Mekong pilot program to monitor impact of Lao dams on lower basin

Vn Express –

Transboundary environmental impacts of Laos’ Xayaburi and Don Sahong dams will be monitored under a two-year program following a call for more data transparency.

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) said Monday the pilot program would allow stakeholders to identify practical adaptive management actions and initial measures to mitigate some of the potential impacts from the mainstream dams.

Joint Environment Monitoring of Mekong Mainstream Hydropower Projects (JEM) aims to “systematically collect, generate and share reliable and scientific data and information through a standardized basin wide joint environmental monitoring program on site-specific issues that have cross-national implications,” said Dr. So Nam, chief environmental management officer at MRC.

The program brings together a diverse team consisting of dam developers, MRC technical specialists and those from lower Mekong countries Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam.

Most funding for the program, more than $2 million, comes from German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Sopeak Meas, MRC communication officer, said.

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