An Environmental Management Plan was drawn up collaboratively by the project developers, representatives from the Lao PDR, local administrations, affected people and all stakeholders. The Laotian government counters that economic benefits outweigh the environmental impact. Recently, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam agreed to put construction of the Xayaburi Dam on hold until an official impact assessment can be made of the potentially adverse environmental, social, economic, and food security effects of the project on the Mekong Basin as well as the rest of Southeast Asia. According to a Strategic Environmental Assessment published by the Mekong River Commission in 2010, these dams would together affect millions of people living across the river basin. It would also impact the spawning and migration of 229 fish species and may lead to the extinction of 41 of these species, including the Mekong giant catfish. Eleven dams are proposed for the Lower Mekong River , nine of them in Laos. Meanwhile, Xayaburi’s operators point to their project as technologically advanced and an model of best practices in hydroelectric power generation in the basin, having worked with the Lao government and the MRC on an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), a Social Impact Assessment (SIA), an Environmental Management Plan (EMP), and a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP). The Xayaburi Hydroelectric Power Project has completed a thorough Environmental and Social Impact Assessment conducted by leading consultants with extensive experience in environmental engineering. The dam will likely block nutrient-rich sediment, negatively impact agriculture. Our Solution
By damming the mainstream of the Mekong, Xayaburi poses enormous threats to the region’s ecology. The Xayaburi Dam also sets a dangerous precedent for dam-building along the Mekong River.