Through the appeal, the plaintiffs are seeking an order from the Administrative Court, to ensure that the five state agencies responsible for approval of the Xayaburi Dam’s Power Purchase Agreement comply with Thai laws and regulations; including the requirement to carry out a transboundary health and environmental impact assessment, as well as adequate information disclosure and consultations with affected communities.
In the statement released today, the Mekong Regional Technical Working Group for EIA brings together governments, civil society organisations (CSOs), and will expand to cover private sector and EIA experts to improve regional cooperation for effective EIA policy and practices. The group aims to reduce the social and environmental impacts of regional infrastructure projects, particularly as the upcoming Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) Economic Community further hastens trans-boundary investments.
HANOI, May 14, 2015 – In a ground-breaking agreement, government officials and civil society representatives from across the Mekong region established a working group to develop a regional public participation guideline for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) this week in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Laos confirmed this week that it is clearing land for workers’ housing in advance of the controversial Don Sahong Dam project, but said that work on the dam itself has not begun.
The hydroelectric project planned for the “4,000 Islands” area of Southeast Asia’s key artery the Mekong River is a joint venture of Malaysia’s Mega First Corporation Bhd, with an 80 percent share in the project, and the government of Laos holding the remaining equity.
Laos has inked an agreement to build a railway connecting Thailand and Vietnam, just after sealing plans for a rail link to China, in ventures that will cost a combined whopping U.S. $12 billion.
By linking the landlocked nation to its giant neighbor China and mainland Southeast Asia, officials say the high-speed rail network will help open up the impoverished and resource-starved nation to development.
Laos has contracted firms to build and operate another significant hydropower plant on the Mekong River system, adding to the existing furore over potential effects on downstream countries such as Cambodia from the controversial Xayaburi dam.
The contracts, reportedly worth $1 billion, are for a series of three dams making up the Xe-Namnoy plant on two tributaries of the Se Kong River, which flows into the Mekong from the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos – just some 100 kilometres from Cambodia.