Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - WWF: No dam is the right decision

WWF: No dam is the right decision

WWF: No dam is the right decision

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has applauded the government’s decision not to develop a hydropower dam on the Mekong River after confirmation came from the Ministry of Mines and Energy on Thursday.

The ministry statement, sent to the WWF and obtained by The Post on Thursday said there were no plans to build hydropower dams in the main body of the Mekong River in its newly approved 10-year Energy Master Plan 2020-2030.

In a statement, WWF Cambodia country director Teak Seng said: “Maintaining a free-flowing lower Mekong in Cambodia is the best decision for both its people and nature. WWF commends the Cambodian government for ruling out hydropower dam development and instead pursuing other energy sources, such as solar, to meet the Kingdom’s power demand.

“WWF stands ready to work with the government to support the development of a system-wide sustainable energy plan that promotes clean and renewable energy alternatives, contributing to the country’s energy goals without damming Cambodia’s remaining free-flowing rivers.”

The ministry’s director-general of energy and spokesman, Victor Jona told The Post on Thursday that the government has no plans to develop a hydropower dam on the Mekong River mainstream within the next 10 years from 2020-2030.

When asked if the dam would be developed in the future he said: “It depends on the need.”

Marc Goichot, WWF freshwater lead in the Asia Pacific said in the statement that this is the best possible news for the sustainable future of the tens of millions of residents who would have been affected.

“This is crucial for the spectacular biodiversity relying on the river, particularly the Irrawaddy river dolphins, whose highest population is recorded in the area.

“Science clearly shows that dams would significantly reduce wild fisheries and block sediment flows, speeding up the sinking and shrinking of the delta and threatening the future of Vietnam’s major rice basket, countless fishing communities and long-term economic sustainability.

“Cambodia’s correct decision is an example for other countries, recognising free-flowing rivers provide invaluable benefits for people and the countless wild species that they depend on,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures