On the 14th of June 2017 at Tonle Bassac II Restaurant, Phnom Penh, Cambodia: the NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) and the Rivers Coalition in Cambodia (RCC) co-organized a consultation meeting with representatives from the Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong River, youth movement groups and other civil society organizations (CSOs) in order to develop a joint statement on CSOs’ concern with the Pak Beng hydropower dam development project in Lao and the procedure for notification, prior consultation and agreement. A total of 56 people attended the meeting.
At the consultation meeting, the participants integrated many inputs in the process to develop a joint statement to suggest to Lao’s government to immediately halt the construction of the Pak Beng dam. Youth movement groups, representatives from the Tonle Sap Lake, the Mekong River and CSOs raised their concerns through discussion of the following topics:
– Fish resources in the Mekong River Basin will decrease substantially due to changes in the water flow, and the Pak Beng dam will cut off the ecological system.
– Community culture and livelihoods, which depend entirely upon the river, will change.
– The migration of people, who need to look for new jobs to maintain their livelihoods, will increase.
– The Pak Beng dam will affect the welfare of millions of people in the Mekong River Basin, as the dam will alter the water flow downstream in Cambodia.
The joint statement will be submitted to Lao’s government through the Mekong River Commission (MRC) in the council ministry plenary consultation meeting on the 19th of June 2017, which will take place in Lao PDR, where the procedure for notification, prior consultation and agreement will be discussed and finalized.