Finland launches new Mekong River region renewable energy partnership at AIT

The Government of Finland is planning to start a cooperation program
with governments and
different local private sector actors in the countries surrounding the
Mekong river area
to help strengthen the use of renewable energy, enhance the mitigation
of climate change
and increase regional public-private partnerships in the field of
renewable energy. In
this framework, AIT and the Embassy of Finland in Thailand jointly
organized at AIT on 28
and 29 October a workshop which was attended by more than 100
participants from the
public, private and NGO sectors from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and
Vietnam.  Prof. Sudip
, Vice President for Research has been coordinating
with the Finnish counterpart
for the past year on the organization of this important workshop here
at AIT.

The workshop achieved three objectives. It presented a similar ongoing
cooperation program supported by Finland in Central America, and
surveyed public and private sector interest in developing renewable
energy projects. Additionally officials sounded out interest to
establish a public-private partnership program with the Government of
Finland for the development of renewable energy in the Mekong River

At the end of the meeting, AIT as a neutral organization with
extensive expertise and
experience in running similar projects in the areas of renewable
energy and the
environment was recommended to act as the regional coordination unit
for the project.
According to AIT President Said Irandoust, this initiative is fully in
line with AIT's
strategic thrust to develop a climate change and sustainable
development thematic area,
developing interdisciplinary research and facilitating such activities
in the region.