The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Mekong Watch

Supporting the creation of land usage and water resource forest management plans to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of forests in northern Laos

Activity grant

Project Description

A shortening of the slash and burn agricultural cycle and a shortage of farm land caused by careless policy is leading to increasingly destructive usage of forest resources in northern Laos. In order to encourage sustainable land use and forest conservation, this project aims to establish water resource forests, liase with counterparts from local universities to encourage local leadership of management intiatives, monitor the water resource forest environment, create rules for water resource forest use and conservation, and support the creation of land use and forest conservation plans.

Preservation of surface soil and forestsPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2007 Activity Grants
Grant term
2 years
April 2008 - March 2010
Grant amount
6,467,000 yen
Activity region
A water resource forest management committee comprising representatives from eight villages in northern Laos discusses land use and forest conservation

Overview of the Organization

Toshiyuki Doi, Senior Advisor
Toshiyuki Doi, Senior Advisor
Establishment purpose
Mekong Watch was established in 1993 as a network to monitor the impact of development policy and activities in the Mekong Basin (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and China's Yunnan Province) and recommend policy improvements. In 1998 it became a membership-based volunteer organization and in 2003 it was certified as an NGO. It carries out research and policy recommendation activities with the aim of ensuring human development in Mekong Basin countries does not damage the region's environment but instead provides local peoples with a prosperous lifestyle rooted in nature.
Main areas of activity
Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, China, and Japan
4 full-time staff members, 4 part-time staff members, 92 full members
Annual operating budget
30.94 million yen in 2005, 31.27 million yen in 2006, 33 million yen in 2007
WEB site
Recent activities
  • (1) Research projects looking at the connection between people and the environment in the Mekong Basin
  • (2) Monitoring economic cooperation and investment activities that might have a negative impact on the lifestyles of local peoples and their access to natural resources
  • (3) Providing information on problems relating to the environment and development in the Mekong Basin region to people in Japan
  • (4) Providing policy recommendations based on the above activities to government organizations, and multinational corporations and financial institutions; monitoring the implementation of Japanese ODA projects; water resource forest management in Laos; creating TV programs for use in environmental education in Laos; providing recommendations on environmentally and socially considerate policy to ODA implementation agencies and new governmental financial institutions; providing recommendations regarding Chinese financial institutions; and holding seminars and publishing a quarterly journal on development and the environment in the Mekong Basin.