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Mekong countries hold forum on sustainable development of water, food, energy


08:58, December 08, 2011

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Government representatives, industry specialists, financiers, civil society and research institutions from the Mekong countries met here on Wednesday to discuss ways to sustain the development of water, food and energy along the Mekong river.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the first Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy, Hang Chuon Naron, Secretary of State at Cambodia's Ministry of Economy and Finance, said the forum provided an opportunity for the participants to exchange on technology, management, development, institutions, financing, decision-making for the sustainable and pro-poor development in the Mekong region.

"Cambodia sees the issues of water, food and energy as the top priority to ensure sustainable economic development and poverty reduction," he said.

Cambodia locates in the Mekong Region that also incorporates the riparian countries of China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. The Mekong Region has a total population of over 300 million.

The Mekong River winds 4,800 kilometers down to the South China Sea, making it the longest river in Southeast Asia. More than 700 species of freshwater fish ply in the water.

Sat Samy, Secretary of State at Cambodia's Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, said that as the demand of energy has increased, the development of the Mekong River for power generation has been an important priority in most Mekong countries and more dams on both the Mekong mainstream and its tributaries are currently being built.

To date, about 3,200 megawatts or 10 percent of an estimated potential of 30,000 megawatts has been put into operation in the Lower Mekong Basin, he said.

He said Cambodia's theoretical hydropower potential is 10,000 megawatts with about 50 percent of the potential capacity on the Mekong mainstream and 40 percent on tributary systems.

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