Cambodia: Groups raise alarm over severe food, livelihood, environmental, cultural impacts of Lower Sesan 2 Dam project; companies do not respond


Lower Sesan 2 Dam is located near the confluence of the Sesan and Srepok Rivers in Stung Treng Province, Cambodia – two of the Mekong River’s most significant tributaries. Expert studies have shown that the dam would cause a substantial drop in fish stocks, threaten over 50 fish species and alter the livelihoods and cultures of tens of thousands of people, mostly belonging to minority groups. Thousands have been displaced so far.

Groups of villagers and their civil society supporters have repeatedly appealed to the Cambodian Government, as well as the companies involved, to halt the construction of the project and to provide appropriate information and opportunities for meaningful engagement. These appeals have not been acted on by the parties concerned.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited project developers China Huaneng Group (parent of Hydrolancang International Energy), Royal Group and Vietnam Electricity to respond to reports by villagers and NGOs raising serious environmental and social concerns; the companies did not respond. We continue to invite the companies to send their responses.

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29 March 2020

Cambodia: Sesan ethnic communities restart their lives two years after being affected by Sesan II dam development project

Author: Narin Sun, VOA

"Two Years on, Sesan’s Ethnic Communities Attempt to Restart Their Lives", 30 March 2020

Fut Kheun has been keeping a close watch on the water levels at the Sesan II reservoir, in the remote Srekor commune of Stung Treng province.

The ethnic Kreung villager is living close to the water at the reservoir, two years after ethnic minority communities were forced from their homes to make way for the 400MW Sesan Dam reservoir. Fut Kheun’s family is among the 60 that have rejected government compensation and have chosen to remain close to their ancestral lands…

The Sesan II dam was highly controversial and a leaked government-commissioned study had warned of a devastating impact on the Mekong’s fisheries and ecosystem. Fish stocks were expected to drop 9.3 percent across the Mekong Basin, according to a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S…

The Chinese-funded dam, run by the Royal Group, has wreaked havoc on Lao and Kreung ethnic communities, who, …, are still attempting to restore their way of life. The villagers have kept watch of the waters to make sure that they can settle down in newly-created villages.

… A majority of the Lao and Kreung indigenous minority villagers who lived in the villages, …, accepted compensation from the government to move to new villages.

About 800 other families … reluctantly accepted the government’s offer, after years of protesting in vain against the construction…

Environmental activists had warned of a heavy environmental and socio-economic impact beyond just the 33,000-hectare reservoir, …

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Author: Narin Sun, 美国之音



上丁省(Stung Treng province)Srekor公社的Fut Kheun一直密切关注着桑河二级大坝的水位。

两年前,科伦族人(Kreung)因桑河二级大坝项目(发电量为400兆瓦)而搬离故土,他们现在生活在水库附近。包括Fut Kheun家在内的60户家庭拒绝政府的补偿,仍然生活在祖辈土地上……


这座由中国出资、柬埔寨皇家集团(Royal Group)管理的大坝对佬族(Lao)和科伦族社区造成了严重破坏,他们……仍在努力恢复自己的生活。村民特别关注水位的变化,以确保他们能在新建的村落安定下来。




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Author: Narin Sun, 美國之音



上丁省(Stung Treng province)Srekor公社的Fut Kheun一直密切關注著桑河二級大壩的水位。

兩年前,科倫族人(Kreung)因桑河二級大壩項目(發電量為400兆瓦)而搬離故土,他們現在生活在水庫附近。包括Fut Kheun家在內的60戶家庭拒絕政府的補償,仍然生活在祖輩土地上……

桑河二級大壩項目爭議很大,一項被洩露出來的政府委託研究曾警告,項目對湄公河的漁場和生態環境會造成災難性影響。 《美國科學院學報》發表的一項研究報告顯示,湄公河流域的漁業資源預計下降9.3%……

這座由中國出資、柬埔寨皇家集團(Royal Group)管理的大壩對佬族(Lao)和科倫族社區造成了嚴重破壞,他們……仍在努力恢復自己的生活。村民特別關注水位的變化,以確保他們能在新建的村落安定下來。




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6 February 2019

Cambodia: Environmentalists warn of potential risks from hydropower dam construction

Author: Eijas Ariffin, The ASEAN Post

"Are Cambodia’s hydropower plans risky?", 5 February 2019

…, Cambodia’s electricity consumption over the past decade has skyrocketed. In a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF),…

… With the Mekong River flowing through the country, it is no coincidence that hydropower is Cambodia’s main source of energy accounting for more than 40 percent of total electricity generation.

…, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen launched the country’s newest hydropower scheme. The 400-megawatt Lower Sesan 2 is said to have cost US$780 million to build and was backed by Chinese funding.

This project is not the only one backed by Chinese money in Cambodia. As part of China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative…

Cambodia’s reliance on hydropower for its energy needs could have a detrimental effect on the country… There is also a growing concern that the construction of these dams could have an adverse impact on the Mekong river. Construction of dams along the Mekong raises immediate risks for fisheries, farming, and food security in Cambodia…

... Environmentalists warn that around 5,000 people, mostly from vulnerable indigenous groups could be displaced by the project. International Rivers, … has said that the dam will have a “costly catastrophic impact on the Mekong River's fisheries and biodiversity".

