Vientiane, Lao PDR, 10 September 2020 — Regional and national information management systems improvement, and exchanges of knowledge and staff are among the key areas to benefit from a new partnership between the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Secretariat and International Office for Water (OIEau).The technical collaboration between the MRC Secretariat and OIEau, a France-based non-profit association working on water resource and knowledge management world-wide, was reached yesterday as the heads of the two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding to institute their ties for good governance of water resources.
"Through this MOU, we want to bring in excellent experiences about efficient information and knowledge management, as we constantly seek to improve the governance of Mekong water resources," Dr An Pich Hatda, the MRC Secretariat Chief Executive Officer, said at the virtual signing ceremony from the MRC Headquarters in Vientiane.
Over the next five years, both parties will work together to promote water resources development and social and environmental protection and to strengthen the capacities of the MRC and its Member Countries – Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
In addition to improving regional and national information management systems, other specific areas of cooperation include support for creating or improving existing national river basin organisations and preparing national river basin development and management plans.
"We are pleased to join the MRC in working to address the challenges of transboundary cooperation and development, information sharing, equitable governance and environmental protection," said Dr Eric Tardieu, International Office for Water Director-General, who is also the Secretary-General of the International Network of River Basin Organisations.
In recent years, OIEau has technically supported the MRC's Mekong HYCOS – a regional hydrological observing system. It also has active projects, including on water information systems and river basin development, in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam.