Denmark supports Mekong countries on climate issues

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Denmark offered a grant of 10 million Danish Kroner (about 1.9 million U.S. dollars) recently to Mekong river countries to strengthen their work on environmental protection and adaptation to climate risks, said a statement released by Mekong River Commission (MRC) on Tuesday.

"This grant symbolizes Denmark's commitment to the sustainable development and protection of the environment and people's livelihoods in the Lower Mekong Basin," said Jeremy Bird, CEO of the MRC Secretariat.

"Denmark's support will contribute directly towards improved basin management and will ensure that up-to-date information on environmental and social knowledge is produced and disseminated throughout the member countries," he added.

As the MRC's largest donor, Denmark has continuously supported the MRC's Environment Programme since 2004.

The funding will go towards assisting Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam - the four member countries of the Mekong River Commission, for achieving greater environmental protection through improved basin management.

The grant will further develop the MRC knowledge base, which enhances regional understanding of environmental health and climate change risks in the Lower Mekong Basin.

With Denmark's support, the MRC has already set up long-term environmental monitoring activities surrounding water quality, ecological health and social impact assessments. Regional environmental management mechanisms and tools have also been developed to assist member countries on transboundary water issues.

The Environment Program aims to assist the MRC member countries in protecting the environment and maintaining the ecological balance of the Mekong Basin.

The lower part of the Mekong River Basin has a population of approximately 60 million and the great majority of the inhabitants are farmers and fishers, depending directly on the natural resource base.

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