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Environmental Management Is The Key To Building A Sustainable Future For The Mekong

World Affairs – Environment

Open Eyes Opinion {source: US/DOS}

U.S. Department of State

Sustainability in the Lower Mekong



The following is the text of a joint statement as approved by Heads of Delegations below:



Representatives from the Governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, the United States, and Viet Nam are convinced that sound environmental management plays a key role in enhancing the economic competitiveness of the region and acknowledge that regional economic integration, the realization of an ASEAN Economic Community, and trade and investment frameworks between ASEAN and the global economic community present enormous opportunities to further enhance prosperity for all people of the region.

At the Extraordinary meeting of the Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM) Conference on Mekong Sustainability in Pakse, Lao PDR February 2-3, 2015, FLM members and the Mekong River Commission Secretariat discussed the challenges the region faces in balancing water, energy, food, and environmental considerations and developed recommended actions and practical approaches for improving sustainable economic development through safeguards, finance, planning and management. Particular focus was placed on the need for collaboration between LMI countries and the FLM to promote sustainability.

Recognizing that the Lower Mekong region is projected to receive a great number of new infrastructure investments over the next decade in energy, mining, transport, agriculture, and other industrial sectors, and acknowledging that these investments can undermine sustainable development goals, the LMI members will consider social and environmental consequences, including use of environmental impact assessments and resulting mitigation and management plans, to increase protection and sustainability for those investments.

As an increasingly integrated economy necessitates more strategic regional cooperation on planning and management in order to effectively address the common challenges that we share, we recognize the need for sharing experiences across the region to ensure that we have a common understanding of the importance of social and environmental considerations. Strengthening regional capacity for sustainable development that includes public participation will increase regional cooperation on trans-boundary impacts. It is important that such efforts are coordinated with existing mechanisms in each country as well as in relevant regional institutions. For this reason, the United States and FLM partners would increase technical support and capacity building to all LMI members and ASEAN in this aspect.

We affirm our commitment to strengthen partnerships in the pursuit of the shared vision of an integrated, harmonious, and prosperous region characterized by steady, equitable economic growth that is inclusive of all stakeholders, social progress, and environmental sustainability. We express our deep appreciation to all partners who have worked to achieve sustainable development to the benefit of all those living in the region.

Approved by Heads of Delegations:

  1. H.E. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia
  2. H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic
  3. U Wunna Maung Lwin, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
  4. H.E. General Tanasak Patimapragorn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand
  5. John Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States of America
  6. H.E. Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam


[photo credits: “Oudomxay Pakbeng3 tango7174” by Tango7174 – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons –]



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