Vientiane, July 30, 2018
A new booklet “An Introduction to MRC Procedural Rules for Mekong Water Cooperation” has been published online to help understand how the regional intergovernmental organization promotes rule-based water cooperation among its member countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The 20-page small booklet is the first public information material to explain the Mekong River Commission’s complex procedural rules for cooperation in a simple language. It introduces the 1995 Mekong Agreement, which created the MRC as a platform for water diplomacy and a knowledge hub on water resources management, and its five sets of procedural rules to materialise the agreement, explaining how these procedural rules have supported regional cooperation and sustainable development of the lower Mekong basin.
The procedural rules, known as the MRC Procedures, were developed over the years by the member countries to guide their cooperation. They include the Procedures for Data and Information Exchange and Sharing (PDIES) which support data sharing among the four countries; the Procedures for Water Use Monitoring (PWUM) that require the development of a monitoring system of water use in the Mekong River system; the Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA) that facilitate the cooperation of water use over various water infrastructure developments; the Procedures for the Maintenance of Flows on the Mainstream (PMFM) to monitor and maintain adequate water flow of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers; and the Procedures for Water Quality (PWQ) to safeguard the quality of the Mekong water with a standardized monitoring system. These procedural rules altogether provide a systematic and unified instrument for the implementation of the agreement.
“The booklet is the first of its kind to introduce in a simple language the complex procedural rules for the intergovernmental water cooperation,” said Pham Tuan Phan, CEO of the MRC Secretariat. “We hope it would help the public to understand the Mekong countries cooperate based on the agreed procedures to achieve more equitable and sustainable development of the basin.”
In the booklet, each set of the procedures is presented with its overview, a summary of rules and a brief explanation of how those rules have been applied for water cooperation. Maps, visual charts and photos also accompany the text to help comprehend the complex rules.
The booklet is now published on the MRC’s website. It will be translated into four riparian languages, and printed and distributed to the interested parties through the member countries and the MRC’s regional public events.
To view the booklet, click here.