The Government of the Netherlands continues its support to Mekong River Commission
Vientiane, Lao PDR, 23 January 2017 – The Government of the Netherlands has granted USD 2.17 million to the Mekong River Commission in support of its MRC Strategic Plan for 2016-2020 including the Flood Management and Mitigation Initial Studies.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Pham Tuan Phan, Chief Executive Officer of the MRC Secretariat and Ms. Karin Roelofs, Head, Cluster Water, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands. The grant contributes to the MRC basket fund for the implementation of MRC priorities with one third is earmarked to successfully finalize the Flood Management and Mitigation Initial Studies. The Initial Studies are to demonstrate the formulation of strategic directions to manage existing, future and residual flood risks in selected areas of the Lower Mekong Basin.
“We are glad to welcome the Netherlands back to the MRC as an active development partner after 5 years. The MRC appreciates their support for the MRC flood management and mitigation activities during 2002 -2012” said Dr. Pham Tuan Phan. “Through this new funding, the MRC will not only be able to finalize the Initial Studies but also conduct other works of high priority in the Strategic Plan.”
During this strategic cycle of 2016-2020, the MRC will focus its work on four key result areas: strengthening regional cooperation, improving monitoring and communication of conditions in the basin, enhancing national plans and projects and turning the MRC into a leaner, more effective river basin organization.
In an effort to increase water efficiency in agriculture, the MRC will also strengthen its cooperation with the Netherlands in optimizing water use in agriculture production within the basin.
“Through this contribution the Netherlands emphasizes its hopes that a restructured MRC will play an active role in the sustainable development of the Mekong Basin, especially as a broker of impartial knowledge and data”, said Ms. Roelofs. “We hope that our renewed engagement will help balance the needs of the most vulnerable segments of societies in the basin, and the important ecosystem services the Mekong provides, with the economic opportunities it offers.”
The Netherlands has contributed so far more than USD 16 million to the MRC since 1997 for activities related to wetland biodiversity, and flood management and mitigation.
Note to editors:
The Mekong River Commission is the intergovernmental body responsible for cooperation on the sustainable management of the Mekong Basin whose members include Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. It 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.It is not a supra-national or regulatory body. The commission looks across all sectors including sustaining fisheries, identifying opportunities for agriculture, maintaining the freedom of navigation, flood management and preserving important ecosystems. Superimposed on these are the future effects of more extreme floods, prolonged drought and sea level rise associated with climate change.