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Greater Mekong Region

Greater Mekong Region

The Greater Mekong Sub region, or just Greater Mekong, is an international region of the Mekong River basin in Southeast Asia. The region spans Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern province of Yunnan in China. In 1992, with assistance from ADB, the six countries entered into a program of sub regional economic cooperation, designed to enhance economic relations among the countries. The landscapes of this vast area are just as diverse as the countries that it enshrines, from dusty savannahs to dense rainforests and from slow-moving rivers to icy torrents. Greater Mekong holds irreplaceable natural and cultural riches and is considered one of the world’s most significant biodiversity hotspot. The region is a very important food provider and the site of many large-scale construction projects with social and economic implications. The unprecedented social and economic development of the Greater Mekong makes conservation work here especially urgent, significant—and hugely challenging. The most pressing current threats are hydropower development, climate change, illegal wildlife trade, and habitat loss. With support from ADB and other donors, the GMS Program helps the implementation of high priority sub regional projects in transport, energy, telecommunications, environment, human resource development, tourism, trade, private sector investment, and agriculture. WWF takes a comprehensive approach to seek this balance in the region. WWF recently launched an ambitious project to disrupt the trade by closing down the biggest markets in the Greater Mekong region.

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