Mekong and Mississippi River Commissions strengthen its partnership

20170116 105612

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 16 January2017(For immediate release), 16th Jan 2017

A high level delegation from the Mississippi River Commission led by its President, Maj. Gen. Michael C. Wehr, will visit the Mekong River Commission and its Member Countries of Lao PRD, Thailand and Viet Nam from 16 January to 22 January 2017.  The Mississippi River Commission visited Cambodia in 2013.

The visit is part of ongoing experience sharing between the Mekong River Commission and the Mississippi River Commission agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two organizations in 2010 to promote and enhance public safety and community welfare by fostering research, improving water resources development, and advancing systems for more economical, efficient, and environmentally-sound water resources management in the two river basins.

“The partnership between the Mekong River Commission and the Mississippi River Commission has benefited both organizations in term of lessons learnt sharing on sustainable development and river basin management. We highly appreciate the cooperation with the Mississippi River Commission and look forward to continuing the partnership”, said Pham Tuan Phan, Chief Executive Officer of the Mekong River Commission Secretariat.

This visit will be the opportunity for the Mississippi River Commission Delegation to exchange information with Mekong River Commission Council Members and water ministers of Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam. In addition to the meetings with the National Mekong Committees, the Delegation will have a field trip to an important hydropower project on Mekong river. The visit also includes a dialogue and technical discussion with staff at Mekong River Commission Secretariat Office in Vientiane on various issues including stakeholder engagement and further cooperation between the two organizations.

Exchange visits between the two organizations have happened on an annual basis. In 2014 and 2016, the Mekong River Commission had visits to the Mississippi and in 2013 and 2015, the Mississippi River Commission visited the Mekong which enhanced both organizations understanding of the basin-wide impacts of infrastructure development in a river ecosystem. Lately, CEO Pham and Lao colleagues took part in low-water inspection of Mississippi River Commission on Mississippi and witnessed two public meetings on the Mississippi River Commission ship.

The US wishes to invite the Mekong River Commission Council and Joint Committee members to the US for the high-water inspection on the Mississippi river in April 2017

 

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Note to editors:

The Mekong River Commissionis the intergovernmental body responsible for cooperation on the sustainable management of the Mekong Basin whose members include Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. It serves as a regional platform for water diplomacy as well as a knowledge hub of water resources management for the sustainable development of the region. It is not a supra-national or regulatory body. The commission 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.

The Mississippi River Commission was established to develop plans to improve the condition of the Mississippi River, foster navigation, promote commerce, and prevent destructive floods. The Mississippi River Commissionprovides water resources engineering direction and policy advice to the Administration, Congress and the Army in a drainage basin that covers 41 percent of the United States and parts of two Canadian provinces by overseeing the planning and reporting on the improvements on the Mississippi River. The intent behind the mission of the MRC today is the same as the mission placed on the commission upon its creation—to lead sustainable management and development of water related resources for the nation’s benefit and the people’s well-being. For the last 150years, The Mississippi River Commissionconducted almost 400water inspections along Mississippi. Thelast inspection in September had 7public meetings to solicit public inputs onwater management. The Mississippi River Commission charted its 200-yearvision forward.

 

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Le Thi Huong Lien
Communication and Press Officer, Mekong River Commission Secretariat, Vientiane
huonglien@mrcmekong.org | +856-21 263 263 ext 4704

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