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Commission (MRC) in assessing Laos’ proposed 912-megawatt Pak Beng dam, claiming the figures were “insufficient and outdated”.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

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections

    A Malaysian parliamentarian raised concerns in his country on Wednesday about Cambodia’s July 29 national elections and urged his government to clarify its position on the subject, the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said on Thursday. Wong Chen, a member of the People’s

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not