- Date: January 28, 2008
Recently, Ministers of the Environment from the Greater Mekong Subregion countries - Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam - gathered in Vientiane, Laos, to review the regions' environmental progress over the past three years.
In recognition of WWF's strong partnership with the Greater Mekong Subregion in creating sustainable solutions for economic development, WWF was the only nongovernmental organization to speak to the forum. Tom Dillon, senior vice president of WWF, urged the Ministers of the Environment to make a commitment to safeguarding the Biological Conservation Landscapes that surround the Subregion's current economic growth corridors. He encouraged the representatives to lead by example - and show the rest of Asia how to create economic growth by incorporating environmental sustainability in their infrastructure, mining, and climate-change safe investment development strategies.
The outcome of the meeting was a joint statement by the Environment Ministers reaffirming their commitment to "steady economic growth, social progress and environmental sustainability." This statement will influence decision-making at the tri-annual Greater Mekong Subregion Summit in late March.
WWF is actively involved in the Greater Mekong Subregion's Core Environmental Program as part of its work in the Mekong region - with the support of the Asian Development Bank. Management of the program lies with the countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion, and is indicative of their commitment to protecting and maintaining healthy ecosystems as the foundation for economic growth.
Our conservation successes in the Mekong region are the direct result of our partnerships with local communities, international organizations and government agencies. WWF will continue to work with the Ministers of the Environment to identify mutual solutions that meet both development and conservation needs.
Watch the video of Tom Dillon's remarks to the ministers.