The MRC supports a basin-wide planning process based on the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). During implementation of the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan, the MRC implemented its work through 12 programmes on twelve thematic areas:

  • Agriculture and Irrigation
  • Basin Development Plan
  • Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative
  • Drought Management
  • Environment
  • Flood Management and Mitigation
  • Fisheries
  • Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management
  • Sustainable Hydropower
  • Information and Knowledge Management
  • Integrated Capacity Building
  • Navigation

With the aim of becoming a leaner and financially self-sustainable organisation by 2030, the MRC undertook a reform and decentralisation process as set out in the 2010 Hua Hin Declaration of the First MRC Summit, shifting to a more focused organisation built around core functions: (i) Corporate Functions; (ii) Core River Basin Management Functions; and (iii) Consulting and Advisory Services Functions. 

These functions serve the MRC’s long-term purpose of transboundary river basin management and planning, and are performed on a regular basis. Their primary role is to support the Member Countries as they work together to implement the 1995 Mekong Agreement. 

Corporate functions include administration and management, facilitating dialogue and coordination, and reporting, dissemination and communication. 

Core River Basin Management Functions

The Core River Basin Management Functions (CRBMFs) are the cornerstones of the MRC’s technical basin management work. The CRBMFs are divided into five categories: 

  • Data acquisition, exchange, and monitoring
  • Analysis, modelling, and assessment
  • Planning support
  • Forecasting, warning, and emergency response
  • Implementing MRC procedures

Activities are implemented at both regional and national levels. At regional level, the CRBMFs comprise the main technical work of the MRC under the Planning, Environmental Management, and Technical Support divisions. The Administration Division and Office of CEO undertake corporate functions. The three technical divisions collaborate to deliver outcomes defined in the Strategic Plan 2016-2020, which outlines a wide range of activities linked to the CRBMFs that includes: