5.Mekong River Development and Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources & Environment
Ken’ichi NAKAGAMI, Hironori HAMASAKI, and Atsuko NONAKA
1． Economic development and development potential in Mekong river basin
Mekong river basin development has long history and now it is entering the new phase in ASEANcommunity framework. In Mekong river which is representative river in Asia, Recently, infrastructure building for resource development and community development have expanded at an accelerated pace including Kunming-Bangkok Expressway and 2nd East-West Economic corridor. Meanwhile, Sectors such as electricity, Information-communication technology, water resource management and also technical cooperation with CLMV countries are significant. In terms of Mekong region development, regional cooperation is stressed such as ASEAN integration initiative. In addition, Market integration including Mekong region is making progress. As development potential has been rising, significance to consider environment conservation strategy and Mekong river basin development has been rising.
2．Recent development in Mekong river basin development initiative
Development initiative by International organization can be engine of Economic development in Mekong river region. While basin countries have achieved economic growth, financial backup from international organization is needed to promote more economic development. MRC, ADB and ASEAN are cited as international organizations to support this region. MRC has designed integrated program that is divided into 12 terms in strategic plan 2006-2010. Among others, Hydro-power, Dam construction in main stream of Mekong river has been taking hold.On the other hand, ADB has designed GMS and it has promoted regional development in Mekong river basin. The goals of GMS is expanding regional economic cooperation by promoting close economic partnership. ADB presented the 2nd 10 year plan in 2002 and focused 7 important sectors (Logistics, Energy, Environment and natural resource management, human development, Trade and investment, tourisim and communication). Especially, In logistics sector, ADB-GMS has contributed Kunming-Bangkok Express way and East-West economic corridor a lot.
3．Climate change adaptation policy and Sustainable economic development
Climate change impacts on social economy and natural resource are concerned in Mekong river basin countries. Therefore, to understand potential impact on region and to put adaptation solutions in execution are desired. In this situation, Mekong river commission and other regional organizations has started climate change adaptation policies and also each country came out with solutions. China develop tied goals in 11th 5year plan(2006-2010) to decrease pollutions by 10% and energy consumption per GDP by 20% from 2005. Also, China has set climate change adaptation national plan and clarified concrete steps, policies, basic knowledge and consciousness. In Thai, Climate change adaptation program has designed by government and it has taken measures on flood, drought, high tide water and malaria. Also in other Mekong region countries, they ratified Kyoto protocol with UNFCCC and started national strategies. For example, Cambodia and Laos have started NAPA: National Adaptation Program of Action to Climate Change and Vietnam has designed national target plan.
4．Policy issues and foresight for sustainable economic development
To achieve policy issues for sustainable economic development in Mekong river region, following environment conservation strategies are needed.
1.Sustainable basin development and Environment conservation strategy 2. International cooperation and redressing regional disparities 3. Adequate resource development and self-directive regional development 4. Hydro-power plan and strategic environment assessment 5.Strategic response to climate change.