Logging has officially begun in Stung Treng province in preparation for the construction of a massive hydropower dam, but local authorities and villagers said Wednesday that the clearing of forest is going unchecked outside the official dam concession area. The Lower Sesan 2 dam was approved by the National Assembly in February amid strenuous objections from environmentalists and opposition lawmakers who argued that the social and environmental costs of the dam outweighed the benefits. The 400-MW dam—a joint venture between Cambodian businessman Kith Meng and China’s Hydrolancang International Energy Co. Ltd.—is set to displace more than 5,000 villagers
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