Experts from the Asia-Pacific region are gathering in Vietnam to discuss ways to ensure security for water resources – a pressing global issue that now affects many regions.

The discussion forms part of the first session of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) Study Group on Water Resources Security, which began in Hanoi on March 22.

Experts were due to assess the factual utilisation and management of water resources in the region and examine security impacts of the work in various spheres in concerned countries.

At the two-day session, they are scheduled to listen to legal specialists’ opinions on international legal foundations and the building of international mechanisms on the utilisation and management of water resources.

They are expected to put forward concrete proposals to promote regional countries’ cooperation to ensure water resources security, which requires joint, proactive solutions from both developed and developing countries around the world.

In Southeast Asia – which houses the world’s largest rice granaries, the majority of the population depends largely on water resources taken from rivers and lakes, many of which have been seriously damaged by nature as well as human activity.

The damage has not only threatened water resources security but also created complex security concerns for nations that are directly concerned and challenged the future of sustainable development in Southeast Asia.

The next sessions of the study group – which was set up by CSCAP under Vietnam’s initiative – are expected to take place in Cambodia, Thailand and Japan in 2011 and 2012.

At the meetings, study groups will discuss concrete measures to promote regional cooperation and compile the group’s Memorandum of Understanding to be presented to official diplomatic channels for approval./.