At the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Joint Committee’s meeting, Thailand offered eight suggestions, hoping to push the Lao PDR into upgrading measures to alleviate the impacts on downstream countries of dam construction on the Mekong River.
Mr. Somkiat Prajamwong, Secretary-General of the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR), said a meeting, with representatives from the three Greater Mekong Subregion member countries, Mekong member countries, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, on the Luang Prabang Dam Hydropower Project should be held, to discuss ways to avoid and reduce potential impacts. This is especially important regarding the cross-border impacts on water resources and the Mekong river ecosystem development. It should also consider promotion of the sharing of the development benefits of member countries, both economically and socially.
Thailand suggested that the Lao PDR tackle and mitigate cross-border impacts in eight key areas, such as hydrological changes, sediment and nutrient reductions, ecological changes, designing seasonal migration paths for fish, preventing threats to fisheries, assessing cross-border impacts and cumulative impacts on downstream countries and states’ responsibilities for damage by learning a lesson from the Xayaburi dam.
The meeting also discussed the appropriate time frame for the Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA) process of Saka Kham Dam, the 6th hydropower dam project on the lower Mekong River in Laos. Although the framework was set for six months, the outbreak of COVID-19 may cause postponement of a forum to create awareness and understanding of the project. (NNT)