Luxembourg offers 1 million euros grant to Mekong River Commission
THE government of Luxembourg has granted 1 million euros (about Bt39 million) to the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to support the implementation of its strategic work for the period of 2016-2020.
Claude Jentgen, charge d’affaires of the Embassy of Luxembourg in Vientiane, the Development Cooperation Office for Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, and Pham Tuan Phan, chief executive officer of the MRC Secretariat, formally exchanged the signed grant agreement recently in Vientiane.
This is the second grant to the MRC by this Western European country since 2011.
“Recognising the MRC’s pivotal role with regard to regional cooperation in the Mekong River Basin, Luxembourg has provided continued support to the commission since 2011, including to the Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative,” Jentgen said.
“Indeed, many of the core challenges in the river basin, especially with regard to climate change and hydropower development, can only be addressed effectively and sustainably through informed cooperation among riparian countries, and the MRC provides competent and effective support to its member states to this end.”
During the last strategic cycle of 2011-2015, Luxembourg’s contribution directly supported the implementation of the Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative and the MRC’s flagship study on sustainable management and development of the Mekong River, including the impact of mainstream hydropower projects.
For the strategic cycle of 2016-2020, Luxembourg’s grant along with other donors’ contributions will be put into the MRC’s basket of funds for implementation of this new five-year strategic plan.
“Cooperation between Luxembourg and MRC began in 2011,” Pham Tuan Phan said. We appreciate Luxembourg’s continued support to strengthen regional cooperation in the management of shared water resources. It would [will] help us to achieve the MRC’s strategic goals for sustainable development in the region.”
During 2016-2020 strategic cycle, the MRC will focus its work on four key areas. They are 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 efficient river-basin organisation.
The MRC strives to serve as the region’s only river-basin organisation that supports sustainable management and development of shared water resources for the member countries’ mutual benefit and well-being of 65 million people living in the basin.
The MRC was established by a 1995 agreement among Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
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, enhancing flood management and preserving important ecosystems.