GWP SEA in Action Initial Development of Collaboration Between GWP Southeast Asia and Lancang-Mekong Water Cooperation Centre (LMWRCC)

Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Mechanism was proposed by Chinese Primer Likeqiang ni the 17th China-ASEAN Leaders’ meeting held in November of 2015, which aims to strengthen all-round and friendly cooperation among China and Mekong countries and promote regional overall development. The First Lancang-Mekong (LMC) Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Jinghong, Yunnan Province of China in November of 2015 formally announced the establishment of the LMC Mechanism.

The Second Lancang-Mekong (LMC) Foreign Ministers Meeting was held in Siem Reap of Cambodia in December of 2016, and released the Joint Press Communiqué of the Second Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. 

 Lancang Mekong Cooperation is based on principles of consensus, equality, mutual consultation and coordination, voluntarism, common contribution and shared benefits, and respect for the United Nations Charter and international laws. The mechanism of LMC so far are focused on the multi-level mechanism centred around leaders’ meeting, foreign ministers’ meeting, senior officials’ meeting and working group meeting of related departments. Accordingly, it is still heavily government orientation.

In order to ensure that Lancang-Mekong Cooperation includes all elements of stakeholders, Lancang Mekong Water Cooperation Centre and Global Water Partnership China and Global Water Partnership Southeast Asia agreed to meet and started to initiate a collaboration that will allow non-governments stakeholders to also be an integrated part of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation.

The discussion between LMWRCC, GWP China, GWP Southeast Asia and GWPO was organized in the new office of LMWRCC in Beijing, China, on the 3rd December 2017. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Dr. Zhong Yong, LMWRCC Secretary General. From GWPO, Dr. Yumiko Yasuda, Senior Network Officer for Asia, led the GWP delegates, accompanied by Fany Wedahuditama, Regional Coordinator of GWP Southeast Asia, and Prof. Cheng, Prof. You Jinjun, Prof. Jiang Yunshong and Yilin Ma (representatives of GWP China).

 Through the meeting, it was agreed that LMWRCC will be able to support the collaboration through funding for capacity building activities, and projects. From GWP side, GWP will support Lancang-Mekong Cooperation through its neutral multi-stakeholder’s platform by initiating consultative meeting at all level (country, regional and inter-regional level). These consultative meetings are expected to be able to provide inputs for, not only, Lancang-Mekong Joint Working Group’s five-year work plan, but also other cooperation mechanism that are already in place.

 Furthermore, soon, as a part of the kick-off of this collaboration, GWP SEA is planning to invite representatives of LMWRCC to conduct a study visit to several Mekong countries to see further cooperation between China and Mekong Countries. This study visit is planned to be organized in first week of February 2018.