Massive Chinese Dam Threatens Cambodia's Cardamom Rainforests
The Areng Valley in the Cardamom Mountains of south-west Cambodia is threatened with flooding by a Chinese hydropower dam. This biodiversity gem - home of the Siamese crocodile and indigenous Khmer Daeum - is to be destroyed for a relatively small amount of electricity. Standing large, connected, and ecologically intact old-growth forests are required for local and global ecological sustainability and well-being.
Located in the Areng Valley of the Central Cardamom Protected Forest in southwestern Cambodia, the proposed 108 mega-watt Cheay Areng Hydropower Dam is a major threat to an area known as the biodiversity jewel of Southeast Asia. This project would produce a small amount of electricity, while irreversibly changing the people, wildlife, and environment of the Areng Valley. The Cambodian government is expected to soon decide whether to build this dam, as proposed by the Chinese hydropower company, China Guodian Corporation.
If the Cheay Areng Dam proceeds it will:
* Flood a priceless and protected rainforest which is a biodiversity hotspot in Southeast Asia;
* Wipe out the world’s largest remaining wild population of the critically endangered Siamese crocodile, while threatening more than 31 endangered species;
* Increase access for illegal loggers and wildlife poachers who are already rapidly decimating Cambodia's forests;
* Forcibly relocate more than 900 Khmer Daeum villagers-indigenous people who have lived on this land for more than 600 years-while also flooding their ancestral farmlands and spirit forests.
* Require loans from China for more than $320 million, while only producing a small fraction of Cambodia’s energy needs.
Local villagers and NGOs are struggling to stop this travesty. Please help protect the Areng Valley by sending an email to Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen and his ministers asking them to Save Areng Valley and the Siamese crocodile, before it is too late!