US to help Vietnam forecast Mekong dam impacts

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The United States plans to implement a project to help Vietnam forecast impacts of upstream dams on the Mekong River on downstream areas, the Saigon Tiep Thi reported Saturday.


The project is part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on scientific and technical cooperation in earth sciences and managing natural resources in the context of climate change signed between the two countries Friday in Hanoi, the news website said.


It quoted US Assistant Secretary of the Inferior for Water and Science, Anne Castle, as saying that US Geological Survey is building a model of hydrography for the river which will help forecast impacts developments on marine life and the environment, as well as aquaculture practices.


This will be a useful tool for policy makers to decide the dos and don'ts in development projects, Castle said.


The MOU was signed at the seventh meeting of the Joint US-Vietnam Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the US Department of Interior, according to a press release issued by the American Embassy.


Marking the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, this year's joint committee also featured a special workshop on incubating and other scientific and technology based enterprises, the press release said.


 "The US Department of the Interior is supporting the countries' joint efforts to further earth science studies and better understand the impacts of climate change by sharing our knowledge and best practices," Castle said in the statement.


Over 50 representatives from the US government, research organizations, universities and private sector attended the workshiop, while the Vietnamese delegation included over 40 government officials, scientists and researchers.

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