Forecast stormy for Mekong, commission says

Khmer Times: 13 January 2016

With the threat of climate change, a long-lasting drought, and contentious dam construction in Laos, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) has its work cut out for the rest of the year. Composed of delegates from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, the MRC is in charge of managing the river that provides livelihoods and power for much of Southeast Asia. Several delegates said yesterday that the organization will face challenges in the years ahead.

“Water remains as important as ever,” said General Surasak Karnjanarat, the head of the MRC’s delegation from Thailand. “It needs to be recognized as key to various development goals…but the situation has become more complex due to a number of challenges we are facing.”

As the MRC works to address such problems as climate change and drought, it is aiming to slash its size in an effort to become economically independent by 2030.

At the 22nd MRC meeting yesterday at the Intercontinental Hotel, delegates from around the world discussed how the organization can become leaner while still meeting the goals in its five-year plan.

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