WWF Statement on Cambodian Government’s Decision to Suspend Hydropower Dam Development on the Mekong River
March 19, 2020
The Director General of Energy at Cambodia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy through a phone call today confirmed with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that Cambodia’s newly approved 10 years energy master plan 2020-2030 does not include any hydropower dams on the Mekong mainstream.
Teak Seng, WWF-Cambodia Country Director:
“Maintaining the lower Mekong in Cambodia free-flowing is the best decision for both people and nature, and WWF commends the Cambodian government for ruling out the hydropower dam development and instead pursuing other energy sources such as solar to meet the Kingdom’s power demand. WWF stands ready to work with the government to support development of a system-wide sustainable energy plan that promotes clean and renewable energy alternatives, contributing to the country’s energy goals without damming Cambodia’s remaining free-flowing rivers.”
Marc Goichot, WWF Freshwater Lead, Asia Pacific:
"The 10-year moratorium on mainstream dams on the Mekong River announced by the government of Cambodia is the best possible news for the sustainable future of the tens of millions of people living alongside it and for the amazing biodiversity that depends on it, especially the world’s largest population of Irrawaddy river dolphins. The science clearly shows that those dams would significantly reduce wild fisheries and block sediment flows, speeding up the sinking and shrinking of the delta and threatening the future of Vietnam's major rice basket, countless fishing communities and long-term economic sustainability. Cambodia’s correct decision is an example for other countries, recognizing free-flowing rivers provide invaluable benefits for people and countless wild species that depend on.”