Water Diplomacy and Governance in the Salween River Basin


The Salween River rises in China and flows through Myanmar and Thailand, into the Andaman Sea in the eastern Indian Ocean. With growing water scarcity in various regions, the SDC’s water diplomacy and governance programme in Asia, Africa and America targets ‘transboundary hotspots’, supporting cooperative management towards building stability, growth and sustainability in transboundary waters.

OneWorld provided backstopping and technical advisory services to support SDC in their engagement in the Salween River Basin with a specific focus on building cooperative governance and supporting hydro-diplomacy efforts.

OneWorld’s activities included identifying suitable entry points for water cooperation in the Basin and subsequently advising SDC on its role in bringing stakeholders together and coordinating different approaches to meet the demands of the respective national governments

Specific activities included:

  • Cross-examination of various water governance and management proposals for the Salween Basin to identify potential synergies and overlaps, as well as potentially antagonistic relationships
  • Reviewing and advising on technical aspects of proposals to build cooperation in the basin
  • Assessing key risks related to development in the basin and associated costs of inaction
  • Assessing stakeholder engagement to advise SDC on their role in building cooperation through hydro-diplomacy

Project Data

Client : Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Region : Salween basin (Myanmar, Thailand and China

Project duration : October 2018 – December 2018