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Water 2016, 8(9), 405; doi:10.3390/w8090405

The Political Ecology of Chinese Large Dams in Cambodia: Implications, Challenges and Lessons Learnt from the Kamchay Dam

1
Centre for Development, Environment and Policy CeDEP, School of Oriental and African Studies SOAS, University of London, 36 Gordon Square, London WC1H0PD, UK
2
School of International Studies, Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies, The University of Nottingham, 199 Taikang East Road, AB313, Ningbo 315100, China
3
Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI), 56 Street 315, Tuol Kork, Phnom Penh 12152, Cambodia
4
Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Sciences, Kyushu University, 6-10-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Athanasios Loukas
Received: 7 June 2016 / Revised: 17 August 2016 / Accepted: 1 September 2016 / Published: 18 September 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [224 KB, uploaded 18 September 2016]

Abstract

Given the opportunities offered by foreign investment in energy infrastructure mostly by Chinese firms, the Government of Cambodia is giving high priority to developing hydropower resources for reducing energy poverty and powering economic growth. Using a “Political ecology of the Asian drivers” framework, this paper assesses China’s involvement in the development of large dams’ in Cambodia and its impacts on the access of natural resources such as water and energy by dam builders, local communities and the government. This analysis is based on 61 interviews and 10 focus group discussions with affected communities, institutional actors, Chinese dam builders and financiers in relation to the first large Chinese dam built in Cambodia: the Kamchay dam. Based on the results of the analysis this paper makes recommendations on how to improve the planning, implementation and governance of future large dams in Cambodia. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydropower; political ecology; social and environmental impacts; Cambodia; China hydropower; political ecology; social and environmental impacts; Cambodia; China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Siciliano, G.; Urban, F.; Tan-Mullins, M.; Pichdara, L.; Kim, S. The Political Ecology of Chinese Large Dams in Cambodia: Implications, Challenges and Lessons Learnt from the Kamchay Dam. Water 2016, 8, 405.

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