Laos: NGOs warn proposed fifth large Mekong dam will cause adverse effects on environment & people

Author: Eugene Whong, Radio Free Asia, Published on: 28 September 2019

"Thai NGOs Speak Out Against Proposed Dam in Laos", 23 September 2019

A new dam planned for construction on the Mekong River in Laos is causing great concern for environmental NGOs from Thailand, who say Laos’ fifth big dam on the river will have adverse effects on fish and people in the region.

The Luangprabang hydropower project would be Laos’ fifth large Mekong dam. The Lao government informed the Mekong River Commission (MRC)...that it submitted the project to undergo the six-month prior consultation process under the MRC’s Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA).

...According to the email, “In the Prior Consultation process, with technical and administrative support from the MRC Secretariat, the notified member countries will review technical aspects of the proposed project, assess any potential transboundary impacts on the environment and livelihoods along the riparian communities, and suggest measures to address those concerns. The member countries aim to come to an agreement on how the consulted case should proceed. It is not meant to approve or disapprove the proposed project.”

Several NGOs are concerned about the harmful impact of the proposed dam and others like it.

...Thai environmentalist with the Save Mekong Network pointed out that a new dam would once again create hardship for people living near its proposed site.

“The dam will violate the rights of locals and displace them. The displaced will receive inadequate compensation and there won’t be enough land to farm where they resettle.”

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