Lancang-Mekong countries discuss water resources cooperation

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The second Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Forum opened in Beijing on Tuesday. The six countries through which the Mekong River flows, including Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China, where it’s known as the Lancang River, agreed to deepen their cooperation in various areas since the Lancang-Mekong cooperation mechanism was established in March 2016.

Water resources are one of the key areas. The cooperation forum on water resources was agreed upon among Lancang-Mekong leaders in 2018.  Held online from December 7 to 8, experts and officials from the six countries will discuss how to maximize cooperation.

“Over the past five years, the water authorities of the six countries have implemented policies that were agreed upon by the state leaders. And we’ve benefitted from the results,” Chinese Minister of Water Resources Li Guoying said at the opening of the forum.

Li said that the results achieved have mainly been in four specific areas. First, policy dialogue and exchanges of technologies have further strengthened between the six countries, along with the exchange of information between members; Flood prevention and drought mitigation capabilities have been further enhanced. Lastly, projects to safeguard the livelihood of people living near the river have yielded even greater benefits.

Officials from the six countries agreed that the current results prove the importance of their cooperation.

“The Mekong-Lancang River Basin is home to more than 60 million people, and we are now facing some very serious challenges, namely resource depletion, environmental degradation, and biodiversity loss,” said Vietnamese Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dr. Tran Hong Ha. “Only through acting together in a timely manner can we overcome these challenges.”

Experts and officials laid out the prospects and some suggestions for the future on the opening day of the forum.

“We need to push for pragmatic cooperation in areas such as climate change, adaptation, drinking water safety, and flood and drought prevention management,” said Hao Zhao, director of Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Center at Chinese Ministry of Water Resources.

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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