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May 2, 2019 — Water resource experts and key stakeholders from government agencies join today’s national consultation as part of Mekong Institute’s project on Transboundary Cooperation Mechanism on Adaptation to Climate Change and Hydropower Development Projects, an initiative supported by the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Special Fund.  

Organized in Bangkok and in collaboration with the Office of National Water Resources, Thailand, the consultation meeting kicks off a series of national consultations planned to be carried out in Thailand, Lao PDR and P.R. China as part of the project’s broad objective of enhancing transboundary cooperation mechanisms on water resource management and climate change adaptation in the Mekong River Basin.

The importance of data and information exchange on water resources, including hydrological and hydrogeological data, has been underscored in the 1997 Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses. The increasing risks and threats of climate change further emphasize effective data sharing mechanisms among countries in river basins such as the Mekong. Interventions at the national level have been especially pointed out to help strengthen the effectiveness of regional sharing and exchange mechanisms.

The national consultation takes stock of the three countries’ situation and identifies gaps in operationalizing regional data and information sharing and exchange. In his welcome remarks, Mr. Pradab Kladkempetch, Assistant Secretary General of the National Water Resources, Thailand, acknowledged that Thailand’s public sector has been receiving useful information and proposals as a result of activities carried out under the project since November last year. These, he said, can help concerned agencies address cross-border issues concerning water resource management of the Mekong-Lancang River. He also hopes that the national consultation and subsequent undertakings of the project can yield relevant recommendations for member countries in the region.

It can be recalled that the Project had carried out scoping visits in the three countries in previous months, as well as interviews with national experts and desk reviews. Results and findings of these initial activities are for presentation in these national consultation meetings.

Following consultation meetings in Lao PDR and P.R China, a regional consultation is set for June 2019.

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