International Delegations Study Tour

Thursday, 25 September, 2008

ALA 010_lrTwo high-ranking Asian delegations recently visited Australia for six weeks each as part of ICE WaRM’s international study tours programme.

In total, there were 45 staff members from the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Can Tho University, the Vietnam Water Resources University, the Mekong River Commission Secretariat, with representatives from the National Mekong River Committees from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos plus representatives from the Thai and Laotian National Mekong River Committees.

The delegations studied the latest water resources management techniques and water resources policy and governance, particularly cross border issues. In addition, they took part in a series of short courses delivered by the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia and the Centre for Groundwater Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide.

They also joined field studies in South Australia’s Riverland and the Lower Lakes around Victor Harbour and Goolwa and met representatives of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission and related organisations. The programme was based in South Australia, but participants also travelled interstate to Melbourne, Canberra and Queensland for some short courses, and sampled a range of southern winter weather.

Time was also made for a range of social activities, including an Australian bbq at ICE WaRM’s head office and several dinner outings.

DPP_2689_lr ICE WaRM Chief Executive Richard Hopkins and a number of the international representatives featured on Channel 7 Evening News across South Australia as they visited the pioneering Parafield Wetlands project in Adelaide’s north.

Parafield Wetlands takes polluted storm water which previously flowed directly into the ocean and treats it through natural processes – removing the pollution and using the cleaned water to enhance the wetlands and recharge the groundwater.

The visit to Australia went very quickly, but the learning and networks will assist the delegates in their work and careers and, as a personal experience, well into the future.