Background information

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) aims for the sustainable development of the Lower Mekong River Basin for the benefit of its people. Over the years, the MRC has convened basin-wide planning process, joint assessments and implementation of MRC Procedures. Three important activities under the Commission’s work in relation to hydropower development management currently are (1) the Study on the Sustainable Development and Management of the Mekong River (or “the Council Study”), (2) the review and update of the Preliminary Design Guidance (DG2018) and (3) the review and update of the Sustainable Hydropower Development Strategy (SHDS2018). They all aim to fill the gaps towards sustainable development in the Mekong Basin.

The overall objective of the Council Study is to further enhance the ability to advise Member Countries on the positive and negative impacts on water resources development on people, economies and the environment of the Mekong River Basin.

The objective of updating SHDS is “optimal and sustainable hydropower development pathway alternatives are explored, proposed and discussed – taking into account opportunities to enhance benefits beyond national borders and at the same time to avoid and minimize adverse transboundary impacts, while supporting water, food and energy security”. The Strategy will concentrate its hydropower activities on the mainstream and tributary hydropower, it will support improvement of national sector planning and contributes to the overall Basin Development Strategy.

While maintaining the same purpose and principles of the current PDG during its formulation in 2009, the updated process is to enhance the PDG by taking into account of: (1) the lessons learnt from the PNPCA process made for the review of three mainstream projects, and (2) the additional technical guidance in the form of Manuals on Mitigation and regionally relevant case studies as a separate supporting set of documents that can provide a wealth of information and reference material to assist effectively the enhancement of the PDG. 

The forum focuses on three MRC activities relating to hydropower development: Council Study, PDG and SHDS. They all aim to fill the gaps towards sustainable development in the Mekong. Moreover, the results of the Council Study are expected to contribute to the update of the Sustainable Hydropower Development Strategy.

Forum Objectives

This is the 2nd time a regional stakeholder forum organized for the Council Study. Towards the final stage of the implementation, this forum aims to engage with broad stakeholders on the expected outcomes and deliverables of the Study as well as its way forward. The forum’s objectives are:

    1. To disseminate the preliminary key results and findings of the study and deliverables.  
    2. To jointly review and obtain feedbacks and observations on key results and key messages from the council study for further uptake into regional and national development plans
    3. To inform stakeholders about next steps

Following the discussion and information sharing at the Sustainable Hydropower Practice Forum #4 “Dialogue with Hydropower Developers” in August 2017, this regional stakeholder forum will engage the broad stakeholders on the update of Preliminary Design Guidance (DG2018) and the Sustainable Hydropower Development Strategy (SHDS2018) with the following objectives:

    1. Inform the stakeholders about the intended scope, approach and timeline of the PDG and SHDS review and update
    2. Seek advices for further strengthening the Concept Note on the review and update of PDG and SHDS with the aim to ensure the successful completion of the two exercises.


The Forum expect to have the following representatives and participants:

    • MRC member country governments
    • MRC Dialogue Partners (China and Myanmar)
    • Development partners and agencies
    • Regional/international NGOs
    • Regional/international research institutes
    • Private developers  
    • Regional/international media
    • Others

Date and venue

14-15 Dec 2017 at Crowne Plaza, Vientiane, Lao PDR.

For those who are new to Vientiane, please find Admin Note for your information.


Participation is open and free of charge, but registration is required by 3 December 2017.


A limited financial support is available to assist participants from highly relevant organizations with financial difficulty.


To register for the forum, Please fill in the Registration form and submit it before 3 December 2017.

Concept Note and Agenda of the Forum

Please click to download Concept Note and Agenda


For documents on the Council Study, please visit

Here are forum's documentation for your advance reading:

0. Technical brief on Council Study

1. Session 1. Recap of the MRC Stakeholder engagement principles, mechanism and processes 

2. Session 2. Overall implementation - Recap of Council Study completion and its deliverables and its technical synergy and integration of impact assessment approaches

3. Session 3A1. Assessing impacts on Hydrology, Climate Change and Environment

    3.1. Results of group discussion

4. Session 3A2. Assessing impacts on Economy and Society

    4.1. Results of group discussion

5. Session 4A1. Assessing impacts on Agriculture, Land use and Irrigation

    5.1. Results of group discussion

6. Session 4A2. Assessing impacts on Flood Plain Infrastructure and Protection, and Domestic and Industrial Water Use 

    6.1. Results of group discussion

7. Session 4A3. Assessing impacts on Hydropower and Navigation

    7.1. Results of group discussion

8. Session 5. The Council Study Cumulative Impact Assessment key results and findings

9. Session 6. The Council Study Closure and Uptake Work - Key findings and Collaborative Modelling Approach 

10. Flyer Preliminary Design Guidance and Sustainable Hydropower Development Strategy  

11. Session 7. Preliminary Design Guidance to Design Guidance - Draft Concept Note and PPT1.Status of PNPCA for Pak Beng Hydropower Project and PPT2.Review and Update - Preliminary Design Guidance

12. Session 8. Basin-wide Strategy for Sustainable Hydropower Development - Draft Concept Note and PPT.Review and Update - Sustainable Hydropower Development Strategy

13. Session 9. Toward an updated and practical design guidance together with a strategic planning for energy security

    13.1. Results of group discussion - Preliminary Design Guidance & Sustainable Hydropower Development Strategy

14. Forum Report


Towards a paperless meeting! To help preserve our environment, we hope to reduce the amount of paper we print for this meeting. May we advise participants to refer to the e-documents or please bring your own printouts to the meeting.

For more information, please contact

Ms. Soukouman Viravong
Council Study Secretary
Mekong River Commission Secretariat at Vientiane, Lao PDR
Tel: + 856 21 263 263 425-353 Ext. 1091
Fax: + 856 21 263-264

Ms. Le Thi Huong Lien
Communication Officer
Mekong River Commission Secretariat Vientiane, Lao PDR
Tel: + 856 21 263 263
Fax: + 856 20 263 264

Ms. Duong Hai Nhu
Stakeholder Engagement Specialist
Mekong River Commission Secretariat Vientiane, Lao PDR
Tel: + 856 21 263 263
Fax: + 856 20 263 264