Benefit Sharing in Mekong Region Hydropower: Whose Benefits Count?

TitleBenefit Sharing in Mekong Region Hydropower: Whose Benefits Count?
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSuhardiman, Wichelns, Lebel, Sellamuttu
Secondary TitleWater Resources and Rural Development
Key themesEcology and Livelihoods, Framing Concepts in Water Governance, Hydropower

Notions of benefit sharing play an increasingly important role in shaping the debate around the merits of existing and future hydropower development in the Mekong region. In this paper we assess how the concept of benefit sharing is articulated and applied in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. We discuss the conceptual strengths and weaknesses of benefit sharing, within the broader context of land and water resources and environmental governance. We argue that while benefit sharing provides an entry point for placing the current debate on hydropower development within the perspective of social justice, better understanding of governance structures and processes is needed. Our primary message is that innovations in policies and programs should not be analyzed in isolation from the wider governance structure, processes, and outcomes. To this end, we are pleased also to introduce this Special Issue of Water Resources and Rural Development, in which several authors analyze current benefit sharing programs in the Mekong region, with a focus on governance, process, and policy implications.


Copyright Journal


Cambodia, Laos, Regional, Thailand, Vietnam

Document Type

Journal Article

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