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Contested Futures in the Mekong Region

June 9, 2014 - 09:00-12:45

Welcome to a Mekong seminar at the University of Helsinki

Mekong Region is a scene for one of the most intensive hydropower development globally. New sustainability standards for dams have become an important source of justification for the new projects but they remain highly contested. Mekong has been one of the focus regions for Finnish development cooperation. Finland has supported for example the Mekong River Commission and the Asian Development Bank. Also Finnish companies, such as Pöyry, have had an important role in the region’s hydropower development. The corporate responsibility of Pöyry in the first Lower-Mekong mainstream dam, Xayaburi, has been under public discussion in Finland as well as in the Mekong region. Currently, Finland is drafting a new development strategy for the region.
Is sustainable hydropower development possible in the Mekong Region? What is the future role of Finland in the Region? How should Finland act as a development partner? Are the Finnish private sector actors like Pöyry contradicting with the development cooperation? What kind of research is needed in the region?
The speakers include Louis Lebel who is internationally one of the most prominent researchers on Mekong Region as well as Cambodian researchers Dany Va and Try Thuon. Finnish researchers and representatives from the ministry and civil society will also be taking part in the discussion.
 The event is co-organised by:
•Development Studies, University of Helsinki
•Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku
•Siemenpuu Foundation’s Mekong Group

Programme for the seminar
9.00 Morning coffee
9.15-9.30 Welcome words, Jyrki Luukkanen, Finland Futures Research Centre
9.30-10.00 “Benefit sharing and sustainability of hydropower”, Louis Lebel, University of Chiang Mai
10.00-10.20 “Hydropower development in Cambodia”, Try Thuon, Royal University of Phnom Penh
10.20-10.40 “Local research capacity to meet development and environmental challenges”, Dany Va, Royal University of Phnom Penh
10.40-11.15 “Finland’s role and corporate accountability in the Mekong Region”, Timo Kuronen and Liisa Uimonen, Siemenpuu Foundation
11.15-12.15 Panel Discussion: Mekong futures and Finland’s role
o Maria Notley, Water Advisor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs
o Timo Räsänen, researcher in Aalto University
o Dany Va, Head of Environmental Science Department, Royal University of Phnom Penh
o Otto Bruun, chair of Siemenpuu Foundation
Chair of the panel Marko Keskinen, researcher and lecturer in Aalto University
12.15-12.45 Questions and Discussion

Please register by June 4th to: noora.stenholm@utu.fi

Venue: Main building, Room 3, University of Helsinki (Fabianinkatu 33)

Contested Futures in the Mekong Region


June 9, 2014