Home > Mekong River, Travel > Viet Nam, Laos, Thailand bind to protect Mekong

Viet Nam, Laos, Thailand bind to protect Mekong

A
Vietnamese paddles into the Mekong River, a major source of fisheries
and water of riparian states like Laos, Thailand, Viet Nam and
Cambodia. THE NATION (THAILAND)
Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand
yesterday (January 27) reached an agreement to protect water quality in
the Mekong River against emerging threats.
The Procedures for Water Quality
agreement, the first of its kind and sealed by environment and water
ministers from the four countries at the 17th annual meeting of the
Mekong River Commission (MRC) Council in HCM City, seeks to safeguard
the basin and prepare people and agencies to respond to environmental
emergencies.
It commits the four riparian countries
to adopt mutually-recognised standards for measurement, monitoring, and
assessment of water quality.
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang
Trung Hai said in his welcome remarks that the lower Mekong Basin faces
several challenges that threaten natural resources, particularly water,
and the livelihoods of tens of millions of residents.
He called for an action plan for the
basin to respond to climate changes while protecting the environment
and the lives of millions of people downstream.
Strategic partners
He stressed the need for increased
cooperation with strategic partners, including dialogue partners like
mainland China and Burma, and developing the council into an
independent manner.
The Vietnamese government is determined
to cooperate fully with other Council members to implement the 1995
Mekong Agreement and Hua Hin Declaration for sustainable development of
the Mekong basin, he said.
Vietnamese minister of natural resources
and environment Pham Khoi Nguyen, chairman of the MRC Council, also
noted that climate change was a big concern in the basin, particularly
rising sea levels and salinity.
The two problems would affect not only agriculture, aquaculture, and fisheries, but also the livelihood of local people.
“Our top priority will be to integrate climate change-related factors into the planning process of relevant sectors.
Jeremy Bird, chief executive officer of
the Mekong River Commission, said: “This trans-boundary co-operation
commitment is a major step towards securing the environmentally-sound
future of the Mekong River.
“Together with implementation of the
four other agreements under the 1995 Mekong Agreement, this will help
bring about timely protection of both livelihoods of people and aquatic
species throughout the basin.”
More than 60 million people, most of
them living in rural areas in the basin, depend heavily on the river
for food and livelihood.
More than 60 per cent are involved in water-related occupations that are now vulnerable to environmental shocks and degradation.
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Categories: Mekong River, Travel
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