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ASEAN–MRC Address Water Security Challenges

Phnom Penh: For the first ever time, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Mekong River Commission have held a “Water Security Dialogue”. The two-day virtual meeting has been aimed at gathering solutions to address emerging challenges when it comes to water security in the region. The talks are expected to become a biennial event, with the next meeting already scheduled for 2023.

The dialogue, which started on Thursday, is being built on the cooperation framework between ASEAN and the MRC, which aims to enhance expertise sharing and ensuring coordination for the better utilization of water and water-related resources. It serves as a platform to exchange novel ideas and identify possible areas for collaboration to further strengthen regional and local capacities in addressing water scarcity, water pollution, and water-related disaster risks, such as floods and drought.

The dialogue also includes interactive sessions with youth to stimulate discussions on youth-led, idea-driven advocacy for water security in the Mekong region. The Mekong River is one of the mightiest rivers in Asia and is the world’s 12th longest. It crosses through six countries – China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. And climate change means water security can no longer be guaranteed within its catchment basin.

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