Water security and integrated river basin management 1

Mekong River Commission, Korea Development Institute Discuss Knowledge Sharing Programme

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 15th Jan 2018

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 15 January 2018 – Water security and integrated river basin management, challenges and opportunities in hydropower development, and future direction of sustainable hydropower development in the Mekong basin are some of the main topics specialists from the Mekong River Commission and Korea Development Institute discussed last Friday at a regional working session held in Vientiane.

These topics are an integral part of a report the Mekong and Korean specialists are to produce this year, as part of the MRC-KDI’s Knowledge Sharing Programme (KSP).

In his opening remarks, Mr. Keomany Luanglith, Director of Governance and Cooperation Division at the Lao National Mekong Committee Secretariat, reiterated the importance of cooperation between the MRC and Korea, saying the Korean experience would be important to the MRC’s work.

“We welcome the opportunity to work together with KDI and encourage KDI experts to share experiences on how to effectively minimise potential adverse impacts from development projects,” Mr. Luanglith said.

“We’d certainly benefit from Korean experiences as long as they can be contextualised.”

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Mr. Keomany Luanglith opens the meeting, with Dr. Anoulak Kittikhoun, Chief Strategy & Partnership Officer of MRCS, serving as meeting facilitator.

In 2017, the MRC and Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance, as part of Mekong-Korea Cooperation, agreed to launch this KSP, creating an avenue for the two to collaborate on sharing knowledge and experience in various fields of water and water-related resources.

“MRC is our strategic development partner,” Dr. Kyoung Doung Kwon, KDI’s Division Director of Policy Consultation, stated at the meeting.

“We believe that knowledge is the key to successfully establishing legal and institutional conditions for self-sustainable growth,” he continued, citing a remarkable transition Korea made from one of the world poorest nations to a developed country.

“KSP will provide a meaningful platform through a structured policy dialogue and an exchange of practical experiences and knowledge from Korea and MRC member countries.”

The meeting also discussed the agenda and schedule of a long-week visit by the MRC member countries to Korea this late January, a visit that aims to explore different potential development projects and collaboration between the MRC and Korea. Outcomes from the visit will also feed into the report that the Mekong and Korean specialists are going to produce.

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