The European Union (EU) today committed 4.95 million EUR (over USD 6 million) to the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to boost its efforts in responding to the region’s climate change challenges.
The funding goes towards the Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (CCAI) until 2015. It supports the MRC programme to assess the effects of climate change and integrate adaptation planning at the regional, national and community levels. The funding is part of the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA), an initiative of the EU 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. Adaptation planning can better prepare the region for the challenges ahead, ensuring food security and alleviating poverty,” said Hans Guttman, Chief Executive Officer of the MRC, at the signing ceremony also attended by Ambassador David Lipman, Head of the European Union Delegation to Laos, and H.E. Mr. Noulinh Sinbandhit, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Lao PDR.
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.
“This financial contribution reflects the EU long-lasting commitment and leading efforts in addressing one of the most serious challenges facing humankind” said Ambassador Lipman.
“The EU is pleased to be a part of the MRC’s efforts in dealing with the possible effects of climate change on the environment and people in the region. We believe the CCAI offers a unique opportunity to develop a regional policy framework for collaborative action. Responding to Climate Change impacts requires action at the national level but it also needs to be integrated within the basin-wide development perspective.” he added.
For the complete article, please see Delegation of the EU in Laos.