First Rhine-Mekong Symposium

Koblenz, Germany, 8th May 2014

Group photo

The First Rhine-Mekong Symposium took place on 8 – 9 May 2014 in Koblenz, Germany. It gathered around 70 people, including representatives from the International Commission for the Hydrology of the Rhine Basin, the International Commission for protection of the Rhine, the Mekong River Commission, government representatives, experts and scientists from the Rhine and Mekong basins. Its objective was to share knowledge and discuss challenges on their different and common issues and to explore areas for potential cooperation.

The two-day event was set under the theme “Climate Change and its Influence on Water and Related Sectors” and consisted of interactive presentations, panels and parallel technical group discussion sessions. Specific attention was paid to the discussions on key questions and approaches pertaining to the development of a climate change adaptation strategy and the assessment of climate change, its influence on the hydrological regimes and impacts on relevant sectors in the basin under a transboundary context.

The Symposium recognised that climate change has taken its toll on hydrological regimes, livelihoods and economies in both the Mekong River Basin and the Rhine Basin, and acknowledged the need to mitigate and adapt to the effects of a changing climate.

The Symposium also concluded that, although the two basins are different, they share common challenges that provide a basis for potential cooperation amongst their river basin organisations. A symposium conclusion was issued summarising the results, and outlining areas for further cooperation.

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