The ASEAN Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) project was launched in Manila, Philippines, to develop practical and innovative ways for communities, industries and governments to work together to revitalize the rivers of Southeast Asia. East.
The five-year regional project focuses on reducing pollution and preserving water flow in East Asian seas, according to the ASEAN Regional Debris Action Plan marine debris, plastic accounts for 80% of all marine debris.
Supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the project will establish functional IRBM mechanisms in key river basins of six ASEAN member states: Cambodia , Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. .
“It will integrate knowledge about the vital link between rivers and seas. Best practices and pitfalls should be shared for other rivers to emulate and avoid,” said Inthavy Akkharath, Chairman of the ASEAN Water Resources Management Task Force.
The February 17 launch was opened by Carlos Primo David, Undersecretary for Integrated Environmental Science and Supervisory Undersecretary of the DENR River Basin Control Office of the Philippines.
“Effective governance will allow us to continue to use the water and other ecosystem services provided by river basins despite threats from extreme events and climate change,” he said.
“Water consumption in ASEAN countries is increasing rapidly, while water quality and quantity issues threaten to derail much-needed economic growth,” said Selva Ramachandran, Resident Representative of the UNDP in the Philippines.
“We are pleased to help address the critical issue of freshwater governance in river basins beyond national jurisdictions, while addressing transboundary issues such as pollution, watershed management, impacts climate change and disaster risk,” he added.
“The project is a testament to ASEAN’s collective and forward-looking action to improve water resources management in our region,” said Ekkaphab Phanthavong, ASEAN Deputy Secretary General for the Socio-Cultural Community of Asia. ASEAN.
“Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), the project executing agency, will work closely with ASEAN member governments and stakeholders to improve governance from source to sea, as well as to build capacity to plan and strengthen river basin management mechanisms,” said a February statement from the ASEAN Secretariat.
“We view this project as a natural extension of PEMSEA’s work on integrated coastal management, as rivers are natural conduits to our coasts and open seas,” said Aimee Gonzales, Executive Director of PEMSEA.
“We are excited to institutionalize the use of the integrated river basin management approach. We will produce state of the river basin reports – which will be the first of their kind in the region – and test innovative solutions in selected pilot sites within the identified river basins, while mainstreaming gender equality and gender equality. social inclusion from the design, planning and
up to implementation at regional, national and river basin level,” she added.
The launch was organized in conjunction with a project inception workshop and the first meeting of the project steering committee.
The event brought together representatives of the ASEAN Task Force on Water Resources Management, the ASEAN Secretariat, UNDP, PEMSEA and other implementing partners.