Dilli Raman Subedi
Mekong River co-operation project is being topical issue in Asian region. Various programs have been conducting on utilization of water resources in Asian region including Nepal. There is a great impact of Mekong River for the development of some countries of Asia.
The Mekong River Cooperation Mechanism project has also been established in order to identify and utilization of water resources in Asian region. In this background the first new sub-regional cooperation mechanism had established by the six countries in the Lancang-Mekong River Basin on March 23, 2016, in order to implement the Lancang-Mekong Sub-Regional Cooperation Initiative.
The major objective of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Mechanism is political security, economic and sustainable development, social and cultural development of the region. Further, connectivity, production capacity, cross-border economy, water resources, agriculture and poverty reduction are also the prioritize sectors of the project. Under this project the Mekong sub-regional countries China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar are being benefited. In this background a program has held in Kathmandu this week. The Program which was entitled Regional Cooperation on Utilization of Asian Water Resources and Nepal Perspective is very crucial to clarify the importance of Mekong sub- regional project.
The program was organized by Friendship Forum for Nepalese Journalist and very fruitful one. At the event, experts discussed the usefulness of the Mekong River and its impact on Asian countries. The participants concluded that the Mekong River which starts from Tibet has greatly contributed to the agricultural, energy and industrial development of six Asian countries. The participants who are also an expert of water resources concluded that the Mekong River which starts from Tibet has greatly contributed to the agricultural, energy and industrial development of six Asian countries.
Mekong water resources institutional cooperation has reached a new height. The Cooperation has built the first water resources cooperation platform for the six countries in the river basin, and made remarkable progress in water policy formulation, flood control and disaster reduction, personnel training, and technology promotion.
CP Mainali, former minister and general secretary of CPN-Male emphasis on the joint effort for the utilization of water resources of Nepal and Asian region. It is not acceptable the USA has intervene over the activities jointly conducted by six countries. Mainali said,’ The MCC has moved ahead to maintain its empire in this region by splitting Nepal, India and China.’
As per the analysis of former Minister for Water Resources Deepak Gyawali India does not want development in Nepal. The United States had spread rumors that China was building dams in the upper areas of Makong River to cause water shortages in the lower reaches of agriculture. In fact, China has been supporting a lot for the development of entire region.
As a major connectivity project, the railway is especially worth paying special attention too. At present, the China-Laos Railway is progressing rapidly and open to traffic; China-Thailand Railway is progressing steadily; the construction of the China-Laos and China-Thailand connecting lines has reached many consensus, and the middle line of Pan-Asia Railway is about to emerge. These all are more or less related to Mekong region development.
The six countries hope to take production capacity cooperation to make important contributions to promoting the industrial transformation of Lancang-Mekong countries and building a better sub-regional industrial chain and value chain.
Lancang-Mekong cross-border economic cooperation is constantly rich. The six countries have vigorously promoted cross-border cooperation in regional electric power trade, e-commerce, economic and technological cooperation, industrial parks, cross-border economic cooperation zones, and trade and investment facilitation.
Lancang-Mekong cooperation in Lancang-Mekong agriculture and poverty reduction has benefited thousands of households. The six countries have broad consensus on the four categories of policy dialogue, industrial development promotion, investment and trade promotion and, and capacity building, with promising results.
The COVID-19 epidemic, cooperation in public health and other fields has also received widespread attention. At the public health level, the six countries have rich experience in cooperation and support each other and overcome difficulties during the COVID-19 epidemic. Expert Hiranya Lan Shrestha’s paper on Asian Water Resources Regional Cooperation and Nepal’s Vision reads 46 percent of the world’s population is dependent on river water produced in Tibet. This fact has justify the importance of Mekong sub-regional cooperation.
Hiranyalal Shrestha said, “The Sindhu, Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers should be given the status of international rivers”. This water resource should be taken forward by all the coastal countries (including China) towards greater regional cooperation (in the Mekong model). Uninterrupted waterways should be opened. Electricity transmission lines should be connected to each other. Thus, collective efforts a must for water resources development to make the 21st century the century of Asia.
Another paper presented by water resources expert Ratan Bhandari reads, “Tibet is the main source of water in South Asia.” These all data and other facts have proved that Mekong River is the neck of Asian development. Therefore, it requires joint effort for the development of Asian countries for the further development of Mekong Region.
Kirtipur-10, Kathmandu, Nepal