PM put forwards measures to foster Mekong cooperation
14:25 | 05/04/2014

VGP - PM Nguyen Tan Dung put forwards five measures to beef up cooperation among Mekong River Basin countries in the second regional summit which opened in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday morning.

In a worst-case climate scenario, sea level will rise up to one meter in Viet Nam in the next 100 years, submerging 40% of the Mekong River Delta - Photo: VGP

Firstly, the member countries continue to fully and effectively implement the 1995 Mekong Agreement as well as the procedures and guidelines of the MRC on the equitable and reasonable use of water resources, including the Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation, and Agreement (PNPCA) to support sound decision-making on proposed water resources development projects in the Mekong River Basin.

Secondly, they update the progress of and intensify the implementation of the IWRM-based Basin Development Strategy through national and regional action plans. In the development of the MRC’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, consider adopting a new approach of water, energy and food nexus with a long-term, inter-disciplinary and multi-sectoral vision.

Thirdly, step up the MRC’s research and forecast activities, with focus on and highest priority given to the completion of the MRC Council Study on the sustainable management and development of the Mekong River, including the impacts of mainstream hydropower projects.

Fourthly, further strengthen the MRC’s monitoring and coordination of Member countries’ commitments to cooperation, management, utilization and protection of the Mekong River for the sustainable development of the region. It is also necessary to continue consolidating the regional and international legal frameworks to promote the equitable and reasonable utilization and sustainable development of water resources.

Fifthly, further expand cooperation between the MRC and its dialogue partners as well as encouraging the participation of and consultation among countries within and outside the region for the sustainable development of the basin.

PM Dung said Viet Nam joined the other MRC Members in commending the two Dialogue Partners of China and Myanmar for the cooperation and sharing of related information and experience.

He also praised the development partners for their interest, support and assistance, and look forward to their continued financial and technical assistance toward realizing the priority areas of actions of the MRC in the upcoming period.

The Mekong River has become one of the five largest rivers in the world with most serious flow reduction. The annual average flow of the Mekong River at Chieng Sen, the gateway to the Lower Mekong Basin, has been reduced by 10% within the past 30 years.

In Vientiane, Laos, the Mekong River has dried out to the point the people can walk across the river in the dry season. Meanwhile, in Thailand, the once calm Chao Phraya River inflicted huge floods of a national disaster level for months in 2011.

In the Mekong River Delta of Viet Nam, salinity intrusion happened for the first time in the areas of Tan Chau and Chau Doc of An Giang Province. Such impacts have become ever more severe and urgent in the face of adverse impacts of climate change hitting riparian countries.

In a worst-case climate scenario, sea level will rise up to one meter in Viet Nam in the next 100 years, submerging 40% of the Mekong River Delta and directly affecting 10% of the Vietnamese population, according to the Vietnamese Government chief./.

By Hai Minh

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