Thursday, January 17, 2013

EU helps Mekong River Commission tackle climate change

The Vientiane Times: The European Union (EU) yesterday committed 4.95 million euros (over US$6 million) to the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to boost its efforts to respond to the region's climate change challenges. Representatives of the EU and the MRC signed the funding agreement in Luang Prabang yesterday on the sidelines of the 19th Mekong River Commission Council meeting.

...According to a media release from the MRC, the funding supports the Climate Change Adaption Initiative until 2015. It supports the MRC programme to assess the effects of change climate and integrate adaption planning at the regional, national and community levels.

The funding is a part of the Global Climate Change Alliance – an EU initiative to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with the nations most affected by climate change. “The support of the EU underscores the importance of climate change in the development of the lower Mekong Basin. Adaption planning can better prepare the region for the challenges ahead, ensuring food security and alleviating poverty reduction,” MRC Chief Executive Officer Mr Hans Guttman said at the signing ceremony.

Rising temperatures, unpredictable rainfall and extreme weather events such as typhoons are increasing in frequency, leading to droughts and floods that destroy homes, infrastructure, livestock and crops. A predicted rise in sea level will increase salinity and floods in the Mekong Delta, causing damage to crops in the most productive area of the basin....

The Mekong River at Luang Prabang, Laos, shot by Allie Caulfield, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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