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Regional Working Session on Final Draft Version of the Updated Sustainable Hydropower (September 08, 2021)

Category: CNMC_Feb21

Phnom Penh: H. E. Mr. Kol Vathana, Deputy Secretary General of CNMC has leading the Inter-Ministerial Working Group from Cambodia attending the Regional Working Session on final draft version of the Updated Sustainable Hydropower Development Strategy 2021 for the Lower Mekong Basin (SHDS 2021), which presided over and leaded by Dr. An Pich Hatda, CEO of the MRC Secretariat. The Participants of the Working Session are the Inter-Ministerial Working Group from the four MRC MCs (Cambodia, Lao PDR., Thailand, and Viet Nam), MRC Secretariat relevant staff, and international consultants.

The participants from Cambodia comprises of Staff from CNMC Secretariat including H. E. Mr. Kol Vathana, Deputy Secretary General; Mr. Sok Khom, Director of the Projects and Programme Department;  Mr. Suos Bunthan, Director of the Department of Planning and International Cooperation; and Mr. Thay Piseth, Deputy Director of the Projects and Programme Department; and staff from LAs, including Mr. Huong Suntan, Deputy Director General of Administration, MOWRAM; Mr. Chea Narin, Deputy Director General of Energy, MIME; Mr. Chea Leng, Deputy Director of EIA Department, MoE; Mr. Chan Sok Heng, Vice Chief of Fisheries Technological Research, FiA, MAFF; Mr. Chea Piseth, Deputy Director of Production Department, EDC; and Mr. Suos Ponnarith, Head of Production Cervices Office, EAC.

The objectives of the Working Session are to (1) present the Member Countries on the process and result in a joint effort working in close collaboration with Government of Lao PDR. to finalize the SHDS 2021, and (2) clarify and highlight its changes for the Member Countries on the final draft of SHDS 2021.

The Expected outputs of the Working Session are (1) a clear understanding on its change on the final draft of SHDS 2021 document, and (2) agreed with the final updated draft of SHDS 2021 to submit to the upcoming JC Meeting for endorsement accordingly.

The Working Session had focused and discussed on two main agenda items, namely

1. The summary of Key revisions contained in the updated SHDS 2021 Version 2.1; and

2. Debriefing on the updated SHDS 2021 Version 2.1.

As a result,

- Cambodia: Cambodia finds the revised draft acceptable with comments already sent to MRCS, suggested to use consistency terms especially the MRC studies and the vision to align the BDS 2021-2030 and suggestion for small edit to the narrative of the national policy.

- Viet Nam: Although VNMCS finds it acceptable in principle, Viet Nam needs to have another round of national consultation meeting with LAs to follow the national process for the approval of the strategy.

- Thailand: Expressed some concerns with the process of revising the latest draft. TNMCS found the revised draft 90 to 95% acceptable in terms of scope, principle and contents. However, a final round of meeting of expert/technical level is needed. Stress the reference to the CS as it has been recognized by the four PMs at the last MRC Summit.

- Lao PDR: Lao PDR confirmed that the revised draft is acceptable and will send minor comments to the MRCS.

- MRCS: the last JC meeting instructed the MRCS to work with Lao PDR to address their concern. The process we have requested MCs to also conduct national meeting and this regional meeting. The reference to the MRC Studies will be revisited taking into account the Statement of PMs at the MRC Summits. Suggested MCs to send written comments for the update of document and presented to JC for endorsement at its 52nd meeting on 16 Sep.

Next Steps:

- Present the final draft to JC for consideration/ endorsement at its 52nd Meeting on 16 September

- Another internal consultation be organized, if needed, and comments be sent to MRCS soon so as MRCS can compile as the final draft to be submitted for the approval at the 28th MRC Council Meeting in November 2021.

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