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Mekong Summit Focuses on Water, Food and Energy Nexus in Changing Climate

MRC5 April 2014: The Second Mekong Summit was organized around the theme ‘Water, Energy and Food Security in the Context of Climate Change.' The Conference focused on three key issues: climate change adaptation in a transboundary context; sustainable development and the water, energy and food nexus; and the benefits of cooperation.

The Second Mekong Summit, which took place on 2-3 April 2014, in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, issued the Ho Chi Minh City Declaration, adopted by high-level officials from the four member countries of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), Viet Nam, Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), and Thailand. Over 250 delegates and water resource professionals attended the Summit, including delegations from these four countries, as well as from China and Myanmar.

The Declaration notes that development of water resources of the Mekong River Basin has contributed to socioeconomic development of the region, including the navigation, energy and food production sectors, but also comes with negative environmental and social impacts that need to be addressed. The Declaration calls for a study on sustainable management of the Mekong River, including study of the impacts of mainstream hydropower projects, the MRC Council Sustainable Management and Development Study, to be implemented in coordination with Viet Nam's Mekong Delta Study. Water and environment ministers from the four countries initiated the MRC Council Study at their annual meeting in December 2011.

Heads of State expressed support for the continuing decentralization of MRC's river basin management functions, which paves the way for the organization to be fully self-financed by 2030, and emphasized the need for capacity building.

Among several preparatory meetings, a two-day conference on ‘Cooperation for Water, Energy and Food Security in Trans-boundary Basin Under Changing Climate' also took place in Ho Chi Minh City from 2-3 April 2014, with around 300 participants, including representatives of 20 transboundary river basin organizations. Referring to the post-2015 development agenda, the conference summary calls for a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on water that addresses transboundary surface and groundwater challenges.

The next Summit will take place in April 2018, in Cambodia. [MRC Press Release] [Mekong Summit Webpage] [Ho Chi Minh City Declaration] [Conference Summary]