Vientiane, Lao PDR, 1 June 2018 – To celebrate today’s Lao National Tree Planting Day and 5th June World Environment Day, Head of the Mekong River Commission Secretariat and staffers, joined by Deputy Governor of Vientiane’s Sikhottabong District, planted 24 trees along the Mekong River bank in front of the MRC Secretariat.

At the ceremony, where approximately 60 staff members and officials from both the MRC Secretariat and Sikhottabong District Office participated, CEO Pham Tuan Phan emphasized two primary objectives why the ceremony was called on.

“We want to promote environmental sustainability and green and livable city initiatives. We aim to use this opportunity as a reminder of the MRC’s commitment to a sustainable future of the Mekong region and inspire action to contribute to the cause,” he said.

The move is also in line with the Commission’s ‘paperless’ initiative, which began last year, where staff members are encouraged to print less paper and use more electronic documents for meetings and during daily operation. The Secretariat Office of the Commission is also working toward a plastic-less initiative to save the planet, an initiative that is corresponding to this year’s World Environment Day theme “Beating Plastic Pollution”.

CEO Pham Tuan Phan middle and Deputy Governor of Sikhottabong District Mr Inpong Thoumma second from right plant a tree together

CEO Pham Tuan Phan (middle) and Deputy Governor of Sikhottabong District Mr Inpong Thoumma (second from right) plant a tree together along the Mekong River bank in front of the MRC Secretariat.

“I’m pleased we are able to move ahead with the initiatives, and I keen to institutionalize them in our annual work plans or even strategic plans at a broader, basin-wide scale,” CEO Pham said.

Deputy Governor of Vientiane’s Sikhottabong District, Mr. Inpong Thoumma, appreciated the MRC’s green initiatives, saying that he supported the action and would be pleased to see other local and international institutions take a similar approach for a healthy Vientiane city.

“I am happy to see that the MRC Secretariat join forces with the Lao government to raise awareness about the important role of forests and green city. And I’d highly encourage others to join the cause,” Mr. Thoumma said.

This is the first time that the MRC Secretariat has held such the ceremony after the Commission has entered into its full reform since 2016.

Read this news in Lao language, and view photos from the ceremony on Flickr

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.