Ayeyarwady SOBA Synthesis Report Launched

The most comprehensive assessment ever completed on Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady River Basin was released at the 3rd Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Yangon, Myanmar, in December 2017.

The Australian Water Partnership supported the Government of Myanmar’s National Water Resources Committee (NWRC) in undertaking the State of the Basin Assessment (SOBA) – the most comprehensive integrated environmental, social and economic baseline of the Ayeyarwady to date, and the first major product of the NWRC’s Hydro-Informatics Centre (HIC).

AWP CEO, Prof Nick Schofield, said the launch of the SOBA synthesis report on 11 December was the result of a mammoth collaborative effort between AWP partners.

“More than 25 partner organisations contributed to SOBA in some way – with AWP Partners assessing the surface water and groundwater resources and uses, developing hydraulic and river system models, surveying river pollution and evaluating ecosystem services,” said Prof Schofield.

“We’re very proud to have been involved with this project and we thank all of our partners for their tireless efforts, and in particular AWP’s Tarek Ketelsen for coordinating the whole SOBA project. This incredible result demonstrates the quality, scope and impact of Australia’s collective water expertise.”

L-R: Prof Nick Schofield, CEO Australian Water Partnership; Prof Dr Khin Ni Ni Thein, Secretary of the Advisory Group, National Water Resources Committee; Tarek Ketelsen, Myanmar Coordinator, Australian Water Partnership; Nick Cumpston, Australian Embassy, Yangon; John Dore, DFAT Senior Water Resources Specialist.

Director General U Htun Lwin Oo, Myanmar Natural Water Resources Committee and Prof Nick Schofield, CEO Australian Water Partnership.

The synthesis report is designed to inform readers about the state of the Ayeyarwady Basin, acting either as an important reference document or as a source of information to guide policy, planning and decision-making. The report will be followed by the release of a series of specific technical reports next month.

The release of the SOBA report is one of the final steps in AWP’s first major phase of investment in Myanmar. The conclusions from the report point to cooperation among multiple stakeholders in the basin, regular assessments to monitor natural resources and analysis of the performance of institutional measures as vital elements in addressing the issues in the Ayeyarwady Basin.  AWP is now planning its next phase of collaboration with the Myanmar Government.

Kaye Schofield AO, AWP Chair, said “We wish the NWRC every success in disseminating and using the SOBA report to inform the next steps in the planning process, and we stand ready to support these efforts in 2018.”

The SOBA Synthesis Report (Volume 1) is currently available on the AIRBM website.

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