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Denmark further supports Mekong countries’ environmental protection

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:48 am

Denmark, the Mekong River Commission’s largest donor, has committed a grant of 10 million Danish Kroner (about US$1.9 million) to the MRC Environment Program to support Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.


MRC is an inter-governmental body responsible for cooperation on the sustainable management of the Mekong Basin whose countries members are the four nations.


“This grant symbolizes Denmark’s commitment to the sustainable development and protection of the environment and people’s livelihoods in the Lower Mekong Basin,” Mr. Jeremy Bird, CEO of the MRC Secretariat, said in a Dec. 14 statement.


“Denmark’s support will contribute directly towards improved basin management and will ensure that up‐to‐date information on environmental and social knowledge is produced and disseminated throughout the member countries,” he added.


The funding will go towards assisting the four nations achieve greater environmental protection through improved basin management, MRC said.

This file photo shows villagers catch fish from the Mekong River in the Siphan Don area, Champassak Province, southern Laos. The Mekong River Basin houses around 60 million people and a majority of the inhabitants are farmers and fishers. (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

The grant will further develop the body’s knowledge base, which enhances regional understanding of environmental health and climate change risks in the Lower Mekong Basin.


“Most importantly, Denmark’s support leads to the Environment Program’s continual trans-boundary capacity building and awareness raising activities,” Mr
Bird added.


“These activities stress the importance of the Mekong’s environment and how it provides ecological services which sustain Mekong people’s livelihoods.”


As the MRC’s largest donor, Denmark has continuously supported the body’s Environment Program since 2004.


The MRC says the Scandinavian country will support the program’s work over the next five years, in the implementation of the mechanisms, tools and water quality procedures as well as assist Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam in strengthening their proactive response to emerging environmental issues and climate risks.


Mr. Vithet Srinetr, MRC’s Environment Program coordinator, said in the Tuesday statement, “We anticipate that Denmark’s continued support will also contribute to improved capacity and ownership of the member countries in implementing environmental monitoring and reporting activities over the next five years.”


The environment program aims to assist the four countries in protecting the environment and maintaining the ecological balance of the Mekong Basin.


The lower part of the Mekong River Basin is home to approximately 60 million people and a majority of the inhabitants are farmers and fishers, depending directly on the natural resource base. The MRC says this is why the Environment Program is developing a river health management strategy to provide a framework for managing the Mekong River and a Mekong Environmental Report Card to inform the people of the basin about current environmental conditions.

Source: SGGP

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