MRC Beijing China 18 December 2019

MRC Secretariat, LMC Water Center ink first MOU for better upper-lower Mekong management

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 18 Dec 2019

Beijing, China, 18 December 2019 — Data and information exchange, basin-wide monitoring, and joint assessment on Mekong water and related resources are among the main areas to benefit from a new partnership between the Mekong River Commission Secretariat (MRCS) and Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation Center (LMC Water Center). 

The technical collaboration between the MRCS and LMC Water Center was materialized yesterday as the two bodies reached an agreement to officially institute their ties. 

A memorandum of understanding was signed by Dr. An Pich Hatda, the MRC Secretariat’s Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Zhong Yong, the LMC Water Center Secretary General, at the Ministerial Meeting of the Lancang-Mekong Water Resources Cooperation in Beijing in attendance of the water and environment ministers of the six Lancang-Mekong countries. 

“The MOU represents our joint and concerted efforts to uplift the cooperation between China and the lower Mekong countries as we seek to ensure effective upper and lower Mekong river basin management for future sustainability and shared benefits,” Dr. Hatda said. 

Over the next five years, both parties will work together through water and related resources development and management so as to jointly promote sustainable social and economic development of the Mekong countries. 

These technical areas of collaboration include experience sharing, data and information exchange, basin monitoring, joint assessment and study, knowledge management, and associated skill building and training. 

“I believe this MOU will bring our Center and the MRC Secretariat much closer and create synergy in regional water resources cooperation,” Dr. Zhong said. “It will help us to contribute to livelihood improvement and better socio-economic development in the Lancang-Mekong River basin.” 

As an initial step, both sides agreed to conduct a joint research on the 2019 drought and low flow situation in the Mekong River basin that covers both the lower and the upper part in China where Mekong is known as Lancang.   

The joint research, which is planned to begin in January and finish by September 2020, aims to identify the causes and impacts of drought and low flow condition in 2019. 

Informed by the findings, the study will also provide recommended measures and actions related to data and information sharing and improvement among all the riparian countries, develop a clear communication protocol, and enhance coordinated operations of the reservoirs in both China and the Mekong countries for a more effective response to the current and future issues of drought and water flow. 

According to the latest MRC’s flow monitoring, the 2019 drought has brought the Mekong water levels to their lowest points in living memory or at least over the last 60 years, with most parts of the basin having experienced an exceptionally regional low flow since June.  

This regional low flow, slow drop in the river sediments, and presence of algae on the sand and bedrock river bottom, it added, are among the contributing factors that have changed some parts of the Mekong River from its typical brown color to an aquamarine hue. 

Read the news in Khmer, Lao or Vietnamese.

 

Note to editors:  

The MRC is an intergovernmental organization for regional dialogue and cooperation in the lower Mekong river basin, established in 1995 based on the Mekong Agreement between Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The organization serves as a regional platform for water diplomacy as well as a knowledge hub of water resources management for the sustainable development of the region.

 

- END - 

For more information, please contact:
Mr. Sopheak Meas
Communication Officer for Press
Mekong River Commission Secretariat
E-mail: sopheak@mrcmekong.org
Telephone: +856-21-263263, ext. 4012
Mobile: +856-20-77779168

 

###

Latest News

Laos urged to better assess impacts, provide effective mitigation measures, as Luang Prabang dam moves forwards

Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam requested Laos to conduct rigorous transboundary impact assessments and enhance proposed measures to mitigate potential adverse impacts

Flood and drought remain key challenges for the Mekong: Report

Extreme low flows and extensive flooding of different communities along the Mekong River in 2019 and an increasing number of droughts that have occurred in many parts of the region in recent years are among the signs that the Mekong region is facing incre

New strategy to address Mekong wide challenges near finishing line

A draft Mekong basin development strategy to respond to critical environmental and social pressures from ongoing and planned developments and climate change in the Mekong River Basin has now received a greenlight from a governance body of the Mekong River

Sanakham project prior consultation to start after Luang Prabang consultation ends in June

The scheduled conclusion of the prior consultation process of the 1,460-megawatt Luang Prabang hydropower project the Lao government has proposed to build on the Mekong mainstream in the northern province of Luang Prabang has now moved to 30 June 2020, ac

Laos to undertake prior consultation for Sanakham hydropower project

Lao PDR will undertake the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) prior consultation process for its Sanakham hydropower project, the sixth proposed project on the Mekong mainstream. The run-of-river dam will operate continuously year-round and produce 684 megaw


Media Contact

For media inquires, please contact:
Sopheak Meas: sopheak@mrcmekong.org
Le Thi Huong Lien: huonglien@mrcmekong.org or
mrcmedia@mrcmekong.org or view the Contact page here