Xayaburi Dam Decision Delayed, Pending Further Studies
The Mekong River Commission has agreed to delay a controversial decision on building the Xayaburi dam in Northern Laos pending further studies on the dam’s environmental impact.
AsianScientist (Dec. 8, 2011) – The ministerial-level meeting of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) has agreed to delay a controversial decision on building the Xayaburi dam in Northern Laos pending further studies on the dam’s environmental impact.
Ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam reached the consensus decision at a meeting of the MRC – an inter-governmental agency made up of representatives from the four lower Mekong countries – in Siem Reap, Cambodia today.
The countries agreed to approach the Government of Japan and other international development partners to support further studies on the sustainable management of the Mekong river, including impacts from mainstream hydropower development projects.
In April this year, the Joint Committee of the MRC did not reach an agreement on the Xayaburi dam and agreed to defer the final decision to the ministerial level.
No timeline has yet been set for when a final decision will be reached on the construction of the mainstream dam.
WWF has been advocating a 10 year moratorium on lower Mekong mainstream dams until there is adequate information to assess their impacts on biodiversity, fisheries and sediment flows.
The organization advises lower Mekong countries considering hydropower projects to prioritise dams on some Mekong tributaries that are easier to assess and are considered to have a much lower impact and risk.
Source: WWF; Photo: © WWF Greater Mekong.
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