Moratorium Needed on Mekong River Dams – News Watch

Few development schemes pose more serious risks to food security, fisheries, and aquatic ecosystems than the construction of proposed hydropower dams on the main channel of the Mekong River in Southeast Asia.

Three years ago, in an environmental assessment of those proposed dams, the Mekong River Commission – the body that oversees regional cooperation in the Mekong Basin – recommended that dam construction on the Mekong be halted for ten years to allow time for further study of their impacts and proper consultation among the lower-basin countries – Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

But with work on the Xayaburi Dam in northern Laos now underway, and the Laotian government’s announcement five weeks ago that it intends to proceed with another dam near the Cambodian border, the time has come for the MRC and the international community to take more assertive action to bring a moratorium into effect.

Hanging in the balance are the livelihoods of millions of people, the continued existence of one of the world’s most productive fisheries, the prospects for equitable and sustainable development in the region, and, quite possibly, regional peace and stability.

via Moratorium Needed on Mekong River Dams – News Watch.

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