Mekong communities brace for climate struggle
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Mekong communities brace for climate struggle

The bank of the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom province. (Photo: Pattanapong Sripiachai)
The bank of the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom province. (Photo: Pattanapong Sripiachai)

Six countries along the Mekong River have pledged to tackle climate change, said Surasee Kittimonthon, secretary-general of the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR) on Sunday.

He said the ONWR represented Thailand at the meetings of the 3rd Lancang-Mekong Water Resource Cooperation Forum and the 18th World Water Congress in Beijing on Sept 10-13. Also present at the meetings were senior officials from six member countries of the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) including Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. The Mekong River is 4,880 kilometres in length and feeds 326 million people in those countries.

The meetings were held to exchange knowledge and technology, as well as present the performance of projects funded by an MLC special fund, said Mr Surasee. The meetings also reported the progress of the idea exchange under the Mekong-Lancang water management cooperation between member countries.

“Thailand stressed the importance of the cooperation between member countries in water resource management through every mechanism of society including state agencies, private and civil society sectors or even women and youth organisations to tackle the impact of climate change such as flooded, drought and an increasing demand of fresh water,” said Mr Surasee.

He said Thailand proposed a water management plan based on the country’s 20-year water management masterplan aiming to achieve sustainable management of water following the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In addition, he said the member countries had also agreed on having the first phase of the joint study between the Mekong River Commission and MLC to pave the way for better information sharing about reservoir operations on the Mekong’s water flow, and water release as well as solutions to reduce the impacts both drought or flooded along the areas in the countries downstream of the river.

He said a joint expert group will be set up to run studies. There will also be a joint Lancang-Mekong survey to study the impact on communities living along the river.

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