Old and New Hydropower Players in the Mekong Region: Agendas and Strategies

TitleOld and New Hydropower Players in the Mekong Region: Agendas and Strategies
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMiddleton, Garcia, Foran
Secondary AuthorsMolle, Foran, Käkönen
Secondary TitleContested Waterscapes in the Mekong Region: Hydropower, Livelihoods, and Governance
Place PublishedLondon, Sterlin, VA
Key themesEcology and Livelihoods, Hydropower, Impact Assessment, Safeguards, Transboundary Governance

This chapter explores how the ADB and the World Bank have influenced the development of dams and electricity infrastructure in the Mekong region, and have attempted to orientate national policies towards private sector-led development. It evaluates to what extent the banks have applied their environmental and social standards in the region, and discusses the implications of the banks’ evolving role and declining infl uence. The chapter identifies the new actors that are now developing, building and financing hydropower projects in each of the Mekong countries. The absence of environmental and social safeguard policies among these new actors, combined with the weak implementation of the host countries’ national law, is identifi ed as a threat to the ecological health of the Mekong Basin. The chapter argues that these new actors and the region’s governments should adopt international frameworks of best practices that will significantly reduce the risk of developing poorly conceived projects.


Available for Download


Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Regional, Myanmar, China

Document Type

Book Chapter

File for Download