Experts doubt effectiveness of new plan to address Mekong drought

Plan centres on drought forecasting but critics say it failed to address impact of dams and hydropower projects.


After a year of severe drought that hit the region, the inter-state agency Mekong River Commission (MRC) has laid out new measures to mitigate the effects of the crisis but experts have questioned the effectiveness of the plan.

In its 2020-2025 strategy, adopted late last month in Phnom Penh and published last week, the MRC sets out a five-point strategy, which includes drought forecasting and early warning.

The MRC works with the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, and is an advisory body set up to manage shared water resources of the Mekong River.

The Mekong is the world’s 12th longest river, stretching 4,350km (2,703 miles) from China in the north to Vietnam in the south.

The plan, contained in an 88-page document, aims “to strengthen adaptive capacity of the Member Countries in combatting drought hazards and mitigating drought impacts through a sustainable use of water resources.”

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