2009: Southeast Asia
Ethnic Kachin in Northern Burma organized prayer ceremonies in several towns, including Myitkina, Waingmaw, Bhamo, Manje, Shwego, Laiza and Rangoon.
Burma Rivers Network released a press statement calling on neighboring countries, dam builders and international financial institutions to release impacts of dam construction on local people, arguing that all projects should be put on hold until affected people are able to participate in project decisions.
Dialogue and Cultural Exchange at the Chico River
Project PINETREE, along with the Talubin and Bayyo tribes of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines, held a gathering of dialogue and cultural exchange at the Chico River. The importance of the river and how it has affected the lives and culture of communities around it was discussed. Additionally, Project PINETREE led a discussion about the worldwide situation of rivers as well as current local issues of rivers in the Philippines. Problems were identified and action plans drawn out.
Dr. Michael A. Bengwayan
P.O. Box 74, La Trinidad, Benguet 2601, Philippines
Community Declaration and Provincial Landmark
Activists and The Indigenous People's community in the Phillipines held an event to push for recognition of an archeology site composed of stone formations as a historical landmark. This "stonehedge formation" is located near the riverbank of the Pulangi River and is of great historical importance to the local tribe, as it is thought to be an astronomical observatory by some and an ancient sacred burial site for others. A proposed hydro-electric dam project would not only displace 2,280 families but destroy the stonehedge formation.
NATABUK Fed Inc
Fight to Save Rivers of Davao
The organization PANALIPDAN released a statement to urge the people of the Davao region to unite to protect and assert the peoples' rights to their rivers and water resources. The statement encouraged people to join existing campaigns for defense and protection of Davao's threatened rivers and water systems, such as campaigns against HEDCOR's hydro-power projects and a campaign for the protection of the Talomo and Lipdas rivers.
Panalipdan will also be holding a protest on March 20th, in defense of the Tamugan - Panigan watershed against the pending construction of Hedcro- Aboitiz' Hydropowerplant. This event was timed to coordinate with the International Day of Action for Rivers on March 14th and the World Water Day on March 22nd.
Phone: 0918 4121271
Protests for the Mekong and Salween Rivers
Villagers affected by dam construction called on the government to stop building dams and petitioned for an end to dam construction on the Mekong and Salween rivers. The largest of the protests was in Uban Ratchathani at the Pak Munn Dam, where over 500 villagers were blocked by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) and were forced to read their statement at the gate. In addition to calling for an end to dam construction, the villagers demanded compensation for dam-affected villagers, repair of ecological systems damaged by construction and allocation of land to farmers whose land had been flooded by reservoirs. The villagers also demanded that Egat open the Pak Moon Dams sluice gates to facilitate fish migration.
There was a demonstration at the riverbank of the Mekong
River in Chiang Rai province, Thailand.
Over 300 Thai-Karen ethnic villagers that would be affected by the Hut-Gyi Dam on the Salween organized a Buddhist ceremony at the riverbank of the Salween at the Thai-Burma border.
"Save the M
A new coalition to Save the Mekong River was launched on March 14th at a special photography exhibition in Bangkok. The exhibition is entitled "Siphandone- Mekong Fishing Under Threat." The "Save the Mekong" coalition aims to raise public awareness of risks associated with damming and to urge policymakers to adopt more sustainable methods of meeting energy and water needs. An op-ed titled "Upstream or Downstream, We All Have the Same Mother" was featured in Thailand's "The Nation". The coalition is collecting signed postcards from around the world as well as signatures on an online petition. Additionally, a facebook page was made and flyers were handed out in universities and offices.
Contact (for all Thailand actions above)
Online Petition for "Save the Mekong"
"Upstream or Downstream, We All Have the Same Mother"
Training at Siak River
An event was held to train the people of the six villages around the Siak River to monitor the water quality of the Siak River. The training also aimed to increase people's awareness about pollution of the river and to encourage them to take action against river pollution.
Please check back often for more events, and if you held an action, let us know about it!