Laos notified the Mekong River Commission (MRC) last week of its intention to build a 770 megawatt dam at Pak Lay in Xayaburi province.
Can the Mekong fisheries, worth more than US$2 billion annually, co-exist with the 100 hydropower dams planned for construction along the tributaries and main stem of the river?
The Environmental and Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) on the Thepa coal-fired power plant has been approved over strong objections from opposing groups.
The nitiative needs basic infrastructure, but cannot solely rely on mega projects worth billions of dollars. The infrastructure projects have to match the industrialization level of the host country, or they cannot be sustained.
Activists, technical experts, and officials from other Mekong Basin countries have recently spoken out against plans to construct a mainstream dam at Pak Beng.
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China wants to remove rocks and sandbanks to allow ships of up to 500 tonnes to sail from its landlocked province of Yunnan to the sleepy Laotian town of Luang Prabang.
The country’s first strategic environmental review provides a chance to demand more from investors and dam builders, but is still being seen as too little, and leading to fierce resistance by marginalized communities.
Delegates from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam met yesterday at the second meeting of the Joint Committee Working Group (JCWG) on the procedures for notification, prior consultation and agreement (PNPCA) for the Pakbeng hydropower project.
The construction of the Pak Beng Hydropower Project is expected to begin at the end of this year after reaching agreement among Lower Mekong countries.