Mekong ICT Camp 2017: Calculates CO2 emission per participant and award project prototypes

Calculating​ CO2​ emission​ per​ participant​ to​ remind​ them​ about​ environmental​ responsibility​ and​ Seed​ Grant​ announcement​ for​ development​ project​ prototypes​ are​ some​ highlights​ for​ the​ very​ first​ day​ of​ Mekong​ ICT​ 2017.

Try​ to​ offset​ CO2​ emission

Participants​ from​ Mekong​ countries​ including​ 15​ members​ from​ Cambodia,​ 12​ from​ Laos,​ 13​ from​ Myanmar,​ 17​ from​ Thailand,​ 16​ from​ Vietnam​ gather​ today​ in​ Siem​ Reap,​ Cambodia​ for​ joining​ Mekong​ ICT​ 2017.​ The​ event​ also​ welcomes​ 2​ participants​ from​ Bangladesh​ to​ share​ their​ expertise​ for​ development.​


Photo​ 1-​ provided​ by​ Mekong ICT Camp

At​ the​ welcome​ dinner,​ the​ organizer​ shows​ a​ calculation​ how​ much​ carbon​ dioxide​ (CO2)​ emission​ is​ made​ by​ each​ member​ for​ flying​ to​ the​ centre.

Accordingly,​ based​ on​ flying​ distance​ to​ Siem​ Riep,​ each​ member​ from​ Cambodia​ emit​ 0.03​ ton​ of​ CO2,​ Laos​ 0.12​ ton,​ Myanmar​ 0.​ 14​ ton,​ Thailand​ 0.05​ ton,​ Vietnam​ 0.13​ ton​ for​ those​ come​ from​ Hanoi​ and​ 0.28​ ton​ for​ those​ come​ from​ Ho​ Chi​ Minh​ city.

The​ CO2​ calculation​ can​ be​ made​ via​ online​ tools​ such​ as​ or​ carbon​ footprint​ or​ carbonify.


Photo2​ –​ provided​ by​ Mekong ICT Camp

CO2​ emission​ data​ reminds​ all​ participants​ about​ their​ environmental​ responsibility​ since​ environmental​ conservation​ is​ a​ critical​ developmental​ issue​ in​ Mekong​ region.​

With​ this​ data,​ for​ CO2​ minus​ emission,​ Mekong​ ICT​ members​ are​ encourage​ to​ plant​ or​ save​ 35​ trees.​

“This​ is​ only​ for​ flights.​ There​ are​ many​ things​ more​ if​ we​ count​ what​ we​ will​ spend​ in​ 7​ days​ of​ the​ camp.​ So​ using​ this​ chance​ wisely​ to​ deserve​ with​ how​ big​ we​ have​ emitted”.​ Nghia​ Bui,​ a​ participant​ from​ Vietnam​ commented.

Reminding​ environmental​ responsibility​ is​ a​ tradition​ of​ Mekong​ ICT Camp.​ In​ Mekong​ ICT Camp​ 2013,​ they​ organized​ a​ trash​ picking​ team​ to​ clean​ the​ beach.​

Open​ Development​ Cambodia​ (ODC)​ is​ the​ host​ partner​ of​ the​ event​ this​ year.​ The​ organization plays role as a fund raiser, advisory committee, resource person coordinator, event speaker, curriculum designer, and logistic arrangement supporter. Mr.​ Thy​ Try,​ Executive​ Director​ of​ ODC​ shared​ “ ODC team is very proud to be chosen as a local host for arranging Mekong ICT 2017, which is the first workshop held outside of Thailand and we positively hope that the next workshop would run smoothly in the following years.”​


Photo3​ –​ provided​ by​ Mekong ICT Camp

SEED​ grant​ to​ promote​ regional​ innovation

This​ is​ the​ 5th​ event​ in​ the​ series​ of​ Mekong​ ICT Camp​ since​ 2008.​ The​ topics​ this​ year​ mainly​ focus​ on​ finding​ solutions​ for​ developmental​ problems.​

In​ his​ welcomed​ remark,​ Mr. Norbert KLEIN,​ one of ODC’s original advisory board members,​ said​ that “ICT was not only about technology, these instruments were seen as a new stepping stone in wide communication​. Innovative practice assumes that there is always still uncovered territory to be worked on in future innovative practice. During this week we can build the links to take up the tasks of innovation together, as the invitation for the Mekong ICT Camp 2017 stated that this time it is to focus on cross border collaboration.” 

UNESCO​ promotes​ free​ flow​ of​ information,​ idea​ and​ freedom​ of​ expression.​ “Without​ new​ technology,​ we​ cannot​ promote​ that​ freedom​ which​ helps​ people​ exercise​ their​ rights”​ –​ she​ said.​

The​ highlight​ of​ Mekong​ ICT Camp​ 2017, supported by SPIDER – The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions and other partners,​ in​ comparison​ with​ previous​ events​ in​ the​ series​ is​ that​ the​ organizer​ have​ decided​ to​ award​ a​ Seed​ Grant​ for​ the​ 5​ best​ project​ prototypes​ for​ each​ countries​ in​ the​ region,​ including​ Lao,​ Cambodia,​ Myanmar,​ Vietnam​ and​ Thailand.​ The​ Seed​ Grant​ support​ will​ be​ awarded​ to​ the​ selected​ project​ prototypes​ by​ a​ Selection​ Committee​ at​ Marketplace​ at​ the​ 4th​ day​ of​ Mekong​ ICT​ Camp​ 2017.​ There​ are​ 23​ projects​ submitted,​ included​ 3​ from​ Cambodia,​ 4​ from​ Laos,​ 4​ from​ Myanmar,​ 4​ from​ Thailand​ and​ 8​ from​ Vietnam.​ The​ ideas​ will​ be​ voted​ by​ all​ participants​ and​ a​ selection​ committee​ and​ the​ award​ of​ $​ 3000​ each​ will​ be​ given​ to​ 5​ best​ projects​ from​ 5​ member​ countries. SPIDER and other partners 

According​ to​ Ms.​ Pissmai​ Khanobdee​ from​ the​ organizer,​ Thai​ Fund​ Foundation,​ Seed​ Grant​ is​ the​ very​ first​ initiative​ of​ Mekong​ ICT Camp​ to​ promote​ social​ innovation​ for​ development​ in​ Mekong​ region.​ “We​ hope​ for​ 2nd,​ 3rd,​ 4th​ and​ more​ initiative​ for​ sustainable​ development​ in​ the​ next​ Mekong​ ICT​ events​ for​ coming​ years”,​ she​ said.

Lan​ Nguyen​ –​ Vietnamese​ participant