Myanmar and the Netherlands Cooperating on Water
Myanmar and the Netherlands have established a strong water partnership. Every day, organisations and professionals from both countries work together to strengthen Myanmar’s water capacities. In 2013, the governments of both countries signed an agreement on closer cooperation in the field of integrated water management. The Netherlands will make knowledge and know-how available to support the Myanmar with challenges such as flood protection, agricultural water management, fresh-water supply and water transport.
Inspiring the Next Generation Water Leaders
An important element of the joint agreement between Myanmar and the Netherlands is capacity building, which aims to strengthen the knowledge and skills of water professionals in Myanmar as well as those of the next generation water professionals, such as university students. In this context, a group of organisations from industry, government and academia from both Myanmar and the Netherlands are joining forces to engage and inspire younger generations to become actively involved in the cooperation through the Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge.
Running theme of the Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge is SMART DELTA. The Ayeyarwady Delta is one of the world's major deltas, running 300 km from east to west and 200 km from north to south. It is the main artery on which Myanmar's livelihood depends, providing food, water and a place to live and work for millions of people. The Ayeyarwady Delta also plays an increasingly important role in Myanmar's economic development as a regional trading route. At present the delta is still largely undeveloped but the exploitation of its resources in some areas may pose serious threats to the future health of the delta. We can already see the first signs of changes such as the exploitation of the mangroves, overfishing, river bank erosion and deterioration of water quality. Adding to this, we need to recognise the vulnerability of the Delta when it comes to the extreme climate – with both floods and severe drought – as well as the very poor and remote communities living throughout the delta. Clearly, sustainable development of the Ayeyarwady Delta needs smart solutions!