Danish Government Supports Mekong River Commission to Tackle Climate Change

The Danish Government has pledged to provide DKK 4.8 million to help Mekong countries counter the effects of climate change. The signing ceremony for Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (CCAI) was held in the morning of 3 April 2010 in Hua Hin, Thailand.
       Mr. Peter Lysholt Hansen, Danish Ambassador to Vietnam and Lao, and Mr. Jeremy Bird, Chief Executive Officer of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) were the two signatories to this agreement.
       The funding will go towards helping Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam; the four Member Countries of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), to work together to mitigate the effects of changes in weather patterns that scientists say are expected over the coming decades in the Mekong River Basin.
       “The Mekong Basin has a high proportion of people living on low incomes and government capacity to deal with the issue of climate change needs strengthening – but its impact on the poor could be dramatic, with predicted sea level rise of up to one meter that could see millions displaced by the turn of the century.”, said Ambassador Peter Lysholt Hansen, during the signing ceremony “The Danish government’s development objectives for the Mekong region include promoting trans-boundary collaboration to reduce poverty and helping to protect and manage water resources”.
       The fund will be used to develop and test strategies for helping local communities adapt to climate change, which include trying out drought or salt water resistant crop varieties, enhancing flood preparedness techniques and increasing the resilience of people’s water supplies. The MRC will also help train government agencies in mitigation measures, and develop a high level basin-wide scientific forum for engagement and reporting on climate change issues affecting the Mekong basin countries.
       The CCAI is part of a broader partnership between the MRC and the Danish Government. Denmark is currently the largest donor to the MRC.

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