Management. Later in September 2005, in the joint efforts of ASEM members, China’s MOST, Hunan Government and the EU officially co-held the “Multi-stakeholder Platform for ASEM S&T Cooperation on Sustainable Water Use” (ASEMWATERNET), the ever largest ASEM cooperation project in regard to water resources under EU Sixth Framework Program 6 (FP6).
Project Objectives
To facilitate Asian-European S&T cooperation in water resources management via implementation of relevant projects, the concrete targets are: 1) to promote water resources management based on the principles of openness, reciprocity and sustainable development; 2) to improve utilization ratio of agricultural water resources for greater economic benefits and sustainable water use and development; 3) to develop flood control measures for floods mitigation; 4) to reinforce researches on pollutants in soil and aquifer and provide prevention and restoration strategies; 5) to explore optimized measures in terms of human activities, policy focuses and participatory approaches, etc.
Project Partners
There are altogether 58 institutions participating in ASEMWATERNET involving 15 ASEM member states, among which the Asian countries consist of China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and South Korea, etc., while the European countries mainly include France, Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Austria and Spain, etc. The research institutes concerning project implementation at home and abroad are mainly composed of: Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) France, Laboratorio Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC) Portugal, Technical University of Lisbon (TUL) Portugal,University of Osnabrueck Germany, Institute of Environmental Technology (IET) Vietnam, Department of Water Resources (DWR) Thailand, Sustainable Water Resources Research Center (SWRRC) Korea, Centre for Advanced Water Technology (CAWT) Singapore Utilities International (SUI), Hunan Provincial Science and Technology Department (HSTD) China, Tsinghua University China,Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP) China, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (RCEES/CAS) China, Institute of Water Conservancy and Hydroelectric Power Research (IWHR) China,Changjiang Water Resources Commission (CWRC) China, Hunan University (HNU) China, and Hunan Academy of Forestry (HNAF) China, etc. Thereinto, core members for project management include Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) France, Laboratorio Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC) Portugal, Institute of Environmental Technology (IET) Vietnam, and Hunan Provincial Science and Technology Department (HSTD).
Project Implementation
In terms of globally dynamic water resources research, the project can be subdivided into 5 groups: 1) river basin approach; 2) water use efficiency in agriculture; 3) erosion, flash floods and floods; 4) pollution and water quality; 5) water governance as a cross-cutting issue.  According to respective research background of ASEM members, the tasks of project are assigned to specific group with group leader responsible for project management.
Project Conferences
The start-up meeting was held in Hanoi, Vietnam in May 2006;
The mid-term meeting was held in Portugal in 2008;
The ASEM Forum on Water Resources Management and Wrap-up Meeting was held in Changsha, Hunan, with Changsha Initiative adopted which is helpful to promoting the construction of a long-term cooperation mechanism for sustainable use of water.
Project Achievements
Achievements attained in the process of project implementation have contributed to a more comprehensive research platform for more extensive cooperation among ASEM partners continuously: 1) A better understanding and deepened friendship among ASEM member states; 2) Changsha Initiative approved and elementary cooperation framework constructed on ASEM water resources management; 3) Mutual trust enhanced as well as co-research foundation solidified through the reports of working group in ASEM Forum on Water Resources Management; 4) Priority areas and projects identified in regard to cooperative research in water management techniques, and a constructive dialogue for further cooperation conducted as well.