Background information

The rapid development in the Mekong River region has placed a strong pressure on the Mekong Basin’s water and related resources. In line with the 1995 Mekong Agreement, the Member Countries (MCs) have come together to work for sustainable development of the Mekong River Basin and its resources in order to achieve the basin Vision of an economically prosperous, socially just and environmentally sound Mekong River Basin. Over the past 23 years, the MRC has made several interventions and implemented various frameworks and guidance to create an avenue for an active involvement from the MCs when it comes to water and related resources development and management in the Basin.

Recognizing diverse interests involved in the Basin and the importance of a shared and informed understanding of different stakeholders’ perspectives, the MRC has implemented various activities to strengthen relationships with a broad range of actors and players, including the private sector, civil society organizations and academia. Stakeholder engagement is central to the MRC’s policy framework and is required under domestic legislation in each of the Member Countries. The MRC organizes Regional Stakeholder Forums every year to address interests and concerns of regional and international stakeholders including NGOs, the private sector, media, development partners and other interested groups. The Forums serve as a platform for the MRC Member Countries and other concerned stakeholders to discuss, provide and exchange views on reasonable and equitable use of water and related resources in the Mekong River Basin.

As decision making process in water resources management often addresses multiple objectives, involves diverse interests, and has far-reaching effects, we are working on a multiple-dimension approach with consideration of cost effectiveness as well. With that approach, the MRC will organize forums with multiple relevant issues and subjects that address the public interest.

On 13 June 2018, Lao PDR submitted the Pak Lay Hydropower Project (PLHPP) for prior consultation under the MRC’s Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA). The six-month prior consultation process officially started on 08 August 2018. This process aims at an agreement on the proposed use and a decision on measures that will apply to the project to avoid, minimise and mitigate possible harmful effects on the environment and people downstream and upstream. During the prior consultation process for Pak Lay, there will be two regional information sharing and consultation meetings and a series of national consultation meetings.

This first forum of the year 2018, also known as the 5th MRC Regional Stakeholder Forum, is to continue dialogue, exchanges and discussions with relevant and interested stakeholders on a number of on-going and emerging issues. They are (1) Prior Consultation process for Pak Lay Hydropower Project and (2) 2018 prioritized works on basin planning and environmental management including Joint Action Plan (JAP) for Pak Beng hydropower dam, Joint Environmental Monitoring (JEM), Xayaburi Re-design, PNPCA Commentary, Guidelines for Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessments (TbEIA), update of the Preliminary Design Guidance (PDG) and Sustainable Hydropower Development Strategy (SHDS).

Forum Objectives

The 1st Regional Information Sharing/Consultation Meeting on the Pak Lay Hydropower Prior Consultation Process will take place on the 1st day of the 5th RSF with following objectives:

1. To provide information and reinforce understanding on the MRC’s Prior Consultation process under the PNPCA and the 1995 Mekong Agreement;   
2. To provide information on the general understanding of the proposed Pak Lay Hydropower Project; and,
3. To obtain viewpoints and comments on the approach and methodology to be undertaken by the MRC in conducting a Technical Review of the proposed Pak Lay Hydropower Project.

The 2nd day of the 5th RSF will be devoted to other key MRC works that meet public interest and aims:

4. To inform the stakeholders about the status and progress of the MRC on-going works related to planning and management of the basin;
5. To consult with broader stakeholders and exchange views on how to further and improve the MRC's works, i.e. the JEM, Sustainable Hydropower Development 6. Strategy, PNPCA Commentary, etc. towards more sustainable development of the Mekong basin; and,
6. To seek stakeholders’ advice and support in the future implementation of the discussed initiatives, including MASAP, TbEIA, JAP, and updated Preliminary Design Guidance.


The Forum expects to have the following representatives and participants:

    • MRC's Member Countries including National Mekong Committees, Planning Sector and Energy Focal Agencies, and Implementing Agencies
    • Research Institutes and Universities
    • INGOs and LNGOs and Civil Society Organizations
    • Local authorities and communities
    • Private sector and companies
    • Development partners
    • Other interested groups

Date and venue

20-21 September 2018 at LANDMARK HOTEL, Vientiane, Lao PDR.

This Admin Note provides participants with some useful information on transportation and accommodation.

Vientiane recently has launched Airport Shuttle Bus Services


Participation is open and free of charge, but registration is required by 10 September 2018.

Financial support

A limited financial support is available to assist participants from civil society and community-based organizations who have financial difficulty. In case you request for financial support, please provide us information in the online registration form.


To register for the forum, please fill in our online registration form.

The deadline for registration is before 10 September 2018

Concept Note and Agenda

1. Concept Note

2. Agenda


  1. Summary of Final Draft Design Guidance
  2. Summary of SHDS Project
  3. Summary of Final Draft PNPCA Commentary
  4. Summary of Draft Xayaburi Design Changes Review
  5. Key features of Pak Lay hydropower project
  6. Pak Lay Hydropower Project Documents submitted by Lao PDR
  7. MRC Procedures Booklet
  8. Summary of Final draft TbEIA Guidelines
  9. Summary of Draft JEM
  10. Summary of Final Draft JAP for Pak Beng Hydropower Project
  11. Mekong Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan on Climate Change
Day 1. the 1st Regional Information Sharing/Consultation Meeting on the Pak Lay Hydropower Prior Consultation Process
  1. MRC stakeholder engagement principles and mechanism
  2. Overview of the PNPCA under the overall MRC procedural framework and the 1995 Mekong Agreement
  3. Implementation of previous Prior Consultation processes and subsequent developments including lessons learned, studies, and guidelines
  4. Objectives and Roadmap for the Prior Consultation of the Pak Lay Hydropower Project
  5. Lao national development and poverty reduction strategy and plan including sustainable hydropower development and applicable national & regional policies and guidelines
  6. Overview of the Pak Lay Hydropower Project
  7. Approach and methodology for assessment of the Pak Lay Hydropower Project – Overview
  8. Approach and methodology for assessment of the Pak Lay Hydropower Project - Hydrology & sediment
  9. Approach and methodology for assessment of the Pak Lay Hydropower Project - Environment & fisheries
  10. Approach and methodology for assessment of the Pak Lay Hydropower Project - Dam safety
  11. Approach and methodology for assessment of the Pak Lay Hydropower Project - Navigation
  12. Approach and methodology for assessment of the Pak Lay Hydropower Project - Socio-economic issues
Day 2. 2018 priorities: Basin planning and environmental management
  1. Update of the Preliminary Design Guidance (PDG) for proposed mainstream dams
  2. Update of the Basin-wide Sustainable Hydropower Development Strategy
  3. PNPCA Commentary
  4. Review of the Xayaburi Design Changes
  5. Trans-boundary Environmental Impact Assessment (TbEIA) Guidelines
  6. Joint Environment Monitoring (JEM)
  7. Joint Action Plan (JAP) for the Pak Beng Hydropower Project
  8. Mekong Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan (MASAP)
Updated Report of the 5th MRC Regional Stakeholder Forum - with clarification of Government of Lao and China Power Resources Ltd. on comments and questions (Annex 4)
Photos from the forum

Contact points

For logistics

Ms. Soukouman Viravong
Admin Assistant
Mekong River Commission Secretariat, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Tel: + 856 21 263 263
Fax: + 856 21 263-264

For communication and media

Mr. Sopheak Meas
Communication Officer
Mekong River Commission Secretariat, Vientiane, Lao PDR

For participation and sponsorship

Ms. Duong Hai Nhu
Stakeholder Engagement Specialist
Mekong River Commission Secretariat, Vientiane, Lao PDR