PR - Further Deliberation and Study Still Needed on Don Sahong Dam

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Rapids in Siphandone, close to the site of the Don Sahong Dam
Rapids in Siphandone, close to the site of the Don Sahong Dam

In response to news published in yesterday’s Phnom Penh Post newspaper that the Concession Agreement for the Don Sahong Dam has been approved by the Lao National Assembly, and that the project’s Power Purchase Agreement is awaiting signature, International Rivers released the following statement from Southeast Asia Program Director, Ame Trandem:

“The Don Sahong Dam is not a done deal. Until there is regional agreement amongst neighboring countries over the future of the shared Mekong River, the Don Sahong Dam should not proceed. Regional governments have earlier made clear requests to the Government of Laos that further study and time for regional consultation over the project is needed. International customary law also requires governments to prevent significant harm to neighboring countries, requiring them to provide enough time to assess a project’s transboundary impacts. Laos should abide by these requests by allowing a moratorium of at least two years, in order to carry out all of the necessary studies. In the meantime, all further contract negotiations, including for the project’s Power Purchase Agreement, should also be halted. Until the project developer can prove that the Don Sahong Dam will not harm the Mekong River’s rich fisheries and the unique ecosystem services it provides to millions of people in the basin, it is in the best interest of Laos and the region to give the Mekong River a much needed reprieve.”

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