Lancang-Mekong Cooperation could play bigger role in regional river protection, development

Xinhua Net –

Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) could play a bigger role in the protection and development of the Lancang-Mekong river, Cambodian experts and officials said in recent interviews with Xinhua.

Te Navuth, secretary general of the Cambodia National Mekong Committee (CNMC), said that for Cambodia, the main concerns over the Lancang-Mekong river’s protection are climate change, natural disasters, irrigation and hydropower development in the basin, rising social demands and expectations for livelihoods, and water, food and energy security.

The official said the LMC mechanism could play a bigger role to address those challenges and Cambodia is committed to cooperation within the platform.

The LMC is a sub-regional cooperation mechanism launched in March 2016 by China, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, all riparian countries of the river called Lancang or Mekong in the upper reach.

Navuth said the Lancang-Mekong river offers development opportunities and cooperation for mainstream and tributary hydropower, irrigation, fisheries, navigation, flood and drought management, tourism and environment.

However, there remain significant challenges such as rapid economic and population growth, increased demand for water, food and energy, urbanization, industrialization, the loss of environmental assets, wetlands and natural fisheries, deforestation, floods and droughts and risks to biodiversity and people’s livelihoods, he said.

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