Cambodia’s Sambor Dam plans cause controversy as public left in the dark

first_imgA recent social media posting by a government spokesman indicates that the Sambor Dam is a priority project for the Cambodian government, to be completed by 2027 with an output of 1,800 megawatts.The developer that originally planned to build the dam, China Southern Power Grid, pulled out of the project after villagers protested the dam’s potential impact on fisheries. Studies indicate the dam could reduce yields of fish and aquatic animals by as much as 30 percent.China Southern Power Grid’s feasibility studies also indicated that 19,000 people would have to be relocated for the dam.In 2013, the Cambodian government hired the US-based National Heritage Institute to review options for the project. The report prepared by NHI has not been made public, which has drawn criticism from civil society groups. KRATIE PROVINCE, Cambodia — “If the dam is built, it will be like before, in the time of the Khmer Rouge when we all had to move,” said Plau Saret, 44, of Domrae Village on the Mekong River island of Koh Tnaot, right next to the proposed Sambor Dam site. In 2011, she and her husband built a new house. Then, a few years ago, she saw Chinese surveyors digging in the river.The Sambor Dam is one of Cambodia’s priority energy projects, according to the country’s “Master plan for the development of energy generation.” This plan was a well-kept secret until two pages from it appeared Feb. 17 in a snapshot posted on the Facebook page of Phay Siphan, a government spokesman.The plan posted by Siphan states the Sambor Dam will be completed in three stages from 2025-2027, with a total power output of 1,800 megawatts. Attempts by Mongabay to get government comments on the plan were not answered and few details are yet known about the proposed scheme.The dam, in Kratie province, is the biggest of Cambodia’s two proposed mainstream Mekong dams. It has been on the drawing board for over a decade, but final plans do not yet appear to be in place. Last month, the Cambodia Daily reported that in October 2016 the cabinet greenlighted feasibility studies for the Sambor and two other proposed dams, but as yet there has been no confirmation that the Ministry of Mines and Energy has signed on.It’s unclear who will undertake construction work, but Cambodian business tycoon Kith Meng, chairman of The Royal Group, was in February announced as the Cambodian partner. According to rights group Global Witness, Meng is, “known for involvement in land grabbing and illegal logging.” Global Witness also found that the Prime Minister’s daughter, Hun Mana “is a director and shareholder in Royal Group Investment Company.”last_img read more

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Fantastic Beasts star Alison Sudol talks conservation and inspiration

first_imgIn an exclusive interview, the breakout star of the latest Harry Potter movie argues that it’s deeply important for people to connect with nature“Art has a profound ability to connect people to their own hearts, and to each other,” she says, and uses her art to inspire othersShe is herself inspired by how much more there is to know about nature, and were she not performing for large audiences, would perhaps like to study marine mammals Alison Sudol at IUCN’s World Conservation Congress, September 2016. Photo courtesy International Institute for Sustainable DevelopmentMusician and actress Alison Sudol has been connected to nature since she was a very young child growing up in Seattle. Playing under the name A Fine Frenzy in recent years, her songs have featured both subtle and overt environmental themes, so it was entirely natural that she became a Goodwill Ambassador for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2011.Ms. Sudol attended the IUCN’s most recent World Conservation Congress in Hawaii in September 2016. One afternoon when not busy interviewing conservation luminaries for the IUCN’s official Youtube channel, she played a concert in one of the convention center halls for a huge crowd.The breakout star of the most recent Harry Potter film, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” in the role of Queenie Goldstein, she is now at work on a new film, “The Last Full Measure,” alongside Hollywood icons Samuel Jackson and Christopher Plummer. Despite her hectic filming schedule, she recently took time out to share what motivates her passionate activism for the planet.AN INTERVIEW WITH ALISON SUDOLErik Hoffner for Mongabay: Do you find the arts and activism to be good partners?Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”Alison Sudol: Art has a profound ability to connect people to their own hearts, and to each other. A large challenge in activism, one that I’ve personally struggled with, is how to open my heart enough to care what happens to nature, and how to maintain that openness despite the pain that it inevitably brings. The terrible things happening to the natural world on a daily, even hourly, basis can be devastating to the human being that lets themself feel it. It is also difficult to maintain a positive outlook, when the vastness of the destruction is considered. Honestly, it can get pretty depressing! However, I think it is deeply important to feel the connection to nature, to what we are fighting to protect, to the beauty and wonderment, the magic and the fragility, in order to pick ourselves up when we get discouraged. Art is a way of lending a human voice to nature, it can remind us of the great beauty within ourselves that connects all living things.last_img read more

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NBA roundup: McGrady stays hot vs. Cavs

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Houston 90, at Cleveland 81 center_img Tracy McGrady scored 34 points, Juwan Howard made two late jumpers and the Rockets won despite 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists by LeBron James. McGrady surpassed 30 points for the fourth consecutive game. Indiana 99, at Golden State 89 Stephen Jackson had 27 points to spark the Pacers, who had a 20-point lead after the first quarter. Pacers center Jermaine O’Neal arrived in the second quarter but didn’t play for the third game in a row because of pneumonia and a sore back. last_img read more

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