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Newly thought out strategy for the Mekong

Jason Boken / Khmer Times Share:
Recognising the need to protect the Mekong ecosystem in the face of climate change and rapid development, the council approved an environmental management strategy. Facebook

Ministerial delegates from the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Council have now approved a list of strategic documents, charting a new course for it and strengthening its efforts to balance environmental protection and economic development in the Mekong Basin.

The MRC Council represents the highest level of the organisation, with its membership composed of water resources and environment ministers from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam.

“By approving these strategic documents, we have made it clear that we are committed to addressing the mounting challenges facing the basin and to bringing about responsible developments that further improve living standards for the poor,” said Sommad Pholsena, chairperson of the MRC Council for 2020, at a one-day virtual meeting held in Paksong, Lao PDR.

During the annual gathering, the council approved the next Basin Development Strategy (BDS) 2021–2030 and the MRC Strategic Plan (SP) 2021–2025. The approval of the BDS and SP recognises that the role of the MRC is shifting from one primarily focused on cooperation for knowledge acquisition and sharing, towards comprehensive cooperation on water resources development and management across the entire Mekong River Basin.

Recognising the need to protect the Mekong ecosystem in the face of climate change and rapid development, the council approved an environmental management strategy, the first of its kind that covers the whole Lower Mekong Basin (LMB).

The Mekong Strategy for Basin-wide Environmental Management of Environmental Assets of Regional Importance 2021–2025 seeks to restore, protect and manage environmental assets of regional importance in the LMB.

The Mekong River Basin is recognised as a global biodiversity hotspot, comprising 12 habitat types ranging from highlands to coastal waters and including peat swamps, subterranean streams
and crater lakes. These environmental assets support critical ecological services and functions for millions of people in the LMB.

The council also approved a navigation master plan that will enable the MRC to improve navigation rules, attract investment and realise the potential of regional trade.

Transport along the Mekong River has been one of the main connections between communities in the riparian countries after they first settled along its banks centuries ago.

Through the approved Master Plan for Regional Waterborne Transport in the Mekong River Basin, the MRC will assist member countries to improve national and international transport networks using the Mekong River in the four Lower Mekong countries.

Overlooking the Mekong River with one of the best views in Phnom Penh stands The Bridge. Jointly developed by Singapore-based developer Oxley Holdings and Cambodia’s Worldbridge Land, The Bridge comprises of two towers surrounded by stunning city views.

At 45 storeys, it is the nation’s tallest high-rise apartment complex. Located beside the Australian Embassy in the Tonle Bassac district of Phnom Penh, The Bridge stands on a one-hectare site in a tranquil environment and is only a stone’s throw from the Tonle Sap, Mekong and Bassac rivers.

Prominently located in a prime city area, this is a project like no other, with one-stop city living right by the famous Mekong.

 

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