The Cambodia National Mekong Committee (CNMC) hosted the 8th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) on Sustainable Development Dialogue that concluded last week in Siem Reap. Several recommendations were made to enhance water partnerships between the Mekong basin and European countries.
The Mekong River Commission (MRC) said on Monday that around 120 people attended the meeting to discuss opportunities and key challenges in transboundary management of the Mekong River basin.
The dialogue brought participants from river basin networks, academic institutions, public agencies, local and international NGOs, and inter-governmental organisations based in the EU and Asia as well as in the Mekong region.
The meeting held last Thursday and Friday included discussions on cooperation in transboundary water management, food and energy security and climate change, as well as flood and drought issues.
CNMC chairman Lim Kean Hor said at the annual meeting that water availability has become a major challenge due to emerging challenges such as climate change and the increasing need for development while protecting people’s well-being and the environment.
The government has vowed to meet the challenges, added Kean Hor, who is also Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology.
“These issues need to be addressed to ensure water resources are conserved and managed and used effectively and sustainably,” Kean Hor said.
Franck Viault, an EU delegation to Cambodia’s head of cooperation, said the 28-member bloc was fully committed to promoting the integrated management of water resources and effective water governance for long-term stability.
“This requires appropriate institutions, reliable data, capacity building, awareness-raising and funding,” Viault said.
The meeting recommended that efforts to openly share data and information and ensure the proper coordination of development should be strengthened as this was key to achieving water resource development sustainability.
The Asem, comprising 53 partners from across Europe and Asia, is an informal platform for dialogue and cooperation.
Its partners represent around 65 per cent of the global economy, 60 per cent of the global population, 55 per cent of global trade and 75 per cent of global tourism.