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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Sunday, February 25, 2018

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Mekong River Faces Development Challenges

Mekong River Commission

Share on Facebook April 9, 2014, Reporter : VOA/BNN, Reader : 436

Vietnamese fishermen collect catches from the Mekong river near Arey Ksat village Photo: AP news

BANGKOK — A summit of four countries bordering the Mekong River has led to calls for greater cooperation managing the river's vital water resources.
The Mekong River Commission (MRC), which includes Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, has also concluded there is a need for more study of the rising challenges of population growth, water demand and impacts of climate change on the watershed.
Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said strengthening regional cooperation is needed to ensure sustained development along the Mekong. He warned of severe negative impacts facing the region and pointed to the mounting pressure on water and related resources in the Mekong River basin, home to 60 million people.
Vietnam faces rising salt water intrusion into the Mekong Delta region due to lower fresh water flow, reduced 10 percent during the past three decades.
Vietnam Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Minh Quang called for Laos to consult with other Mekong River countries before completing construction of two dams on the lower Mekong.
But Laos is pressing ahead with completion of the controversial 1,285 megawatt Xayaburi Dam. Environmentalists say the 260 megawatt Don Sahong Dam, near the Lao border with Cambodia, would have a significant impact on migratory fish, vital to feeding millions of people, especially in Cambodia.
The U.S.-based non-government group, International Rivers says work on the projects should be halted immediately. International Rivers activist Painporn Deetes says the leaders should have condemned the rush to build dams. more...

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