In this report, International Rivers commissioned two experts to provide comments on the Mekong River Commission’s ‘Review of Design Changes Made for the Xayaburi Hydropower Project’ (the ‘MRC Review’), which was released in early 2019.
The MRC Review examines information provided by the Government of Laos and the project developer about the redesign of the Xayaburi Hydropower Project. The MRC Review assessed this information against the findings and recommendations of the MRC’s original Xayaburi Technical Review Report (TRR), which was produced by the MRC during the Xayaburi Prior Consultation procedure.
This expert commentary is not intended as a critique or assessment of the MRC Review. Rather, it seeks to draw out key points and discuss their implications for Xayaburi and other dams under construction or consideration on the lower Mekong mainstream and within the region. The objectives of this commentary are to:
- Highlight some important findings and statements noted in the MRC Review;
- Provide reflections on the implications of the MRC Review for the Xayaburi dam and other hydropower projects on the lower Mekong mainstream and within the region that are referencing Xayaburi as a benchmark or model;
- Provide reflections on the implications of the MRC Review for the MRC’s procedures, regional decision-making and related initiatives that are discussed in the review as potentially helping to address the gaps and challenges identified with Xayaburi.
Read or download: the Expert Commentary on Review of Design Changes for Xayaburi Hydropower Project