Mme Monemany Nhoybouakong, Secretary General of Lao National Mekong Committee
The Mekong River Commission (MRC) is the only inter-governmental organisation that works directly with the governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam to jointly manage the shared water resources and the sustainable development of the Mekong River.
As a regional facilitating and advisory body governed by water and environment ministers of the four countries, the MRC ensures the efficient and mutually beneficial development of the Mekong River while minimising the potentially harmful effects on the people and the environment in the Lower Mekong Basin.
The MRC is a platform for water diplomacy and regional cooperation in which member states share the benefits of common water resources despite different national interests. It also acts as a regional knowledge hub on water resources management that helps to inform the decision-making process based on scientific evidence.
The MRC looks across all sectors, including fisheries sustainability, identification of opportunities for agriculture, freedom of navigation, sustainable hydropower, flood management, preservation and conservation of important ecosystems. It also helps its member states face the future effects of more extreme floods, and prolonged drought and sea level rise associated with climate change. In providing its advice, the MRC aims at facilitating dialogue among governments, the private sector, and civil society.
It is one of the few international organisations that are governed by a specific set of rules developed to coordinate technical cooperation among its members. Since its establishment in 1995 by the signing of the Mekong Agreement, the MRC has adopted a series of procedures, namely the Procedures for Water Quality, Procedures for Data and Information Exchange and Sharing, Procedures for Water Use Monitoring, Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement, and Procedures for Maintenance of Flows on the Mainstream, to provide a systematic and uniform process for the implementation of this accord.
The MRC Secretariat is the operational arm of the organisation with a staff of 65 based in two main offices in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Vientiane, Lao PDR. National Mekong Committees in each member state coordinate work at the national level.
Since its establishment in 1995, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) has strived to develop work programmes and strategies that best serve its mission to provide effective support for sustainable management and development of water and related resources. Over the years, with a vision to bring about an economically prosperous, socially just and environmentally sound Mekong River Basin, we have placed regional cooperation and basin-wide planning at the heart of our operation.