Jointly managing the water resources of 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: Mekong River Commission (MRC)​​​​​​​
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 70 million people from Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Thailand and Viet Nam depend on the Lower Mekong Basin to sustain their livelihoods through fishing and agriculture. However, rapid economic growth is increasingly stressing water-related and natural resources. The only way to balance economic, social and environmental interests is for neighbouring states to cooperate. To this end, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) was established in 1995. Since then, the MRC has been developing as a key international organisation for the management of water resources. Nevertheless, its work must be improved at both regional and national levels to encounter the challenges facing the Lower Mekong Basin. This requires strengthening the work of the national line agencies and stronger regional coordination. The Transboundary Water Cooperation project aims to enforce the coordinating and management capabilities of the MRC, supporting river monitoring and the implementation of transboundary projects for flood and drought management.


The Mekong River Commission is becoming more relevant and efficient, especially in dealing effectively with development challenges in the Lower Mekong Basin in the face of climate change.



The project carries out the following activities:

  • Advising the MRC as part of its river basin monitoring in the decentralisation of responsibilities and key functions to the member countries.
  • Supporting proposals in the transboundary water development and management of a sub-basin between Cambodia and Thailand to gain funding to implement a flood and drought master plan, including a joint early-warning system.
  • Fostering the organisational development of the MRC Secretariat by supporting the implementation of the MRC Strategic Plan 2021-2025. This includes advice on compliance mechanisms, for example, internal controls and efficient use of the funds from bilateral and international donors and member countries.

Last update: October 2022

A swamp in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Photo by: © GIZ/ Transboundary Water Cooperation in the Lower Mekong Basinooperation Program in the Lower Mekong River

Additional information