Germany is allocating a further EUR 1.45 million to the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to tackle development and management challenges in the Lower Mekong Basin.
The extra funding will bolster technical cooperation in implementing the MRC Strategic Plan 2021–2025 and is in addition to Germany’s contribution of EUR 3 million first announced in June 2021.
Dr. Christina Seeberg-Elverfeldt, Head of Development Cooperation of the German Embassy to Lao PDR, said at a ceremony in Vientiane on 18 November that the extra funding would enhance the MRC’s ability to tackle climate risks.
“This additional funding will help the MRC establish its Core River Monitoring Network in the Mekong Region, an essential step towards getting more timely data and information about impacts of water infrastructure projects not only on the Mekong mainstream but also tributaries. We hope the fund will contribute to informed decisions over the development and responsible management of water resources as well as boosting the MRC’s ability to manage flood and drought risks more effectively.”
Dr. An Pich Hatda, Chief Executive Officer of the MRC Secretariat, said the funds demonstrated Germany’s commitment to future cooperation for responsible development and sound management of the Mekong River Basin.
“We thank the German government for its decision to provide extra funding to the MRC which will be used to improve our ability to collect data and more effectively protect the future of the many lives that depend on the LMB for their livelihoods.”
The extra funding will support the Transboundary Water Cooperation in the Lower Mekong Basin Project. It focuses on capacity building for the MRC Core River Monitoring Network, a joint project to improve climate resilience in the 9C-9T sub-basin in the Tonle Sap, and organizational development.
Germany has worked closely with the MRC and achieved commendable results from the Joint Environmental Monitoring Programme (JEM) at the Xayaburi and Don Sahong dams. Preliminary results from the two pilot projects, due to be published this year, confirm the importance of gathering reliable and relevant data to make informed decisions about the development and management of water resources.
Germany has a long-standing cooperation with the MRC dating back to the establishment of the MRC in 1995. Over the years, Germany has provided more than EUR 50 million in technical and financial support in pursuit of the MRC’s vision of “an economically prosperous, socially just, environmentally sound and climate-resilient Mekong River Basin”.