The Cambodian government is aware of the potential problems associated with hydropower. According to Nao Thuok, a Secretary of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the government is currently operating on projections of a 16 to 30 percent drop in fish biomass…

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Author: Eijas Ariffin, The ASEAN Post

…柬埔寨首相洪森启动了最新的水电工程建设计划。据说,发电量400兆瓦的塞桑河下游二号大坝(Lower Sesan 2)造价达7.8亿美元,由中国提供资金。该项目仅是中国在柬埔寨资助的众多项目之一。…柬埔寨依靠水电满足能源需求可能在国内产生不利影响…另一个日益受到关注的问题是…在湄公河支流修建大坝会对柬埔寨的渔牧业和粮食安全产生直接影响。…环保人士发出警告,约5000人,其中多数属于脆弱的土著群体将因项目施工而迁移至他处。国际河流组织(International Rivers)表示,大坝将“对湄公河的渔业和生物多样性产生灾难性的影响。”…2018年6月,一份泄露的环境影响评估报告显示中国支持拟建的桑博尔大坝(Sambor Hydropower Dam)可能会“杀死”湄公河…

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Author: Eijas Ariffin, The ASEAN Post

…柬埔寨首相洪森啟動了最新的水電工程建設計劃。據說,發電量400兆瓦的塞桑河下游二號大壩(Lower Sesan 2)造價達7.8億美元,由中國提供資金。該項目僅是中國在柬埔寨資助的眾多項目之一。 …柬埔寨依靠水電滿足能源需求可能在國內產生不利影響 …另一個日益受到關注的問題是…在湄公河支流修建大壩會對柬埔寨的漁牧業和糧食安全產生直接影響。 …環保人士發出警告,約5000人,其中多數屬於脆弱的土著群體將因項目施工而遷移至他處。國際河流組織(International Rivers)表示,大壩將“對湄公河的漁業和生物多樣性產生災難性的影響。”…2018年6月,一份洩露的環境影響評估報告顯示中國支持擬建的桑博爾大壩(Sambor Hydropower Dam)可能會“殺死”湄公河…

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9 December 2018

Cambodia: Stung Treng authorities agree to the ethnic bunong community's request following the impact of Lower Sesan II dam construction

Author: Chakrya Sophak Khouth, The Phnom Penh Post

"Stung Treng authority agrees to Bunong request", 5 December 2018

Stung Treng provincial authorities have unanimously agreed to the request and conditions of the ethnic Bunong community members from Kbal Romeas village who have been impacted by the Lower Sesan II dam in the province…

Stung Treng provincial hall spokesman Men Kong told … that the five conditions set by the 52 ethnic Bunong families from the Kbal Romeas community have been accepted by the authorities and the company behind the dam.

… the Kbal Romeas community’s requests include recognition of the ethnic families’ rights in building houses on the new location they have chosen and the construction of a road, school, health centre and a pond that generates clean water for consumption.

…Like the ethnic Bunong families from Kbal Romeas, the Sre Kor villagers demand authorities include them in the official list of ethnic communities.

… Addressing villagers’ concerns about the lack of clean water, Kong said district authorities have been ordered to make a field visit to the site.

During the dam’s inauguration …, Prime Minister Hun Sen said it would lower electricity costs and put the Kingdom on its way to hooking up every village in the country to the electricity grid by 2002.

A joint project between China-based Hydrolancang International Energy, Vietnam-based EVN International and Cambodia’s Royal Group, the dam will be privately operated before being handed over to the government after 40 years.

The dam has displaced around 1,500 households and flooded tens of thousands of hectares of forest in the province’s Sesan district.

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4 December 2018

Cambodia: Bunong ethnic community faces water shortage because of Lower Sesan II dam construction

Author: Chakrya Sophak Khouth, The Phnom Penh Post

"Bunong families claim Lower Sesan II dam is causing water shortage", 4 December 2018

More than 100 families, including Bunong ethnic community members who have been impacted by the Lower Sesan II dam in Stung Treng province, complained … about the shortage of clean water.

The villagers, who have rejected compensation for relocation and currently live on higher ground about 5km from their now-flooded villages in Sesan district’s Kbal Romeas commune, said a pond dug by the provincial authority in the area has not produced any water.

Srang Lanh, a representative of the families, told … that water in the dam’s reservoir is not clean enough for consumption. He said the water is smelly and could be harmful to villagers’ health, while rainwater has also run out…

Another villager, Khem Chamroeun, said the villagers currently rely on water from a well on an old rice field about 1km from their makeshift homes…

Provincial and Sesan district authorities could not be reached for comment…


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13 January 2015

Groups raise rights concerns over Lower Sesan 2 & Stung Cheay Dams with UN Special Rapporteur on Cambodia

Author: 3S Rivers Protection Network, EarthRights International, International Rivers, Samreth Law Group

“Human Rights Concerns Over Hydropower Development in Cambodia Brought to the UN”, 13 January 2015

International and Cambodian groups…issued a complaint to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia raising concerns over human rights violations resulting from the development of two hydropower dam projects in Cambodia. The complaint highlights the Lower Sesan 2 Dam, currently under construction in Stung Treng Province, and the Stung Cheay Areng Dam in Koh Kong Province…The complaint calls on the Special Rapporteur to investigate and seek remedial action for existing and imminent breaches of human rights in relation to these projects…Recent asset surveys by the project developers of the Lower Sesan 2 (LS2) Dam have raised concerns over villagers being pressured and intimidated into agreeing with the surveys and the proposed resettlement plans…In the complaint, concerns are also raised over the severe environmental impacts the LS2 Dam is predicted to cause in Cambodia and the region…If it proceeds, the Stung Cheay Areng Dam will displace approximately 1500 indigenous inhabitants of the Areng Valley…The project is also expected to…[wreak] havoc on unique ecosystems and rare and critically endangered wildlife within the pristine valley…

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Company non-response
16 December 2014

China Huaneng Group did not respond