Laos urged to address dam project impacts

Khmer Times –

Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam have urged fellow Mekong River Commission member Laos to address cross-border and environmental impact issues following consultations on its Pak Lay hydropower dam project.

On Thursday, the MRC member countries agreed on a statement on the proposed project, after they concluded a six-month prior consultation process. The statement called on Laos to make all necessary efforts to address and mitigate potential adverse cross-border impacts of the project by taking into account recommendations provided in a technical review report issued after the prior consultation process.

Le Duc Trung, chairperson of the MRC Joint Committee for 2019 said the statement demonstrates the committee’s accountability to the four countries’ leaders and people in the basin.

“It also reflects stakeholders’ recommendations resulting from regional and national consultations on how to avoid, minimize and mitigate potential transboundary impacts from the Pak Lay development and operation,” he added.

Watt Botkosal, deputy secretary-general of Cambodia National Mekong Committee, declined to comment.

In March, the Cambodian government found that Laos needed to further identify transboundary environment impacts and put in place proper mitigation plans and measures. Cambodia also recommended that Laos should study issues relating to hydrology, sedimentation, dam safety, navigation, water quality, aquatic ecosystems, fisheries and fish passage as well as the socio-economic impact of the dam project.

Read more