MRC, China and Myanmar cooperate on shared Mekong resources

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 31st Aug 2006

Strong cooperation between the six countries sharing the Mekong River Basin was essential if joint interests for wider development of the Mekong River Basin were to be fulfilled and environmental and natural resources were to be protected, H.E. Mr Sin Niny, Vice-Chairman of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee, Member of the Joint Committee for Cambodia and Chairman of the MRC Joint Committee for 2006/2007 told a meeting in Vientiane today.

In his opening address to the Mekong River Commission’s 11th Annual Dialogue Meeting with the People’s Republic of China and the Union of Myanmar, Mr Sin Niny said the MRC member countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam) had found a common base to enhance such cooperation in the establishment of the annual Dialogue Meetings since 1996. These meetings had provided a useful avenue for the countries to share information and data and to establish a practical framework for future cooperation.

In April 2002 China and the MRC signed the Agreement on the Provision of Hydrological Information of the Lancang/Mekong River in Flood Season by the People’s Republic of China to the MRC. Since June 2004,

24-hourly water level and 12-hourly rainfall data have been sent daily from China to the MRC for flood forecasting purposes. In January 2006 the MRC Secretariat commenced supplying China with monthly flow data from hydrological stations in Chiang Saen, Thailand and Stung Treng, Cambodia.

The MRC in close cooperation with China has made good progress under the AusAID-funded Appropriate Hydrological Network Improvement Project (AHNIP) in the improvement of the two hydrological stations at Jinghong and Man’An, and the establishment of the Data Centre at the Provincial Bureau of Hydrology and Water Resources in Kunming, People’s Republic of China. In June 2006 the MRC organised a technical mission to these stations to make necessary arrangements for the provision of data for the flood season 2006 and to consolidate the capacity of local technical staff in using automatic equipment provided by MRC. As a result, the supply of regular data commenced successfully from 15 June 2006 onward.

“The MRC has sought a continuous communication and consultation with China and Myanmar with a view to increase and enhance its cooperation and I am pleased to note that there is significant potential for further cooperation in a range of technical areas,” Mr Sin Niny said.

Representatives of the People’s Republic of China and the Union of Myanmar attended the 11rh Dialogue Meeting.

-ends-

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Mr. Damian Kean, Interim Communication Advisor
Tel: +856 56120695 or +856 21 263 263 Ext. 4703
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