Media Release: Mekong River Commission Launches Two Joint Projects to Better Manage the Mekong Basin Resources and Address Flood and Drought Issues
Vientiane, Lao PDR, 17 January 2018 – The Mekong River Commission launched two joint projects between Cambodia and Lao PDR, and Cambodia and Thailand to better manage the Mekong basin resources and address flood and drought issues, at a kick-off meeting held yesterday in Vientiane.
Funded by the German government through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the projects focus on transboundary development planning of water resources management in the Khone Falls region between Cambodia and Lao PDR, including monitoring of environmental impacts from the Don Sahong project; and joint assessment and planning for flood and drought management in the border areas of Cambodia and Thailand, which suffer from frequent flooding.
“We’re pleased that the two joint projects have attracted funding support and will now be implemented,” said Mr. Pham Tuan Phan, the Commission Chief Executive Officer. “These projects are expected to lead to joint investment in improving water security and supporting economic and social development in the project transboundary areas and beyond.”
GIZ has been a long-standing development partner of the Commission, actively providing support to the organization in many areas, including integrated water resources management, flood mitigation, climate change, sustainable hydropower, institutional reform and gender mainstreaming.
“Germany has placed the importance of implementation of MRC-facilitated transboundary projects that have the potential to inspire increased cooperation between and among the Commission member countries,” said Mr. Bertrand Meinier, MRC-GIZ Cooperation Program Director.
Running for an initial, one-year period from April 2018 to March 2019, the two joint projects are among the five which were developed using the current Basin Development Strategy and which were identified and agreed in National Indicative Plans. The member countries will use the projects to promote cross-border cooperation in water resources planning and management to create mutual benefits.
From 2013 to 2016, the Commission Secretariat under the former Basin Development Plan program facilitated various discussions among the member countries, based on review of Commission assessments and national plans, when developing these joint projects.
The kick-off meeting that ended yesterday also discussed implementation arrangements of the projects, including the governance structure.
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Note to editors:
The Mekong River Commission is an intergovernmental organization for regional dialogue and cooperation in the lower Mekong river basin, established in 1995 based on the Mekong Agreement between Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. The organization serves as a regional platform for water diplomacy as well as a knowledge hub of water resources management for the sustainable development of the region.