Cambodia drops plans for Mekong hydropower dams
Cambodia has announced that it will not build any new hydropower dams on the mainstream Mekong for the next decade, allaying fears that the river’s fragile biodiversity could be further devastated by development projects.
The Mekong, which supports the world’s largest inland fishery, flows from the Tibetan plateau down to the South China Sea, passing through or by Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Across the region at least 60 million people depend on its resources but it is increasingly threatened by hydropower development as well as climate change and the illegal wildlife trade.
Cambodia had announced plans for two dams at Sambor and Stung Treng but both are now on hold. Cambodia’s decision means that neighbouring Laos, which has opened two new dams on the mainstream Mekong in the past six months, is the only country in the Lower Mekong Basin planning hydropower on the river.
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