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.
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.
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.”
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