Press Release

PR | Thai Foreign Affairs Minister Confirms China Will Halt Mekong Rapids Blasting

A fisher on the Mekong River
Thursday, May 23, 2019
“The Mekong River is a river of life, not a commercial river” FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Mr. Niwat Roykaew, founder of the Rak Chiang Khong Group in northern Thailand, has shared a letter he received on behalf of the Network of Thai People in Eight Mekong Provinces from Mr. Don Pramudwinai, the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs, that confirms media reports in March of China’s agreement to halt the Mekong ‘rapids blasting’ project. The letter from the Minister states that he has emphasized the concerns of Thai communities and environmental groups towards the ‘International Navigatio

Press Release | Tragic Trade-Offs of Mekong Hydropower

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Today, International Rivers releases a new factsheet, Tragic Trade-Offs: The MRC Council Study and the Impacts of Hydropower Development on the Mekong. The factsheet summarizes key findings and recommendations of the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) 2018 ‘Study on the Sustainable Development and Management of the Mekong River, including Impacts of Mainstream Hydropower Projects’ (known as the ‘Council Study’). The findings of the Council Study clearly show that the plans for 11 large hydropower dams on the lower Mekong mainstream and 120 tributary dams by 2040

Press Release: Women leaders unite in shared struggle to protect rivers, confront patriarchy

Thursday, March 7, 2019
Photos by International Rivers NAGARKOT, NEPAL - The world’s largest hydropower scheme has yet to launch in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The last free-flowing river originating in China remains free of dams despite a spate of proposals. Local energy plans and investments have helped entire communities in Vietnam minimize pollution into rivers, and acquire new, affordable technologies such as solar hot water heaters and clean water technology. Behind each of these campaigns to protect local economies, ecosystems, and culture are women river advocates, who are converging this

Press Statement | Inga 3: An Exclusive Development Deal for Chinese and European companies

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
The Congo River International Rivers On October 16, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government announced a 14 billion USD joint and exclusive development agreement with a consortium of Chinese and European developers to construct the Inga 3 hydroelectric dam, following years of delay and controversy. The Chinese consortium is led by China Three Gorges, alongside a European consortium, led by Actividades de Construcción y Servicios (ACS) of Spain. The government of embattled DRC President Joseph Kabila signed the deal as national elections loom in December 2018. This announcement f

PR l Save the Mekong Coalition l Civil Society Groups to Boycott Pak Lay Dam Prior Consultation

Friday, August 24, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday 24 August: Save the Mekong, a coalition of non-government organizations, community-based groups and concerned citizens within the Mekong region, issued a statement today announcing an intention to boycott the Mekong River Commission’s Prior Consultation for the Pak Lay dam. Pak Lay is the fourth dam planned on the mainstream of the Mekong River in Laos. Prior Consultation is a requirement of the 1995 Mekong Agreement for countries to jointly review any development project proposed for the mainstream Mekong with an aim to reach an agreement on whether or not

Press Release | UNESCO World Heritage Committee inscribes Kenya’s Lake Turkana as “in danger” over Gibe Dam impacts

Fishermen at Lake Turkana
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee took the decision to officially inscribe Lake Turkana as a World Heritage site “in danger” because of severe impacts caused by the Gibe 3 Dam, constructed upstream on Ethiopia’s Omo River. The dam and associated sugar plantations have severely restricted flows into Kenya’s Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake.

Press Release | Pak Lay Dam Proceeding – Another Expensive Distraction

The Mekong at Pak Lay
Friday, June 15, 2018
The Mekong at Pak Lay International Rivers FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 15 June 2018 The Mekong River Commission (MRC) announced yesterday that Laos has formally notified the Commission of its intention to construct the Pak Lay dam on the mainstem of the Mekong River. The notification triggers commencement of the Prior Consultation procedure under the MRC’s Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA). Pak Lay is the fourth Mekong mainstream dam to be submitted to the procedure. “The MRC and the government of Laos have failed to address outstanding, significant concer

Chinese provincial governments along the Yangtze River unite to stop the “disorderly” development of small hydropower plants

Construction along the Chishui River, a major tributary of the Yangtze (February 2018)
Monday, June 4, 2018
Construction along the Chishui River, a major tributary of the Yangtze (February 2018) Chinese provincial governments are reflecting top leadership priorities that call for increased attention to protect the Yangtze River. On May 30th 2018, the Development and Reform Commission bureaus of ten provinces (Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan) jointly announced a ban on all small hydropower projects along the Yangtze River Economic Belt. An announcement on the National Development and Reform Commission website explains that the provinces op

Press Release | Groups Seek Fundamental Legal Rights for Serbia's Wild Rivers and Ecosystems

Photo of Studenica River courtesy of Mihailo Grbic via Wikimedia Commons.
Friday, April 27, 2018
Today, a coalition of organizations launch a campaign to establish rights of nature in Serbia. The goal is to permanently protect sensitive Balkan ecosystems, including from threats of enormous pesticide use and a flurry of dam construction.

PR | Course Change on the Mekong Needed Now for a Just and Sustainable Future

Thursday, April 5, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 5, 2018 Today, the Prime Ministers of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam meet in Siem Reap, Cambodia for the 3rd Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit. The meeting follows a two-day International Conference hosted by the MRC this week in the lead-up to the Summit. The MRC Summit is convened every four years. According to the MRC, its purpose is to achieve agreement on strategies to address major challenges and opportunities facing the Mekong Basin, now and into the future. On the occasion of the 3rd MRC Summit, International Rivers makes the following statement:

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