18 Million DKK To The Mekong River

New Danish
grant to the Mekong River Commission Fisheries Programme enables the MRC to
fast-track work on assessing impacts to fisheries of hydro power projects which
currently threatens the survival of the fisheries resources in the Mekong and the livelihoods of millions of people.

     The Danish
Ambassador on Friday 7 November signed an 18 million Danish Kroner (USD 3.3
million) funding agreement over a two-year period to support the work of the
Fisheries Programme of the Mekong River Commission (MRC).

     “At a time
when fisheries in the Mekong is increasingly under pressure from impacts of
water management projects for irrigation, hydro power and water supply, the
work of the MRC in this field becomes ever more important”, he said. “Our new
grant will enable the MRC to fast-track work on assessing such impacts and
ensure that decision-makers in the Basin are aware of the consequences to
fisheries of such planned projects.”

     The
agreement was signed in Vientiane,
Lao PDR and Mr. Jeremy Bird, Chief Executive Officer of the Mekong River
Commission Secretariat.

     Denmark has been supporting the MRC in its
main areas of work for many years, focusing in particular on the Environment
Programme, the Basin Development Plan, the Fisheries Programme, the Flood
Management and Mitigation Programme and on the implementation of the
recommendations of the Organisational Review of the MRC Secretariat and
National Mekong Committee. This new support the MRC Fisheries Programme, Phase
II for 2009-2010, follows on from a previous grant of 30 million DKK (USD 5.5
million) to the Fisheries Programme in 2005-2008.

     Mr Jeremy
Bird, CEO of the MRC Secretariat, thanked the Danish Government for its
continued and generous support of the MRC’s work and said the new funding would
be of great assistance in helping the MRC achieve the goals set out in its
2006-2010 Strategic Plan.

     “We have
set ourselves an ambitious five-year plan, with the overall goal of promoting
sustainable development within the basin to alleviate poverty,” he said. “From
the perspectives of nutrition, employment, and economic well-being of the rural
fishers, management of the productive Mekong fisheries so as to sustain their
high yield and economic output is well justified as an integral part of the
development of the Lower
Mekong Basin
.”

The funding
to the MRC is particularly in line with Denmark’s policy to encourage
promotion of environmentally sustainable and productive use of natural
resources and will directly contribute to sustainable development by ensuring that
the MRC, riparian organisations and users implement sustainable fisheries
management and development at local, national and regional levels.

    More
information about the MRC Fisheries Programme can be found here:

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