The Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) workshop on water and river basin management will take place in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho from March 20-23, with nearly 150 delegates from 51 ASEM member nations and relevant organisations taking part.

Initiated by Vietnam , the event is the first activity of a joint initiative of six Mekong–Danube Cooperation Initiative member nations, and was adopted at the ninth ASEM Summit in Vientiane in July, 2012, to establish a periodic mechanism entitled “ASEM dialogue on sustainable development”.

It takes place at a time when countries are boosting international efforts to cope with non-traditional security challenges, with the protection of water resources being a priority.

Participants will discuss ways to enhance links in using and managing water sources and river basins in combination with green growth, ecological preservation, coping with climate change, food and energy security, and the lives of locals.

On top of this, a ceremony to mark the 2013 World Water Day themed “Water Cooperation” will also be held, including activities such as a science seminar, a photo exhibition and the awards ceremony of a painting contest featuring the idea of water protection.

The day will offer managers, scientists, students and communities a chance to share initiatives on water cooperation, discuss issues regarding education, diplomacy, trans-border water management, financial cooperation, national and international policy frameworks, and the connection between water resource management and the Millennium Development Goals.

The Mekong–Danube Cooperation Initiative member nations include Hungary , Romania , Bulgaria , Laos , Thailand and Vietnam-VNA