Lao dam under review

Khmer Times –

Laos has begun formal consultation on the Pak Lay hydropower dam project in its northern province of Xayaburi amid environmental concerns that it will impact the Cambodian stretch of the Mekong River.

Under a 1995 Mekong River agreement, member states are required to fulfil a process notification and consultation process with the Mekong River Commission, which received a report from Laos last week.

The report outlines the details of the project for review. The commission is required to formally inform other member countries regarding the scope of the project.

Laos and a developer conducted their own environmental impact assessment prior to investing to revise the dam’s design in order to accommodate fish migration and sediment, two of the main concerns raised by MRC member countries.

“It has a clear endpoint with concrete planning toward enhancing measures to mitigate potential transboundary impacts while enhancing good faith among member countries,” said Pham Tuan Phan, the MRC’s CEO. “We learned lessons from previous cases. It has allowed us to be more prepared to assist reviews of projects, assess technical aspects and conclude in an inclusive and meaningful way.”

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