Jointly managing the Lower Mekong Basin

Project description

Title: Transboundary Water Cooperation II in the Lower Mekong Basin
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)​​​​​​​
Country: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, Viet Nam​​​​​​​
Lead executing agency: The Mekong River Commission​​​​​​​
Overall term: 2022 to 2024

Group photo from a bird's eye view. Numerous people pose in front of a "Handover Ceremony" sign and a boat. Copyright: GIZ


Over 60 million people from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Viet Nam depend on the Lower Mekong Basin and its water resources to sustain their livelihoods through fisheries and agriculture. However, rapid economic growth puts the water resources under increasing stress. The necessary balance between economic, social and environmental interests can only be achieved if the neighbouring states cooperate. Therefore, in 1995, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Viet Nam established the Mekong River Commission (MRC) as a mechanism for addressing the future development and challenges of the Lower Mekong Basin. Since then, the MRC has been working to improve the management of water resources.

In its 2022 to 2024 project phase, the Transboundary Water Cooperation programme focuses on improving the competencies of the MRC, supporting the river monitoring and implementing joint projects to improve the transboundary flood and drought management.  


The Mekong River Commission addresses the challenges in the Lower Mekong Basin successfully, particularly in the context of climate change.


  • Within the MRC’s task of Joint Environmental Monitoring, the project advises the Core River Monitoring Network, supports the implementation of the Capacity Development Strategy and conducts a series of technical trainings for line agencies in the member countries.
  • For transboundary water development and management between Cambodia and Thailand, the project supports the preparation of financial proposals for the implementation of the Flood and Drought Master Plan, supports the development of a joint Flood and Drought Early-warning System, and facilitates the development of a gender and vulnerability assessment and upscaling strategy.
  • To foster the organisational development of the MRC Secretariat, the project supports the steering structures of the MRC Strategic Plan 2021-2025 and advises on improving compliance mechanisms as well as using the Basket Fund efficiently.

Last update: May 2022

Four people tinkering with boat equipment together. Copyright: GIZ