Representatives from the Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation (SFIEC), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the One Planet Foundation pose for a group photo at the China National Gene Bank in Dapeng New Area yesterday before signing an MOU.
A MEMORANDUM of Understanding (MOU) was signed between three public foundations to promote public welfare in countries and regions along the Lancang-Mekong River at the China National Gene Bank (CNGB) in Dapeng New Area last night.
The MOU was inked by the Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation (SFIEC), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the One Planet Foundation to promote Shenzhen's cooperative and exchange opportunities in terms of natural conservation, and the Lancang-Mekong project is the highlight.
According to the MOU, the three foundations will work together, under the grand strategies of the Belt & Road Initiative and South-South Cooperation, to tailor and implement projects that help to develop and improve the natural environment in the Lancang-Mekong River region, with a special focus on providing Shenzhen's experience in conserving nature.
The project, known as the Shenzhen x Lancang-Mekong Initiative, was a response made by the SFIEC to follow the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) mechanism proposed by Premier Li Keqiang in November 2014, when he attended the 17th China-ASEAN leaders' meeting.
The LMC framework was officially launched in November 2015 when the first LMC foreign ministers' meeting was held in Jinghong, Yunnan Province. It is the first sub-region cooperation aiming to promote closer geographical, social and cultural ties among the six countries along the Lancang-Mekong River, namely China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
One of the projects included in the Shenzhen x Lancang-Mekong Initiative is to set up an experience-sharing system based on the development of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. Two other projects will provide genetic screenings for thalassemia and deafness and offer free diagnosis and treatment for cataract patients.
There is also a project called the Mekong River Sunlight Villages Project that has already made initial progress, according to Cao Cong, secretary general of SFIEC.
The project was initiated by SFIEC, which joined hands with the governments of Mekong countries and solar photovoltaic corporations in Shenzhen.
"We will bring solar photovoltaic technology and equipment to Mekong countries, with the aim of reducing power supply costs in rural areas, improving the living standards of residents and providing sustainable solutions for supplying power," said Cao.
Cao said that they had already contacted the governments of the Mekong countries and received their welcome for the project. "The pilot program plans to be implemented in Cambodia and targets 300 households for electricity supply," Cao said.
Three of the projects were approved by the government to be included into the national initiative LMC.
The head of WWF offices in Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines attended and witnessed the signing ceremony at the CNGB last night. They also made brief speeches to show their gratitude and expectations for the project that will improve public welfare in the countries they represent.
The One Planet Foundation is a newly established foundation based in Shenzhen and aims to work with globally influential nature preservation NGOs to protect the environment worldwide.
Wang Shi, former chairman of the board of Vanke Group, has been elected as chairman of the One Planet Foundation.
The foundation is gathering major social forces, especially from entrepreneurs in Shenzhen, to help solve natural and social issues, according to Wang.