About the Summit and International Conference
The Second Summit gathers Prime Ministers of MRC Member Countries, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam and delegations from China and Myanmar along with other regional leaders, water experts and diplomats to address the most pressing issues on the Mekong River and its resources and set strategic directions and policy for the MRC.
The national leaders aim to reaffirm the transboundary cooperation amongst the Member Countries, and also with China and Myanmar at the Second Summit. They will review the progress of how the MRC has put into action the priorities set by the First Summit held four years ago.
Ahead of the four-yearly Summit, the MRC holds the International Conference on cooperation for water, energy and food security in transboundary basins. More than 250 international and regional water experts, stakeholders and delegations from the MRC Member Countries, China, Myanmar and Development Partners will discuss issues pertaining to the Second Summit. The Outcome of the Conference will be included into discussion of the Summit.
The Summit will be held on 5th April 2014 following a number of preparatory meetings on 3-4 April and the International Conference on 2-3 April. The venue for all events is The Rex Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
Water, energy and food security in the context of climate change
The Mekong region is not only undergoing increased demands for water, energy and food but it is also facing changing weather conditions which have affected agricultural produce amongst others.
Development in the Mekong River Basin is accelerating including tributary and mainstream hydropower and planned diversion for increased irrigation, navigation and aquaculture. At the same time, the Mekong water resources are invaluable for its fishery that is the largest inland fishery in the world, for river transportation, and for wetland and flood plains that provide livelihoods for millions of people, particularly the poor. This development trend is driven by the objectives of riparian countries to use water and related resources to support their socio-economic development and poverty reduction policies.
The region is now facing rapid population growth, urbanisation and industrial expansion, increasing demand for energy, food and water against a backdrop of climate change and depleting natural resources. For example, rapid development in the Mekong region, including tributary and mainstream hydropower projects, planned water diversion for increased irrigation, navigation and aquaculture, has implications on food and water supplies. Sea level rises have brought about salt water intrusion that has affected food production. Meanwhile, unusually high rainfall in mid-December last year resulted in unprecedented fluctuations of water levels and flows and muddier water in Southern Lao PDR and northern Cambodia.
The themes of the second MRC Summit and the International Conference reflect the urgency to address the interconnection of these issues.
The Summit will confirm the political will of the national leaders to work together to overcome constraints and challenges in sustainable development of the Mekong River Basin.
Participants at the International Conference will discuss relevant international and regional issues with an emphasis on challenges under climate change.
Mekong River Commission Secretariat
Unit 18, Ban Sithane Neua,
Vientiane 01000, Lao PDR.
Tel: +856 21 263 263
Fax: +856 21 263 264