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Disasters

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  • During the 19th Mekong River Commission Council meeting last week in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and other participants challenged Laos’ efforts to construct the controversial $3.5 billion USD Xayaburi Dam, the first of a planned 11 dams along the Lower Mekong River.
  • Ministers from member countries of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and donors started a two-day meeting in Luang Prabang Laos on January 16. The meeting comes two months after Laos launched a major dam project on the trans-boundary river despite MRC objections, but Cambodia and Vietnam, the two downstream countries that stand to suffer the most from the dam, have not asked to have the issue raised at the meeting.
  • Activities of the Kumtor Gold Company, owned by Canadian mining form Centerra Gold, poses a danger to water supply in the basins of the Kumtor and Naryn Rivers in Kyrgyzstan, and could trigger an environmental catastrophe in the region, Kyrgyz authorities have warned.