Exploring Tonle Sap Futures Final Report published: comments welcome!

The Final Report of our interdisciplinary Exploring Tonle Sap Futures (ETSF) study is now ready, and has been published at the website of the Exploring Tonle Sap Futures study. The report is published by Aalto University and its study partners in partnership with the Tonle Sap Authority, and it summarises the main findings from this two year study. The report includes four parts: Part 1: Tonle Sap now, Part 2: Changing Tonle Sap, Part 3: Tonle Sap in 2040 – four alternative futures, and Part 4: Conclusions.


The Exploring Tonle Sap Futures study aimed -similarly to the regional Exploring Mekong Region Futures project- to look at the nexus between water, energy, food and climate change in the rapidly developing and highly diverse setting of the transboundary Mekong River Basin.

A central part of the Exploring Tonle Sap Futures study were two Research Components focusing on water resources and livelihoods. The main aim of the Research Component on water (‘Hydrological analysis’) was to model the possible impacts of changes (due to hydropower development and climate change, both separately and together) to the Tonle Sap’s unique flood pulse system. The Research Component on livelihoods (‘Livelihood analysis’) aimed then to analyse the current livelihood and socio-economic setting and trends in the Tonle Sap area, building on spatial analysis of two governmental Population Census available for the area.

Additional and very fundamental element of the Exploring Tonle Sap Futures study was a set of five scenario workshops held around the Tonle Sap with the help of The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation CSIRO. The workshops were organised by Tonle Sap Authority (TSA) in collaboration with Supreme National Economic Council, CSIRO and Aalto University, and they were participated by number of experts from different line agencies and organisations.

We would like to thank all workshop participants for their valuable contributions that also help to shape the conclusions and policy recommendations presented in the Final Report. We would also like to express our sincere thanks to the Tonle Sap Authority for their invaluable support for the Tonle Sap study and the entire ‘Exploring Mekong Region Futures’ project.


While being a Final Report, we see this more as a starting point for discussion on the current state and future development of the Tonle Sap area: all comments on the report are therefore most welcome. You can provide them into this blog, or send them by email to Marko Keskinen (firstname.lastname@aalto.fi).


   Exploring Tonle Sap Futures study team