Vientiane, Lao PDR, 22nd Oct 2007
The Mekong River Commission (MRC) is hosting study tour from 26 members of the Nile Basin Initiative, representing nine African nations.
The delegates from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda are from the Water Resources Planning and Management Project, which aims to enhance technical and analytical capacity in the region to support the development, management and protection of the Nile Basin Water Resources.
They are especially interested in learning about basinwide communication, information management and analysis of river basin resources.
The team is engaging in a six-day study tour of the Mekong Region, hosted by MRC to learn about how MRC puts its own systems of planning and transboundary cooperation to work between its four Member States.
In particular the delegation will learn more about and discuss the operation of the MRC’s Decision Support Framework (DSF) modelling system, which is being used to estimate the costs and benefits of various development scenarios within the Mekong Basin which have transboundary implications. They are hoping to draw key lessons from the development and applications in the DSF which will improve the NBI’s Decision Support System which is in its early stages of implementation the Nile Basin.
The visit will also create an opportunity for sharing Nile Basin and Mekong Basin experiences and exploring avenues for future cooperation with the MRC. The two river basin organisations share similar goals for sustainable development of their water resources and both rely on good cooperation between the countries who share their rivers.
The group will spend three days in Vientiane then fly to Phnom Penh where they will see the navigation buoys and beacons installed by the MRC’s Navigation Programme on the river and visit the MRC’s Regional Flood Management and Mitigation Centre and learn about flood forecasting techniques in use in the basin.
The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is a partnership initiated and led by the riparian states of the Nile River through the Council of Ministers of Water Affairs of the Nile Basin states. The NBI seeks to develop the river in a cooperative manner, share substantial socioeconomic benefits, and promote regional peace and security. Cooperative water resources management is complex in the Nile Basin, which is characterised by water scarcity, poverty, a long history of dispute and insecurity, and rapidly growing populations and demand for water. The NBI started with a participatory process of dialogue among the riparians that resulted in their agreeing on a shared vision—to “achieve sustainable socioeconomic development through the equitable utilisation of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water resources.
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