Chiang Rai, Thailand, 1st Dec 2005
The Government of Denmark, through its aid arm Danida, will provide 30 million Danish kroner (approximately US$5 million) to fund the first three years of the second phase of the Mekong River Commission Fisheries Programme.
The new funding agreement was signed by H.E. Mr Peter Lysholt Hansen, Ambassador, Royal Danish Embassy and Dr Olivier Cogels, Chief Executive Officer MRC at the conclusion of the 10th Donor Consultative Group Meeting held in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
The funding will be spread over the years 2006-2008 and represents a continuation of the solid support Danida has given the MRC Fisheries Programme in the past.
The MRC Fisheries Programme aims to manage the productive Mekong fisheries so as to sustain their high yield and economic output well into the future. The programme undertakes research into capture fisheries, trains fisheries managers, promotes aquaculture of indigenous Mekong fish species and disseminates information to policy makers and planners in the four Lower Mekong countries. It has been operating since the MRC was formed in 1995 and has developed a wide range of programme activities throughout the four member countries.
“The Mekong River Basin has the largest inland fishery in the world and it is the sole means of food and livelihood for millions of the poorest people in the basin,” Dr Cogels said. “However it is also a fragile resource, and as the population of the basin grows there will be more pressure on the fishery. It is essential that this resource is maintained and monitored carefully if we are to secure its future diversity and abundance.
“If we can develop ways of improving yields, though better systems and use of aquaculture then we will also be able to improve food security and alleviate poverty.”
Dr Cogels applauded the Danish Government for its generous support of this very important programme, saying that it showed the value the international donor community placed on the work being done by the Mekong River Commission in the region.
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