Sustainable future for the Mekong basin


On the sidelines of AMM 47, the seventh Lower Mekong Initiative  Ministerial Meeting and the fourth meeting of Friends of Lower Mekong Meeting were took place under the chairmanship maintenance of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar and United States Secretary of State. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affair Minister Pham Binh Minh led Vietnam to attend the conferences.
With the theme “Building a sustainable future for the Mekong region in the context of security for food - water - energy and supporting formation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015”, LMI conference focused on discussing the opportunities and challenges for the sustainable development of the Mekong basin and propose several specific cooperative measures to narrow the development gap and promote regional economic integration towards ASEAN community in 2015. All ministers agreed that, after 5 years since its inception, LMI has become an effective cooperation mechanism between the United States and the Lower Mekong countries to cope with the development challenges through six pillars of cooperation in agriculture and food security, connectivity, education, energy security, environment, water and health. Joint Declaration of the Conference announced a new partnership program LMI in the next 5 years, which focuses on the deployment of six key projects including the Mekong Connected, Intelligent Infrastructure for the Mekong, connecting through education and training, communication skills training for leadership, Entrepreneurship center for women and prevention of infectious diseases.
Ministers agreed to continue policy dialogue related to sustainable regional development, while enhancing coordination and collaboration with the Initiative of ASEAN Integration (IAI). The conference officially launched the Eminent Expert Persons Group (EEPG) which is responsible for researching and recommending measures to promote the sustainable development of the Mekong Basin, reporting to the senior officials and the Ministries of head of LMI.
FLM Conference agreed to strengthen regional cooperation and connection, sustainable management of water resources and environmental protection of the Mekong basin. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to building partnerships at all levels of local, transnational, regional and across continents to effectively respond to the challenges and development issues of water in the Mekong region. The conference affirmed the priority of processing challenges in ensuring water security, energy and food into growth opportunities and sustainable development for the whole sub-regions. Many development partners within and outside the region such as the EU, Australia, WB, ADB committed to continue supporting for the Mekong countries in the sustainable management of water resources, building intelligent infrastructure, clean energy, agriculture, climate change adaptation, environmental impact assessment... The EU decide  to triple aid for the Mekong countries over the period 2014-2020. The conference agreed to hold a special FLM meeting at the vice-ministerial level on sustainable development in Laos in late 2014 or early 2015.
Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh affirmed that Vietnam attaches special importance and priority of efforts for sustainable development and efficient use of water resources of the Mekong River in the context of climate change fiercely and look forward to continuing close collaboration with the Mekong countries and development partners in this effort. Deputy Prime Minister proposed to further strengthen cooperation and dialogue in the framework of LMI and FLM, primarily to support the development of socio-economic, enhancing connectivity, narrowing the development gap with ASEAN and supporting international Mekong River Commission to enhance research capacity and forecast the impact of dams on the Mekong mainstream.
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All comments [ 10 ]

Huy Quốc 15/8/14 14:49

The mighty Mekong, tenth largest river in the world, faces conflicting pressures for developing its floodplains and harnessing its powerful flow,

Vân Nhàn 15/8/14 14:50

The river basin countries recognize the risks posed by hydropower development, but seem to be caught between two difficult positions.

Lê Tín 15/8/14 14:52

The need for open decision making is critical to finding convergence between proponents and opponents of power projects, wherever they arise.

Quốc Kiên 15/8/14 14:53

Turbulence characterizes the river's upper portions, but the lower Mekong is more placid, and annual flooding supports a biologically diverse ecosystem.

Phạm Hiếu 15/8/14 14:53

Agriculture is the primary economic activity along the river, complemented by fish production, transportation and electricity generation.

Huy Lâm 15/8/14 14:56

Hydropower development has long been a critical issue for the people, planners and government officials of the Mekong's riparian countries, but the approach has changed over time.

Quốc Cường 15/8/14 14:57

Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam signed an Agreement on Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin in April 1995. It provides that signatories shall "cooperate in all fields of sustainable development, utilization, management and conservation of the waters and related resources of the Mekong River Basin, including but not limited to irrigation, hydropower, navigation, flood control . . . and to minimize the harmful effects that might result." These include inundation of large areas of agricultural lands and displacement of established populations, causing additional economic and cultural losses to this already endangered region.

Hoàng Lân 15/8/14 14:59

The rationale for hydropower stems from Asia's rapidly growing energy demand, which is doubling every 12 years. Yet, each country has its own unique concerns.

Quân Hoàng 15/8/14 15:00

Vietnam is most concerned about the impacts of its upstream neighbors' actions on the river's flow through its land on the way to the sea.

Hùng Quân 15/8/14 15:01

Agriculture would be affected if the dams reduced or eliminated the nutrient-rich silts deposited by floodwaters, and the remaining floodplain soils would be threatened by salinization if reservoirs caused underground salt deposits to dissolve and leach to the surface.

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