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|Thursday, November 01, 2001, updated at 14:27(GMT+8)|
Mekong River Countries Strengthen Cooperation in Water UtilizationThe governing Council of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) met Thursday in Bangkok and discussed two important Agreements which will effect the future sharing and management of the waters of the Lower Mekong Basin.
Before 80 delegates attending the Eighth annual meeting of MRC Council, Joern Kristensen, chief executive officer of the MRC stressed the importance of the decisions discussed at the meeting which include a Flood Management and Mitigation Strategy and guidelines for data sharing for water utilization.
He said that the Flood Management and Mitigation Strategy would help the Lower Mekong countries of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam to solve the problems of extreme flooding at a regional rather than a national level.
The strategy would also give MRC the mandate to assist its four member countries to develop lone-term strategies to guard against the devastation of flooding seen in 2000 and this year, he said.
As to the guidelines for information exchange and data sharing across the Low Mekong Basin, he believed that it would be an important step forward to ensuring the implementation of sustainable water sharing strategies across the region.
"These are crucial milestones because they will ensure sustainable development of the Mekong, and they also demonstrate to the world that the Lower Mekong countries have put their difference behind them and are serious about the sharing of the resources of the Basin," Joern said.
Thai Science, Technology and environment Minister Sontaya Kunplome also emphasized in his speech that procedures for data and information exchange and sharing between the four countries would ensure progress of the regional cooperation.
Moreover, Thailand would push forward the dialogue between the MRC and the upper Mekong River countries, Sontaya said.
"A close relationship with China and Myanmar is very important for our management of the Mekong Basin and needs coordination with downstream countries," he noted.
The MRC was established in 1995 by Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, under the 1995 Agreement for cooperation in all field of sustainable development, utilization, management and conservation of water and related resources of the Lower Mekong Basin.
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