By subscribing to the Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin in 1995, the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam agreed to jointly manage the basin’s water resources and to coordinate decisions concerning the use of these resources for economic development. The Mekong River Commission (MRC) was formed for this purpose and in 1996 China and Myanmar became dialogue partners of the agreement and they are now working together within a common cooperation framework.
After the agreement, the member countries have
developed a shared understanding of the opportunities and risks of the national plans for water resources development and agreed in 2010 on an integrated water resource management based basin development strategy for the Lower Mekong basin.The whole strategy is outlined on a road map which guides its implementation until the end of 2015. The strategy is owned and implemented by each member country.
In Lao People's Democratic Republic, river basin priorities were translated into national basin development plans and the economic development strategies as well. In order to ensure the implementation of national plan, River Basin Committees (RBC) are being established; the very first RBC was the Nam Ngum RBC. The importance of this particular RBC is strategic because it was the first IWRM plan and will serve as template for River Basin Committees elsewhere in the Lao People's Democratic Republic.