Press Release : Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-hosted the 6th Green Mekong Forum news3

Press Release : Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-hosted the 6th Green Mekong Forum

      On 8 July 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Embassy of Japan in Bangkok co-hosted the 6th Green Mekong Forum at Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel. The Forum was presided over by Mr. Nikorndej Balankura, Deputy Director-General, Department of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and Mr. Kenichi Kobayashi, Deputy Director-General, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau and Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Approximately 100 representatives from Mekong countries, Japan and relevant agencies, private companies, Development Partners in the Mekong sub-region, and youth participated in the Forum. This 6th forum was the first time that the youth were invited to participate to share their views on the youth’s role in achieving SDGs. 
 
         Under the topic "Challenges and Approaches to Achieve SDGs," Thai panelists shared information on the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy as Thailand’s home-grown approach as well as the promotion of science, technology and innovation (STI) and social enterprises in achieving SDGs, while the representative from Viet Nam stressed the importance of promoting circular economy. The Japanese panelist conveyed Japan’s experience in promoting Society 5.0, regional revitalisation, empowerment of next generations and women, while the representative from the UNESCAP shared progress in achieving SDGs in the Asia Pacific region and challenges in preparing data and statistics for measuring progress in SDGs. 
 
         Under the topic "Marine Plastic Litter Management", representatives from Thailand and international organizations, namely; the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) emphasised the importance of having a strategy and policy for management of marine litter, as well as litter in the Mekong River, recycling, improving management and law enforcement, increasing efficiency for coordination among agencies concerned, promoting R&D and engagement with all stakeholders, as well  as  international cooperation. 
 
         Under the topic "Water Resources Management", representatives from Thailand’s Office of National Water Resources, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) shared their country’s experiences and best practices in water management focusing on the need to have comprehensive water management strategies, tackling climate change, and promoting R&D on water management and water data information sharing among the Mekong countries.
 
        This year’s Forum achieved its objective in offering the Mekong member countries and Japan the opportunity to share experience and approaches to achieving SDGs by focusing on environmental issues namely marine plastic litter management and water resource management. The Forum agreed that these issues are transboundary in nature, and therefore need cooperation from all stakeholders and vigorous networking among all parties concerned. Sustainable source of financing for SDG projects was also an important issue called for by the participants.
 
        This year’s 6th Green Mekong Forum represents a new dimension for Mekong-Japan Cooperation as it touched upon SDG related issues, which is in line with the Tokyo Strategy 2018 for Mekong Japan Cooperation. Starting next year, the name   of the“7th Green Mekong Forum” will be changed to “7th Mekong Japan SDGs Forum” to include other areas of cooperation to promote sustainable development, apart from environmental issues.