Vietnam and Finland Sign a Memorandum on Mekong

The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the cooperation in the Energy and Environment Partnership Programme for Mekong Region (EEP Mekong). The EEP Mekong (2009–2012) aims at supporting wider provision and use of renewable energy and combating climate change in the Mekong Area. The Second call for proposals for EEP was launched 2 August 2010 and will close on 10 September 2010
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding


With the signing of the Memorandum, the Finnish Government reinforced its support to the Vietnamese government in field of clean energy and environmental protection. The singing of the Memorandum can also be seen to signify the importance that the Government of Vietnam attaches to its efforts to progress socio-economic development with the aim of becoming a middle-income country by 2020.


The EEP Mekong (2009–2012) aims at supporting wider provision and use of renewable energy and combating climate change in the Mekong Area. It is a grant offering program to promote the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies, financed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF). It operates both nationally and regionally and facilitates utilisation of technical know-how and promotes development of innovative and sustainable financing mechanisms for renewable energy (RE) services. Eligible countries for funding are Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand
Ms. Elina Poikonen from the Embassy of Finland in Hanoi at the signing ceremony


The programme works by providing funding for projects, studies, capacity development and information-sharing related to the issues. EEP is a demand-driven programme and promotes public-private partnership and aims to enhance business partnerships between partner countries/agencies.


The EEP Mekong concept is based on an existing EEP Programme that has been successfully operating in Central America since 2004. Following the identification of the Mekong region as one of the areas for regional cooperation where sustainable development and climate change mitigation measures were becoming a key thematic issue, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) commissioned a mission to the Mekong Region early 2008. The mission recognized, among other thematic areas, several project ideas in the renewable energy sector which are in line with the Finnish development objectives and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Increasing the use of renewable energy helps to protect the beautiful Vietnamese nature


As a result, a regional workshop was organised in Bangkok in October 2008 with the aim to bring together different stakeholders such as government officials, representatives of private sector, universities, research institutes and NGO’s to discuss the situation of renewable energy in the Mekong region and to explore cooperation avenues and the interest of the Mekong Region in establishing an EEP, based on the principle of EEP Central America. Following the workshop, government officials from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam and MFA discussed the first draft programme document. Participants agreed to pursue further the cooperation and to establish a regional coordination office in Bangkok within the Asian Institute of Technology.


MFA approved an Engagement Plan with the Mekong Region in November 2008 with a thematic focus in energy, especially in renewable energy.
Who can apply for funding?


The funding is available to NGOs, companies, public and private initiatives, research centers and consulting companies. To enhance technology transfer, cooperation between donor countries and local project developers is encouraged, but not compulsory.


Project profiles can be presented by one applicant alone or by one applicant leading a group.


Since the start-up of the programme implementation in late 2009, two calls for proposals have been launched: first in October 2009, with a significant number of proposals – 162, of which 54 came from Vietnam. The Second call was launched 2 August 2010 and will close on 10 September 2010.


 

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