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The Mekong and the Chao Phraya are major rivers flowing through the Indochinese Peninsula in Southeast Asia. The inhabitants of the Mekong and Chao Phraya basins have largely relied on natural resources for their livelihood. Due to recent socioeconomic development in the region, however, the natural environment, biodiversity in particular, is being rapidly threatened. Several endemic species, including world-famous Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas), have already been endangered. Concurrently, the people’s traditional lifestyle, which depends on local products, is faced with difficulties.

Changes of the riparian environment in the regions are expected, and consequently will affect their living organisms. It is obvious that actions such as extensive surveys on the current status of fauna and flora are urgently needed for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

In order to cope with such circumstances, the NEF launched the Comprehensive Programme for Conservation Research and Activities in 2006. As the first phase of the programme, entitled “People, Ecosystem, and Wise Use of Natural Resources in the Mekong-Chao Phraya Region: Basic Study of the Aquatic Fauna and Flora and Conservation Activities with Participation of Local Residents,” the NEF conducted surveys to gather scientific information on riparian fauna and flora and conservation activities together with local residents from 2006 to 2011. The second-phase of the programme, entitled “Biodiversity Conservation and Wise Use of Natural Resources in the Mekong-Chao Phraya Region,” has been under way since 2011. The main activities of this phase are to report the results of the first phase to the public, further promote environmental education for the local people, construct practical models for conservation activities with local communities, and develop intimate cooperation among local communities and national/international organisations.

In this programme, a number of local scientists and inhabitants have participated in scientific and conservation activities, together with experts of the NEF and other organisations. Their on-site collaboration is expected to contribute to capacity building and the empowerment of – and technology transfer to – those participants.



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Nagao Natural Environment Foundation
4-20-9 Midori, Sumida-ku
Tokyo 130-0021 Japan
Phone : +81-3-6659-2070
Fax : +81-3-6659-2272