Hydropower projects play a key role in the management and development of the Mekong’s water resources. The Mekong River Commission (MRC) and its member states are increasingly aware of the large potential for hydropower development in the region and the associated benefits for economic growth and welfare. However, in order to assure the sustainable development of hydropower, it is essential to recognize the possible impact of dams on ecosystems and livelihoods of communities living near the river. These effects do not stop at national borders but have transboundary implications for other riparian states. Therefore, it is important to take a cooperative approach in the development and management of hydropower projects.
In the light of the above, adelphi has been commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the MRC to develop a training manual for trainers on „Transboundary Cooperation and Hydropower Development“. The manual deals with a wide range of relevant issues including the benefits and challenges of cooperation, concrete benefit sharing mechanisms, the role of river basin organisations (RBOs), key guidelines and procedures for transboundary hydropower development as well as important negotiation and dispute resolution processes. Next to providing a comprehensive knowledge base, the manual also offers extensive advice to the trainers on how to actively involve participants for example by using a fictitious case scenario and a river basin model game. As the second part of the GIZ contract, adelphi organised and conducted a three-day training workshop with academic staff from local universities. adelphi teamed up with the Oregon State University for the implementation of the whole project.