Mekong Leaders Mostly Mum on Risks Tied to Intense Damming

Presented with "frightening" possibilities due to intense damming, the leaders of the Mekong River Commission member countries gave little sign Thursday they had heeded calls to rethink a fundamental water policy for the shared waterway, with the exception of Vietnam. At the third MRC Summit in Siem Reap, Cambodia, prime ministers of the four member countries that share the river responded to a six-year, comprehensive study by the body's council that warned of severe consequences if all currently planned dams go ahead. Among the most alarming findings from their modeling was a potential 97 percent loss of sediment flow to the Mekong Delta by 2040 if current development plans proceed in full. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called for a serious response, telling the summit the Mekong's "ecosystem and environment are seriously deteriorating." "The protracted drought, saline intrusion, the erosion of coast lines and riverbanks and land subsidence, [means] the livelihoods of over 20 million people are under threat," he said. "Therefore," he added, "we need to take concrete and timely action to ensure that the Mekong Basin Delta will continue to develop and work as a major rice supplier for regional food security as it has been the rice bowl and fishing grounds of the region for hundreds of years." Scientists at the summit had made it clear there was a "pressing demand" to restructure agriculture methods and embrace increasingly competitive renewable technologies such as wind and solar, he said. "All these negative signs are more prominent and severe in the Lower Mekong Basin, especially the Mekong Delta, Vietnam in particular," he said. The 3,600 page study found that summit host Cambodia would also face particularly adverse consequences from continued damming of the river because so many of its people relied on fish as a source of nutrition.... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Mekong Leaders Mostly Mum on Risks Tied to Intense Damming, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Mekong Leaders Mostly Mum on Risks Tied to Intense Damming





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Thursday, 5 April, 2018



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