Stimson in the News

Gabriella Neusner op-ed in The Diplomat on the Mekong River Commission

in Program

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) is gearing up for another test of its effectiveness following the announcement of Laos’ plans to construct the Pak Beng hydropower project, the third proposed dam on the Mekong mainstream.

Laos must undergo a six-month consultation process before proceeding with the hydropower project, as mandated by the 1995 Mekong Agreement. For the previous two mainstream dams, Xayaburi and Don Sahong, the consultation processes ended in disagreement. Though downstream countries called for further studies of the social and environmental impacts of each dam, Laos nevertheless moved forward unilaterally with construction.

Critics point to the failure of previous consultation processes as evidence that the MRC can never be an effective platform for Mekong river governance. However, the value of the MRC should not be based entirely upon the success of the consultation processes for large infrastructure projects. The organization produces important data and analysis and works to strengthen norms of basin-wide cooperation, both of which can help to encourage more sustainable approaches to Mekong river development.

Read the full article here.

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Part of the Mekong Policy Project
Media Inquiries

Contact Caitlin Goodman at [email protected] or 202-478-3437.

Our main line is  202-223-5956.

Choose Your Subscription Topics
* indicates required
I'm interested in...
38 North: News and Analysis on North Korea
South Asian Voices