A whole basin and all relevant actor Strategy. Unlike previous editions, this Basin Development Strategy (BDS) 2021–2030 is prepared and agreed for a ten-year period and focuses on the entire Mekong River Basin. The BDS 2021–2030 guides all relevant actors involved in Mekong water-related issues towards achieving improvements in the environmental, social and economic state of the Mekong River Basin, which is periodically recorded in the State of Basin Report (SOBR). The BDS 2021–2030 is prepared under the framework of Mekong River Commission (MRC) cooperation.
A responsive Strategy with a new direction. The 2018 SOBR highlights major changes underway in the basin, driven by population and economic growth. The extent of water resources development already underway, and the resulting environmental and water security issues, explain the major strategic shift in this BDS 2021–2030 beyond water resources planning to encompass operational management, including the transboundary coordination of operations of dams and other water infrastructure. Water resources development will still be needed, however, to support socioeconomic development, build climate resilience, and manage flood and drought risks, which will require a more proactive regional planning approach than in the past.
Guided by Heads of Governments Declarations. The BDS 2021–2030 is guided by the Siem Reap Declaration of the Third MRC Summit 'One Mekong One Spirit' on 5 April 2018, as well as Heads of Governments Declarations of other Mekong cooperation frameworks such as the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation, the Greater Mekong Subregion cooperation (GMS), and Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) The Strategy integrates the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relevant to water resources management and internalizes a 'gender and vulnerability' approach to account for intersectional inequity and the different dimensions of vulnerability.