, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 497-509

Procedures for Ensuring Community Involvement in Multijurisdictional River Basins: A Comparison of the Murray-Darling and Mekong River Basins1

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Abstract

Community involvement is fundamental to the management of multijurisdictional river basins but, in practice, is very difficult to achieve. The Murray-Darling basin, in Australia, and the Mekong River basin in Southeast Asia are both cooperatively managed multijurisdictional river basins where the management authorities have expressed an aim of community involvement. In the Murray-Darling basin vigorous efforts have promoted a culture of community consultation throughout each of the state jurisdictions involved, although true participation has not necessarily been achieved. In the Mekong basin the community is much more diverse and the successes so far have been largely at the local level, involving action in subsections of the basin. These case studies suggest that community involvement in the form of community consultation across large multijurisdictional river basins is achievable, but more comprehensive participation is not necessarily possible.