Laos Urges Sustainable Water Use at Asia-Pacific Water Summit

Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh addresses fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Japan
Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh addresses fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Japan.

Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh called for concerted efforts to ensure the effective and sustainable use of water resources while addressing the fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Japan.

Mr. Phankham led a delegation from Laos to the Summit, which was held in Kumamoto, Japan, from 23-24 April under the theme of, “Water for Sustainable Development – Best Practices and the Next Generation.”

High-level delegations from Asia-Pacific nations and international organizations gathered at the Summit to discuss water-related issues.

Addressing the meeting, PM Phankham stated that the world’s growing population, increasing demand for water and water resources, and climate change all have implications for the sustainability of water and water resources, Vientiane Times reports.

“There is a need for us to urgently take action to manage water and water resources effectively and sustainably,” PM Phankham said.

He went on to say that Laos places a high value on water and water resources in order to ensure the most effective use and long-term management of water resources, which hold enormous potential for the country’s development.

The Lao government has therefore developed a strategy for water and water resource management, according to Mr. Phankham.

He also stated that Laos supports water diplomacy and seeks to strengthen regional and international cooperation on water and water resource management.

Recognizing the importance of water and water resources, the United Nations has designated water management and use as the sixth sustainable development goal (SDG6), one of the 17 SDGs.

Prime Minister Phankham noted that international measures on water management have been incorporated into national measures to ensure proper management in Laos. These include the integration of SDG6 into the national socio-economic development plan.

At the end of the summit, the Kumamoto declaration was adopted for discussions at the 2023 UN Water Conference, slated to be held next March.