Ask Cambodian Officials to Reject Proposal for Hydropower Dam

Target: Cambodian Prime Minister Samdach Akaek Moha Sena Padei Decho Hun Sen

Goal: Keep Cambodian natural rainforest intact by not moving forward with the construction of large hydropower dam

A proposal to build a massive, Chinese hydropower dam in the Areng Valley area of the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia is currently being reviewed by the Cambodian Prime Minister. The location of the proposed dam is in the heart of one of Cambodia’s natural rainforests, an epicenter of biodiversity. If the dam is approved and built, flooding in the area will result in massive ecological damage, threatening over thirty species, namely the highly endangered Siamese crocodile. The dam itself would provide only a relatively small amount of energy, and could potentially increase the amount of illegal loggers and poachers entering the area, as well as force hundreds of native villagers from the area.

The dam, a proposal by the Chinese hydropower company, China Guodian Company, would cause far more negative effects than positive ones. The dam itself would be costly, about $320 million, which would have to be acquired through loans from China. Yet the energy produced from the proposed dam would cover very little of Cambodia’s needs. The destruction of an important biodiversity hotspot, meanwhile, has long-lasting and devastating effects. Biodiversity is essential to ecological sustainability, as well as having an intrinsic value that cannot be quantified or replaced. Because the dam’s positive effects would be so minor, the loss of one of Cambodia’s largest, old-growth rainforests heavily outweighs the need for the new dam.

The Cambodian government will soon come to a decision on the dam proposal. Encourage the Cambodian Prime Minister to reject the proposal for this hydropower dam, and thereby preserve a priceless rainforest and protect biodiversity for generations to come.


Dear Cambodian Prime Minister Samdach Akaek Moha Sena Padei Decho Hun Sen,

The recent proposal to build a large hydropower dam in the Areng Valley area of Cambodia comes with a much greater cost than that of the dam itself: the loss of biodiversity. Flooding, as a result of the dam, could potentially wipe out massive areas of old-growth rainforest, as well as threaten numerous endangered species in the area. Not only this, but the dam could lead to further destruction as well in the form of illegal loggers and wildlife poachers who could be allowed easier access into the area.

The preservation of biodiversity is of utmost importance, as it not only ensures ecological sustainability, but teaches future generations to respect natural, wild spaces as well. Therefore, I respectfully urge you to weigh the minimal benefits of the proposed hydropower dam against its surely major negative impact on the surrounding rainforest. Please do not approve this proposal.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: United States Government via Wikimedia Commons

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One Comment

  1. Klaus Peters says:

    I think the negatives will outweigh the positives and China would be the winner, dictating Cambodia with the loans given. They would be forced to supply cheap timber and goods at China dictated prices to pay back the loans. It is a loose-loose situation for Cambodia.

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