Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - MRC visits Laos dam ahead of May meet



MRC visits Laos dam ahead of May meet

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
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

MRC visits Laos dam ahead of May meet

Representatives from the four Mekong River Commission (MRC) countries visited the site of the controversial Lao Pak Beng hydropower dam yesterday as officials prepare for the second regional stakeholder meeting next month.

The MRC will hold its second regional stakeholder meeting in Vientiane on May 5. According to a press release, the second meeting will “present the preliminary technical review results of the Pak Beng hydropower project” and seek recommendations from other stakeholders.

Maureen Harris with International Waters said the main purpose of this week’s meet was to evaluate a draft of the technical review to be presented next month.

The MRC is expected to complete its cumulative Council Study report in December, after approving the Pak Beng dam, something Harris said is “extremely troubling”.

“Dams are now being rushed forward on the Mekong mainstream with limited information or attention to the cumulative and basin-wide impacts of constructing multiple projects,” Harris said.

While Harris acknowledged that the MRC has done a better job of distributing project assessments and engaging stakeholders, she said there was still “every indication that Pak Beng is following the same flawed and unaccountable pattern” seen with the similarly controversial Xayaburi dam.

Officials at the Cambodia National Mekong Committee could not be reached yesterday, but Secretary-General Te Navuth has previously said Cambodia will offer a formal conclusion and position on the dam in May.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants