About MRC

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) is the only inter-governmental organisation that works directly with the governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam to jointly manage the shared water resources and the sustainable development of the Mekong River.

 As a regional facilitating and advisory body governed by water and environment ministers of the four countries, the MRC ensures the efficient and mutually beneficial development of the Mekong River while minimising the potentially harmful effects on the people and the environment in the Lower Mekong Basin.

The MRC is a platform for water diplomacy and regional cooperation in which member states share the benefits of common water resources despite different national interests. It also acts as a regional knowledge hub on water resources management that helps to inform the decision-making process based on scientific evidence.

The MRC looks across all sectors, including fisheries sustainability, identification of opportunities for agriculture, freedom of navigation, sustainable hydropower, flood management, preservation and conservation of important ecosystems. It also helps its member states face the future effects of more extreme floods, and prolonged drought and sea level rise associated with climate change. In providing its advice, the MRC aims at facilitating dialogue among governments, the private sector, and civil society.

It is one of the few international organisations that are governed by a specific set of rules developed to coordinate technical cooperation among its members. Since its establishment in 1995 by the signing of the Mekong Agreement, the MRC has adopted a series of procedures, namely the Procedures for Water Quality, Procedures for Data and Information Exchange and Sharing, Procedures for Water Use Monitoring, Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement, and Procedures for Maintenance of Flows on the Mainstream, to provide a systematic and uniform process for the implementation of this accord.

The MRC Secretariat is the operational arm of the organisation with a staff of 65 based in two main offices in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Vientiane, Lao PDR. National Mekong Committees in each member state coordinate work at the national level.

China and Myanmar, the upstream countries of the Mekong River Basin, are Dialogue Partners of the MRC. The Commission engages a wide range of stakeholders in its strategies, plans and work.

 The MRC is funded through contributions from the four Member Countries and development partners (country governments, development banks, and international organisations). 

Read more about the MRC

History: Cooperation in coordinated planning among the Mekong countries has a long history. >> more

Organisational Structure: The MRC consist of three permanent bodies: The Council, the Joint Committee, and the Secretariat. >> more

Upstream Partners: In 1996 The MRC held its first Dialogue Meeting with its Dialogue Partners China and Myanmar.  >> more

The following links provide access to the original documents, wherever possible, of key MRC agreements, policies and strategies, procedures and guidelines:

Agreement

Approved Procedures

Technical Guidelines

Strategic Plans

MRC Summit

Latest News

Growing cooperation and deepening technical exchanges between China and the Mekong River Commission

A delegation of Chinese hydrological experts visited national Mekong committees in Cambodia and Thailand from 24 to 31 May 2017. Led by Mr Kuang Jian

Press Release: MRC’s Regional Hydropower Forum Focus on Sustainable Hydropower Development

The forum provided an opportunity for hydropower developers and specialists, government, research institutes, development partners and other regional and international organizations to discuss about hydropower planning and development in the Mekong Basin.

MRC and Japan wraps up ‘Space Application for Environment’ Prototype Initiative

The Lower Mekong Basin is at greater risk to climate change with extreme weather events such as typhoons and heat waves and is also more vulnerable to floods and droughts that can affect people’s livelihoods and reduce agricultural productivity