Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Environmental group criticises data on dam




Environmental group criticises data on dam

A boat makes its way down the Mekong River near the proposed Pak Beng Dam site, downstream of Chiang Khong district. Chiang Rai Pianporn Deetes International Rivers.
A boat makes its way down the Mekong River near the proposed Pak Beng Dam site, downstream of Chiang Khong district. Chiang Rai Pianporn Deetes International Rivers.

Environmental group criticises data on dam

Conservation group International Rivers (IR) on Monday released a statement condemning the data used by the Mekong River Commission (MRC) in assessing Laos’ proposed 912-megawatt Pak Beng dam, claiming the figures were “insufficient and outdated”.

The controversial hydropower dam has been criticised for potential environmental impacts, especially in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap basin.

Experts commissioned by IR found that the documents included data from studies conducted in 2011, were based on limited sampling and did not take into account the cumulative effects of all dams on the Mekong.

“The review concludes that the Pak Beng Dam project documents . . . are insufficient to meaningfully evaluate the project’s environmental and social impacts,” a summary of the report reads.

The MRC secretariat responded by acknowledging its limitations, but said it was doing the best it could.

“MRC acknowledge[s] that the technical review of Pak Beng has been limited . . . hence assessments cannot be made with full confidence.

While information was imperfect, we believe the consultation process was the platform for stakeholders to raise their concerns,” a representative said via email.

The secretariat reiterated that the MRC cannot veto projects.Te Navuth, secretary-general of Cambodia’s National Mekong Committee, said he still has concerns.

“We are asking for more study on the effect of the combination of operations . . . we worry about the upcoming projects,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15