Danish Government supports Mekong countries as they come to grips with climate change

Hau Hin, Thailand, 3rd Apr 2010

The Danish Government has pledged today to provide nearly US$ 1 million (DKK 4.8 million) to help Mekong countries counter the effects of climate change.

The funding will go towards helping Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam; the four Member Countries of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), to work together to mitigate the effects of changes in weather patterns that scientists say are expected over the coming decades in the Mekong River Basin.

“The people of the Mekong Basin are perhaps uniquely vulnerable to the impact of climate change, which is why direct international assistance in this area is vital,” said Jeremy Bird, CEO of the MRC as the funding agreement was signed in Hua Hin, Thailand.

“What we can expect to see are higher and more variable rainfall; more extreme weather events and increased risk of flooding; and a reduction in agricultural productivity from both increased drought frequency and sea level rise into the agriculturally important Mekong Delta. The agreement we are signing today is a step towards mitigating the significant potential impacts on the basin’s economies, people’s livelihoods and diversity of natural resources. ”

The MRC, which will coordinate the Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, says that the funds will be used to develop and test strategies for helping local communities adapt to climate change, which could, for example, include trying out drought or salt water resistant crop varieties, enhancing flood preparedness techniques and increasing the resilience of people’s water supplies. The MRC will also help train government agencies in mitigation measures, and develop a high level basin-wide scientific forum for engagement and reporting on climate change issues affecting the Mekong basin countries.

“The Danish government’s development objectives for the Mekong region include promoting trans-boundary collaboration to reduce poverty and helping to protect and manage water resources,” said H.E. Mr Peter Lysholt Hansen Ambassador from Denmark “The Mekong Basin has a high proportion of people living on low incomes and government capacity to deal with the issue of climate change needs strengthening – but its impact on the poor could be dramatic, with predicted sea level rise of up to one metre that could see millions displaced by the turn of the century.”

The MRC says that many of the projected effects of climate change will be an intensification of existing challenges, such as more intensive flooding and prolonged dry periods, and that governments of the region have already begun to take measures to tackle the issue. This initiative will further strengthen that approach.

The Initiative is part of a broader partnership between the MRC and the Danish Government.

-ends-

 

Notes to Editors

The Mekong Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative is a new intensified joint effort to tackle climate change in the Mekong Basin. It is already being supported by the Governments of Australia, Finland and Sweden.

The initiative aims to assist MRC countries including Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam in developing and implementing climate change adaptation strategies to deal with the consequences across the basin of an increase in the mean temperature, potentially higher rainfall and more frequent flooding in some parts of the basin, more drought in other parts, and sea level rise impacting the delta.

Much MRC work has already been done to estimate and model likely changes in temperature, rainfall and river flows based on ‘downscaling’ global predictions of climate change.

The MRC is the intergovernmental body responsible for cooperation on the sustainable management of the Mekong Basin whose members include Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. In dealing with these challenges, it looks across all sectors including sustaining fisheries, identifying opportunities for agriculture, maintaining the freedom of navigation, flood management and preserving important ecosystems. Superimposed on these are the future effects of more extreme floods, prolonged drought and sea level rise associated with climate change. In providing its advice, the MRC aims to facilitate a broad range of dialogue among governments, the private sector and civil society on these challenges.

 

For More Information

Ms Tiffany Hacker, Interim Communication Advisor
Tel: +856 56120695 or +856 21 263 263 Ext. 4703
Email: damian@mrcmekong.org

Mr Khy Lim, Communications Officer
Tel: +856 20 5622 8131
Email: khy@mrcmekong.org

Latest News

Cambodia-Laos Border Fisheries Management Plan Aimed to Realise a 10% Increase in Fish Stock

Targeting a 10-percent increase in fish abundance in the Mekong and Sekong Rivers by 2021, fisheries experts from Cambodia and Lao PDR shared today the progress in fish monitoring activities that sets a baseline, and continued discussions on the formation

Mekong River Commission prepares for 3rd Summit and work plan 2018

Yesterday, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) officials met to prepare for the 3rd Summit of prime ministers on 5 April 2018 in Siem Reap to be hosted by the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Op’ed - Improving Navigation Channels While Protecting the Environment

China’s Mekong development plan have stirred debate as potentially becoming an environmental and social peril for downstream Mekong countries

Sister Lakes to Document Learning Processes for Policy Recommendations

In order to amplify what the sister lakes of Cambodia’s Tonle Sap and Thailand’s Songkhla have learnt on community-based lake governance, the two sides agreed today on how and what to document in two upcoming papers they are preparing for policy developme

Mekong River Commission and Morocco exchange water management experience

Representatives from the Mekong River Commission (MRC) made its first visit to Morocco to exchange experience on water resources management. This is the first visit, supported and hosted by Morocco,


Media Contact

For media inquires email huonglien@mrcmekong.org or mrcmedia@mrcmekong.org or view the Contact page here