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).
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:
12 October 2017, Vientiane– Today, the MRC Gender Action Plan Consultation and Capacity Building Workshop for Mainstreaming Gender in the Organization brings together member countries of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), experts of the MRC Secretariat ..
28 September 2017, Vientiane, Lao PDR – Exploitative fishing practices, uncoordinated development of water infrastructure, and insufficient monitoring and sharing of hydro-data
The Mekong River is one of the largest river in the world and is home to a wealth of biodiversity and aquatic life. Fisheries is a crucial contributor to socio-economic ...