Finland supports Mekong countries to take up emerging challenges

Hau Hin, Thailand, 3rd Apr 2010

Efforts to create an integrated water resource development strategy across the Mekong river basin received a new boost today as the Finnish Government committed to a grant of Euros 1 million to support the MRC Water Management Trust Fund.

The fund provides a rapid and flexible support mechanism for MRC policy and strategy development and implementation as well as responding to unforeseen short-term needs of Member Countries. In particular, the funding will support MRC Member Counties, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam, to formulate a new 5-year Strategy for the organization based on principles of integrated water resources management (IWRM).

“MRC needs a strategy that increasingly takes into account the emerging issues such as climate change, food security, energy and resource security while protecting the existing multitude of natural resource uses. Extreme natural events, such as the very dry conditions currently being experienced across the Mekong region reflect an increasingly urgent need for basin-wide strategic cooperation,” said Jeremy Bird, CEO of the MRC Secretariat as the funding agreement was signed in Hua Hin, Thailand.

“Finland’s direct contribution is financially significant and symbolises its commitment to trans-boundary cooperation that will be responsive to the needs of the Mekong Countries and their people’s welfare,” he added.

Building on 15 years of experience and achievements in water and related resources governance, the MRC has increasingly engaged with a broader and more representative group of basin stakeholders in its work and this will continue in the process of formulating its future strategic directions, a process that the Finnish funding will support.

“The Finnish government recognises the role the MRC has played in trans-boundary cooperation and its strategic inventions, which are in line with our overarching development goals in the Mekong region,” said Ms Helena Ahola, Counsellor Head of Development Cooperation for the Embassy of Finland, “We hope that our cooperation will enhance the ability of the Mekong Countries to manage water resources and to turn the pressing challenges into opportunities that will benefit millions of people who depend heavily on Mekong resources for their livelihoods.”


Notes to Editors

The Water Management Trust Fund (WMTF) is to provide strategic and flexible support to the MRC programme development and a facility for the MRC to develop and implement its programmes, responding to short-term demand of Member Countries in fulfilling its mandate in trans-boundary water resources management and development. Together with support from the French and Danish governments, WMTF has helped achieve a number of important studies and review developments including:

  • Mid-term review of the implementation of current MRC Strategic Plan and laying the foundation for the formulation of the Strategic Plan 2011-2015;
  • Improvement of the organisation’s effectiveness including organizational review, permanent location of the MRC Secretariat and development of a Stakeholder Engagement Policy at governance level; and
  • Strategic review of the MRC’s role in agriculture and irrigation sector in the Lower Mekong Basin.

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

Mr Khy Lim, Communications Officer
Tel: +856 20 5622 8131

Latest News

MRC supports Laos in advancing national climate change adaptation planning

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) strongly supports Lao PDR in the country’s endeavor to advance its national climate change adaption planning, says an MRC Secretariat official.

Germany commits EUR 4 million to strengthen Mekong transboundary water cooperation

The government of Germany has committed EUR four million (approximately US$ 4.6 million) to the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to strengthen Mekong cross-border water cooperation...

Stakeholder forum debates proposed Pak Lay project, recommends steps to strengthen basin planning in the Mekong

A two-day regional stakeholder forum on the proposed Pak Lay hydropower project and other ongoing initiatives comes to a close today. The forum, convened by the Mekong River Commission

Op-ed: MRC encourages all stakeholders to contribute to Pak Lay prior consultation process

On Thursday the Mekong River Commission will host its 5th Regional Stakeholder Forum to give all stakeholders the opportunity to discuss, provide, and exchange views on planned and proposed hydropower projects on the Mekong River mainstream...

Media advisory: Invitation to MRC regional stakeholder forum on Pak Lay’s prior consultation process and related work on hydropower

Interested members of the media are invited to cover the MRC regional stakeholder forum on the Pak Lay's prior consultation process...

Media Contact

For media inquires, please contact:
Sopheak Meas:
Le Thi Huong Lien: or or view the Contact page here