Opening Statement by H.E.Mr. Noulinh Sinbandhit - Signing Ceremony between the EU and MRC to support the MRC Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative

Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, 16th Jan 2013

Signing Ceremony between the European Union and the Mekong River Commission to support the MRC Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative
16 January 2013,  Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

Address
By
His Excellency Mr. Noulinh Sinbandhit
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Chairperson of the Lao National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for the Lao PDR
Chairperson of the MRC Council for 2012/2013

Opening Statement

By

His Excellency Mr. Noulinh Sinbandhit
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment
Chairperson of the Lao National Mekong Committee
Member of the MRC Council for the Lao PDR
Chairperson of the MRC Council for 2012/2013

Your Excellencies,

Your Excellency Mr. David Lipman Ambassador of the European Union

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the Government of Lao PDR and as the Chairperson of the MRC council for 2012/2013, may I welcome you all to the city of Luang Prabang to witness the Agreement signing ceremony between the European Union and the Mekong River Commission.

This ceremony would mark a very important contribution from the EU to the MRC after a very long discussion on the Agreement and our cooperation. I am very delighted that all the details have been worked out to everyone’s satisfaction and we are able to have this signing ceremony today.

Like many developing countries, MRC Member Countries have been standing to suffer more from climate change impacts compared to developed countries, due to intensification of flood and drought conditions; fewer resources available for adaptation and impacts mitigation measures; and a higher proportion of poor people living a subsistence livelihood.

Countries in the Lower Mekong River Basin have been trying to adapt to climate change and build the resilience of thier people as climate change is anticipated to add up with other threats to our country and affect several sectors such as agriculture, water and water related resources and food security as key sectors that would help us to achieve our development goals.

Lao PDR in particular, is doing its best to work hand in hand with the MRC to estimate the likely changes of climate parameters and river flows for the basin. Based on global and regional climate change projections, it has also assessed the current and potential climate change impacts and vulnerabilities of people and economic sectors. Relevant strategies and plans to respond to climate change impacts have been endorsed and being gradually implemented.

We are, thus, very delighted that the European U.nion is supporting our efforts and has shown its commitment to promote the future cooperation in the Mekong River Basin and to support vulnerable sectors and communities. I therefore would like to express my sincerest thanks to your Excellency Ambassador David Lipman and your colleagues and indeed the European Union people for their kind support and I look forward to working with you all.

Thank you.

-ends-