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NGOs ask PM to axe Koh Kong dam plans

NGOs ask PM to axe Koh Kong dam plans

A coalition of NGOs yesterday implored Prime Minister Hun Sen to shelve the government’s plans for the Stung Cheay Areng hydropower dam in Koh Kong province and instead turn the wilderness area in question into an eco-tourism site.

In a letter to the premier and government ministries sent on Tuesday and obtained by the Post yesterday, NGOs including the NGO Forum on Cambodia, 3S Rivers Protection Network and Adhoc, say the proposed $327 million, 109-megawatt dam will damage the Areng Valley, on the edge of the Central Cardamom Protected Forest.

“The project will produce only small amounts of energy, while the forest, wildlife, biodiversity and social impacts will be very high,” the statement says.

“[W]e earnestly implore Samdech to consider turning this area into an eco-tourist area rather than a dam site.”

China Southern Power Grid proposed the dam project and China Guodian later took it over.

A research company has been conducting a resettlement study in the area this week and Chinese state-owned Sinohydro Corporation Ltd told the Post on Monday it was now involved in the project.

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