OUTCOME 4 - SUCCESS STORY Successful Conclusion of the PNPCA Prior Consultation of Pak Lay Hydropower Project


  • Evidence of adverse transboundary impacts that were mitigated, minimised, or avoided in basin planning and management by using the MRC procedures
  • Number of water utilisation projects notified, consulted and improved agreement under consultation and notification process of PNPCA.


The six-month PNPCA Prior Consultation (PC) process for the proposed Pak Lay Hydropower Project concluded on schedule in April 2019 with the MRC JC issuing its agreed Statement for the necessary efforts to address and mitigate potential adverse cross-border impacts of the project. Equally important and unprecedented is the JC’s approval of the Joint Action Plan (JAP) for the project on the same day, marking it as the first time the PC process concluded with formal agreements among the MCs at the end of its six-month period.

The speedy conclusion of the process for the Pak Lay Hydropower Project, which is the fourth Mekong mainstream hydropower project to go through the PC process, demonstrates the increased confidence of the MCs on the mechanism of the Statement and the JAP to push for sustainable hydropower development in an open and inclusive approach.

The JC Statement and JAP, which were introduced first with the Pak Beng Hydropower Project and now with the Pak Lay Hydropower Project, have elevated cooperation among the MCs during the PC process and ensured the process’ on-time, deliberate, and action-oriented conclusion. While remaining largely based on the TRR, the proposed actions in the JAP provide the notifying country and hydropower developer flexibility to do what is right and reasonable throughout the life cycle of the project in an open, transparent, consultative, and adaptive manner to avoid, minimise, and mitigate negative impacts of the hydropower project.

Chairperson of the MRC JC for 2019 Dr. Le Duc Trung (left) and CEO of the MRCS Dr An Pich Hatda (right) addressed the JC Special Session held on 4 April 2019 in Vientiane, Lao PDR to conclude the six-month prior consultation process for the Pak Lay hydropower project.

Pak Lay PNPCA PC Process Roadmap The conclusion of the PNPCA PC process involved the timely completion of several milestones during the 6-month period. These milestones as depicted in the Pak Lay PNPCA PC process roadmap include the following information sharing/consultations and stakeholder outreach:

  • First Regional Information Sharing/Consultation Meeting held during the Fifth Regional Stakeholder Forum in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 20-21 September 2018
  • Second Regional Information Sharing/Consultation Meeting held during the Sixth Regional Stakeholder Forum in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR on 17 January 2019
  • Several national consultation meetings: two in Cambodia, three in Thailand, three in Viet Nam, and two in Lao PDR