Soon Mekong dam will destroying the region’s lifeblood: Dam projects could alter ecosystem of Mekong River basin

Dam projects could alter ecosystem of Mekong River basin

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/connect-asia/dam-projects-could-alter-ecosystem-of-mekong-river-basin/1046766

Updated 15 November 2012, 16:32 AEST

Laos held a ceremony to mark the start of construction of a massive dam on the lower Mekong river earlier this month.

Dam projects could alter ecosystem of Mekong River basin (Credit: ABC)

Work on the Xayaburi dam has begun despite sustained opposition from neighbouring countries and environmentalists.

As one of the region’s poorest nations, Laos hopes hydropower will help spur the country’s development.

Laos is building a series of large dams in the Mekong area and already has more than 10,000 smaller dams which could be used for small-scale hydro-electricity.

Dr Phousavanh Phouvin is the Director of the National University of Lao Fisheries Program.

He’s spent the last three months in Australia working with experts to investigate how hydro plant design influences fish welfare.

He says there is concern that dam projects could alter the ecosystem of the Mekong River basin, and affect the livelihood of rural people.

Presenter: Del Irani

Speaker: Dr Phousavanh Phouvin, Director, National University of Lao Fisheries Program

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