For the first time since arriving in the Lao PDR, United States Ambassador Daniel A. Clune met with H.E. Mr. Noulinh Sindbandhit, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE). In the meeting, Ambassador Clune gave Mr. Sindbandhit an overview of U.S. assistance programs in the environmental sector. Currently, the United States has 13 projects in the environmental sector of the Lao PDR, which total $5.3 million.
Ambassador Clune thanked the Minister for his assistance in facilitating these projects, and emphasized that the United States was eager to continue working together with the Lao PDR on important environmental issues such as climate change. Ambassador Clune also discussed the value of multi-lateral cooperation on shared Mekong resources, and recommended that Laos use the best available science and technology to cooperate with its neighbors.
The U.S. Embassy and the Ministry are working on an umbrella memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will cover all USAID projects at the Ministry. Minister Noulinh called the draft MOU a “milestone for cooperation between the Ministry and USAID, and for cooperation between the government of Laos and the U.S. government.”