Guidelines for mitigating the environmental impact and managing risks of hydropower dams in the Mekong River will be established at the end of March 2018 after discussion between Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Forty-five officials from the four countries have been meeting in Vientiane this week to discuss the guidelines.
According to statement from the Mekong River Commission, key elements of the guidelines discussed at the meeting were measures to mitigate impacts on hydrology, water quality, sediment, fisheries, aquatic ecology, and river geomorphology.
“These guidelines will be a valuable tool to improve the effectiveness of the assessment processes and address potential transboundary impacts of existing and proposed hydropower projects on the environment, fisheries and people livelihoods,” Pham Tuan Phan, the commission chief executive officer, said.
He added that joint management of these projects by member countries was very important, because it would make effective use of public investment for the best interests of the whole lower Mekong basin.
The four-day meeting that finished yesterday also included training and consultation sessions that offered the participants an opportunity to develop a better understanding of options in the guidelines to minimise different risks relating to hydropower projects.