Mekong Mainstream Dams

22,000 People Call on Mekong Governments to Cancel Xayaburi Dam

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
U.S. Senate Committee Calls for Delay in Xayaburi DamBangkok, Thailand – 22,589 people from 106 countries submitted an international petition today to the Prime Ministers of Laos and Thailand, calling for cancellation of the proposed Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River in Northern Laos. The petition comes one week before the four Mekong governments meet on December 8th in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where they are likely to decide whether to proceed with the project. The Xayaburi Dam is the first of eleven dams proposed for the Lower Mekong River. The petition expresses grave concern about th

Laos Uses New Report to Greenwash the Xayaburi Dam

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Biased and incompetent Pöyry report makes mockery of Laos’ international obligations regarding the Xayaburi Dam Bangkok, Thailand: Ahead of a December regional ministerial meeting to decide whether or not to approve the proposed Xayaburi Dam, the Lao government is using a report by Swiss company Pöyry Energy AG in a desperate bid to gain approval from neighboring countries for the first lower Mekong Mainstream Dam. Despite acknowledging major uncertainties about what harm the project will bring to Lao people and neighboring countries, the Pöyry report recommends that the dam should be bu

Review of the Pöyry Report on the Xayaburi Dam

In May 2011, the Lao PDR government hired Swiss engineering company Pöyry Energy AG to review the proposed Xayaburi Dam's compliance with the Mekong River Commission (MRC) requirements for Mainstream Dams. In August 2011, Pöyry submitted its final report to the Lao government, finding the project to be "principally in compliance" with the MRC's requirements. The Lao government has since sent this report to neighboring countries as false justification that it has responded to their concerns about the project. International Rivers reviewed the Pöyry report and found numerous

Sidestepping Science: Review of the Pöyry Report on the Xayaburi Dam

Executive SummaryThe Xayaburi Hydropower Project in northern Laos is the first dam proposed for the lower Mekong Mainstream. The stakes are high. Over 60 million people live in the Mekong River Basin, and their livelihoods and cultures are intimately connected with the river's natural cycles. As the world's largest inland fishery, the Mekong supplies the region's people with over half of their protein needs. Over 40 million people, or two-thirds of the population in the Lower Mekong Basin, are involved in the Mekong's fisheries at least part-time or seasonally. According to scientists, the Xay

Act Now to Protect the Mekong

Sign the Petition to Cancel the Xayaburi Dam The Mekong River and the millions of people it supports are now in jeopardy. In the next few months, regional governments will make a decision about whether to proceed with plans to build the Xayaburi Dam in northern Laos, the first of eleven dams planned for the Lower Mekong Mainstream.The Xayaburi Dam threatens the lives and food security of millions of people. The Mekong River is home to the world's most productive freshwater fishery and is a vital resource for the entire Mekong Region. Scientists agree that the Xayaburi Dam would have se

Technical Review of the Xayaburi Environmental Impact Assessment

The site of the proposed Xayaburi Dam In April 2011, five international Mekong specialists carried out a critical analysis of the Xayaburi Dam Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The experts described the EIA as flawed and substandard. The five specialists in the fields of fisheries, livelihood restoration, consultation and water quality expressed surprise that an EIA of such poor quality was being submitted for a project with such far-reaching impacts as the first dam on the lower Mekong Mainstream. The reviews were submitted to the Mekong River Commission as part of the regional consult

Legal Opinion by Perkins Coie to MRC and Regional Governments

On August 3, 2011 International Rivers submitted a legal opinion by U.S law firm Perkins Coie to the Mekong Regional Comission (MRC) and Regional Governments. The opinion states that "Lao PDR's unilateral action to prematurely terminate the PNPCA process, without allowing its neighbor countries to properly conclude that process, violates the Mekong Agreement, and therefore international law." Read the full legal opinion by Perkins Coie in English Read the full legal opinion by Perkins Coie in Vietnamese

Report from the Field: A Visit to the Xayaburi Dam Site

This is a guest blog by a researcher who visited the Xayaburi Dam site and whose name must remain anonymous for security reasons. Leaving from Vientiane it takes 9 hours by car to reach a junction 30 km south of Luang Prabang. From there a slippery dirt road leads to Ban Pak Khon village. We take the ferry to cross the Mekong River and reach Ban Tha Dua village. Here we meet up with villagers who will have to resettle due to flooding if the Xayaburi Dam is completed. For a small fee they agree to bring us 20 km downstream to Ban Houay Souy village right next to the construction site of the

Experts Say Mekong Hydropower Dams Disastrous

Friday, July 29, 2011
Originally published in The Saigon Times CAN THO - Local experts yesterday raised their concerns about the construction of 12 hydropower dams along the Mekong River's lower mainstream, saying that the projects would hurt ecosystems and affect food security of millions of people in the Mekong Delta region, especially Vietnamese. Speaking at a seminar in Can Tho yesterday, Duong Van Ni, director of Hoa An Biodiversity Research and Experimental Center under Can Tho City, said that cultivation and aquaculture in the delta relied on the river while Vietnam provided the world market with seven

Illegal Construction on the Xayaburi Dam Forges Ahead

Thursday, August 4, 2011
For immediate release Lao PDR Unilaterally Moves Forward In Spite of Commitments to Temporarily Suspend the ProjectBangkok, Thailand: A field visit to the site of the proposed Xayaburi Dam has revealed that construction on the dam's access road and work-camp is rapidly forging ahead, in spite of commitments by the Government of Laos to temporarily suspend the project. The trip to the Xayaburi Dam site on July 23rd revealed that a substantial construction camp has been established near Ban Talan village with at least a few hundred workers. An access road leading down to the dam site was


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