Kirk Herbertson

Job title:
Former Southeast Asia Policy Coordinator
Date: Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 22:01
Southeast Asian governments continue to struggle to share the Mekong River. With millions of people's livelihoods and billions of dollars at stake, there are signs that the Mekong dams dispute could escalate.
Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 19:41
Last September, indigenous villagers living in Sarawak, Malaysia shut down a large dam being built on their lands. Since that time, the government's response has made the situation even worse.
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 07:03
Plans to build 12 large dams in Sarawak, Malaysia are drawing protest from indigenous people, but praise from the global hydropower industry.
Date: Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 20:45
Laos insists that the Xayaburi Dam complies with the 1995 Mekong Agreement. Our new report challenges this claim.
Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 22:03
The Xayaburi Dam is at risk of earthquakes and extreme flooding, but the Lao government continues to insist there is nothing to worry about.
Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 00:50
Laos has announced that the controversial Xayaburi Dam will go forward. The concerns of neighboring countries remain unanswered. How did the project get to this point, and what does this tell us about water diplomacy in the Mekong region?
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 21:21
As Laos approves the Xayaburi Dam, an announcement by Finnish consulting company Pöyry illustrates the corruption and unethical behavior that lie behind the project.
Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 20:47
For three weeks, indigenous people in Sarawak, Malaysia have blockaded access to the Murum Dam construction site. The international hydropower industry has insisted that the project is an example of "best practice."
Date: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 10:22
Australian broadcaster SBS recently apologized to dam builder Hydro Tasmania for airing an investigative story on the human rights violations caused by 12 dams in Sarawak, Malaysia. But is Hydro Tasmania really off the hook?
Date: Sunday, August 26, 2012 - 23:30
Finnish company Pöyry Group has denied allegations of ethical misconduct in its role in the Xayaburi Hydropower Project in Laos. Looking back, however, we can see that Pöyry has played a significant role in the ongoing conflict between the Mekong governments.
Date: Thursday, August 9, 2012 - 21:00
After only a few weeks, Laos’ effort to paint the Xayaburi Dam as an environmentally responsible project is falling apart. On August 2nd, a consulting company for the project issued a press release distancing itself from claims made by Laos.
Date: Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 04:30
Construction is already underway at the Xayaburi Dam site, although the Mekong governments have not yet given the project the go-ahead. These activities are likely to have transboundary impacts.
Date: Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 23:40
The Xayaburi Dam controversy continues as the Lao government declares its intention to unilaterally continue construction, despite opposition from neighboring countries. Laos appears to be testing the waters to see how far it can push the project without creating conflict.
Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 22:54
Construction on the controversial Xayaburi Hydropower Project just recently began, but local communities have already felt the impacts. In June 2012, we traveled down the Mekong River in Laos for five days to visit 15 of the villages near the dam site.
Date: Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 21:45
On December 8th, we watched the future of the Mekong River hang by the threads of a single meeting. Government ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam met to decide whether to approve Laos’ controversial Xayaburi Dam, the first of 12 large dams across the Mainstream Mekong River. Scientists warn that the dams would decimate the Mekong River’s fish population and threaten the food security of more than 2 million people, but the projects have crept forward nonetheless.
Date: Monday, December 5, 2011 - 00:40
On December 7-8th, the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam will meet and are likely to decide if the controversial Xayaburi Dam will go forward. The dam would be located in Laos, but would cause significant harm in Cambodia and Vietnam – so who takes the blame? The dam would drastically reduce the number of fish that are able to migrate upstream to their breeding grounds, depriving people in the region of an essential source of food and jobs. It would also prevent nutrients from traveling downstream to farmers who grow rice and other crops in Cambodia and the Mekong River Delta.