Floods and New Initiatives on MRC Agenda

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 27th Aug 2008

Recent flooding and accelerating infrastructure development on the Mekong River were high on the agenda of discussions between the Member States of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) in Vientiane today. New initiatives, including the upcoming Regional Multi-Stakeholder Consultation of the MRC Hydropower Programme, Environmental Considerations for Sustainable Hydropower Development, and a new Drought Management Programme, were also deliberated at the 27th Meeting of the MRC Joint Committee.

Dr Saksit Tridech, Permanent Secretary to Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and Joint Committee Chairman for 2008/2009, told participants that the MRC had reacted quickly and effectively in warning national agencies of the recent flooding in the Lao PDR and Thailand, and that the events had prompted much public discussion. He added that the MRC is conducting detailed analysis of this year’s flood season.

Dr Saskit was welcoming officials of the four Mekong River Commission member countries, Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam, together with representatives from observer and partner organisations. MRC Joint Committee meetings are held twice a year to discuss achievements and planned work for the next six months. The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the policies and decisions of the MRC Council, and supervises the activities of the MRC Secretariat.

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