Mekong River Commission takes action to improve hydropower design hinh anh 1Mekong River Commission takes action to improve hydropower design. - Illustrative image (Photo:

Vientiane (VNA) - The Mekong River Commission (MRC) Joint Committee on October 4 approved an important document that clarifies guidelines for hydropower project designs to minimise the impact on ecosystems and communities along the largest waterway in Southeast Asia.

Besides the revised Preliminary Design Guidance (PDG), the committee also agreed on a Guideline on Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment (TbEIA) which serves to measure how a project affects a neighbour.

The agreement allows the TbEIA to be tested and applied by countries and developers, with technical support from the MRC.

According to CEO of the MRC Secretariat Dr. Anoulak Kittikhoun, this is a historic breakthrough for MRC cooperation after years of discussion.

Kittikhoun said this PDG is gearing us toward projects that are both economically viable and environmentally friendly, more protective of the river's resources while safeguarding people's livelihoods.

The MRC Joint Committee meets twice a year to discuss management, organisation and cooperation./.