Fishermen in Preah Romkel commune Tharaborivat district of Stung Treng province, Cambodia are concerned that their livelihood will be harmed because of Don Sahon hydropower dam construction. This dam site is very close to Cambodia-Lao border – about 2km. Mr. Bun Thon is 44 years old and he is a member of eco-tourism committee in Preah Romkel commune. […]
The Party and State will facilitate Vietnamese investment and business in Laos, President Trần Đại Quang said during a working session with Vietnamese investors in Laos yesterday.
He hailed the efforts of businesses and of the Association of Vietnamese Investors in Laos to overcome difficulties and to ensure their projects are implemented on schedule. He also asked the association and relevant ministries to co-ordinate with the Lao side to better facilitate business operations, with the focus on energy, mineral exploration, exploitation and processing, agriculture, tourism, finance and banking. And he asked businesses to take more social responsibility to reduce poverty, protect the environment, and ensure social welfare.
THE MEKONG RIVER Commission (MRC) does not have the authority to stop projects even if they have transboundary effects, delegates to the fourth Green Mekong Forum said on Monday, while the Thai Irrigation Department presented a water diversion project to fight poverty.
Around 100 delegates from Mekong River countries and international observers attended the forum in Bangkok to follow the latest developments in infrastructure and water resource management in the Mekong River Region.
Dam Chan handed over the food in exchange for riel as she described hearing the loud bangs of dynamite in the distance.
The 55-year-old has farmed and sold food in Preah Rumkel commune her entire life and is concerned about the future of her home now that construction on the nearby Don Sahong Hydropower Dam has started to affect the local wildlife, and subsequently the lives of those residing near the Lao border.
THE ECOLOGY of the Mekong River could be destroyed within 10 years if dam projects along the river are allowed to continue, Thai and Cambodian non-government organisations have warned.
They have also warned that it will be very difficult for people to claim compensation for projects’ negative impacts on the environment and their livelihoods because it will be not difficult if not impossible to clearly link the effects to a particular dam.
Electricity rates are skyrocketing in Laos, just as the hot season tightens its grip on a country that aims to be the “battery” that powers Southeast Asia with hydropower from river dams.
Some people have watched as their rates for electricity have more than tripled, and they are scratching their heads as to why they are suddenly paying so much for power when Vientiane has been touting the country’s power generating ability as a way to bring Laos out of poverty.
The new Lao government has issued a moratorium on the export of logs and timber in a bid to reduce rampant and widespread illegal wood shipments outside the small Southeast Asian nation’s borders, according to a copy of the document obtained by RFA’s Lao Service.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, who assumed office on April 20, issued the moratorium on May 13. It requires all ministries, provincial governors and mayors to implement strict measures to control and inspect the felling of trees, log transportation, and logging businesses.
The moratorium contains 17 points, including one that forbids the export of logs, timber, processed wood, roots, branches, and trees from natural forests as well as logs the previous government had recently approved for export.
Dams and water diversion projects along the Mekong River threaten to overwhelm an ecosystem that supports 60 million people and thousands of species, according to a consensus of scientists, NGOs and governments. But amidst this pending crisis, the main mechanism set up to protect the river is becoming all but irrelevant.
The Mekong now needs more protection than ever, experts say, but the Mekong River Commission (MRC) – an international body that manages Mekong development and water resource use – has been steadily losing power for years, say current and former employees who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Laos’ management of foreign investments in extractive industries has improved since 2009, helping to ensure benefits are spread to communities and decrease environmental impacts.
Earlier this month, Japan announced a three-year, $7 billion investment deal with the countries of the lower Mekong River to boost development and improve infrastructure. In an email interview, Phuong Nguyen, an associate fellow with the Southeast Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discussed Japan’s relations in Southeast Asia.