Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World Bank to Defer Financing for Mainstream Mekong River Dams

World Bank to Defer Financing for Mainstream Mekong River Dams

By Ivy Mungcal true, Devex Development Newswire 27 October 2010

The World Bank has affirmed
it will not finance hydropower development along the mainstream Mekong
river in view of findings of an environmental impact study on proposed
projects in the region.

The bank said it will instead focus on helping countries in the Mekong
region, such as Thailand and Cambodia, identify and manage hydropower
projects along the river's tributaries.

The environmental impact study recommended a 10-year deferral of
proposed dam projects in the mainstream Mekong river, the World Bank
said in a news release. The team behind the assessment explained that a
deferral was necessary to "strengthen understanding of the natural
systems" and ensure effective implementation of management and
regulatory processes, the release added.

"For its part, the World Bank Group has no plan to invest in hydro
projects on the mainstream of the Mekong. We will continue to help
strengthen countries' capacity to identify and manage tributary projects
that can be developed in a responsible and sustainable manner," said
Annette Dixon, World Bank country director for Southeast Asia, as quoted
by the press release.

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