Mekong Mainstream Dams

US Senate Hearing Recognizes Mainstream Dam Threat to Mekong River

Friday, September 24, 2010
Foreign Relations Committee warned of impacts to 40 million people if Xayaburi and other mainstream dams go forward The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing yesterday on the plans to build a series of 12 dams on the Mekong Mainstream. The Committee, chaired by Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, was notified of the extensive impacts to the river and livelihoods that could be expected if mainstream dams were to go forward. As the US is a donor to the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the Committee was urged to do everything in its power to ensure that mainstream dams do not pro

Mekong and Salween Communities Rally: "Save Our Rivers"

Community Forum in Chiang Khong, Thailand
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Community Forum in Chiang Khong, Thailand Over 200 Thai and Burmese community and civil society representatives rallied together at a public forum in Chiang Khong, northern Thailand last weekend and called on decision-makers to protect the Mekong and Salween river basins from extensive plans for destructive hydropower development. At the forum, fishers, women's groups and youth representatives highlighted how the rich ecosystems of the Mekong and Salween rivers and the tributaries provide them with fish, irrigation, transportation, water supply and drinking water, as well as being cent

Thailand Faces Flak for Backing Mekong Dams

Thursday, July 29, 2010
[IPS] Northern Thai villagers living on Mekong River’s banks are poised to join a growing tide of opposition against a planned cascade of 11 dams to be built on the mainstream of South-east Asia’s largest body of water. These communities, many of them from the northern Thai province of Chiang Rai, are drafting a petition to be submitted in the coming weeks to Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. They see this step as the first in a long battle to protect a riverine culture and livelihood that has come down generations. The target of the Thai villagers’ ire is the Sayaboury dam, to be

Xayaburi Dam

The Mekong River, downstream of the proposed Xayaburi Dam site
The Xayaburi Dam, will block critical fish migration routes for between 23-100 fish species to the Mekong’s upper stretches as far upstream as Chiang Saen in northern Thailand, an important spawning ground for the critically endangered Mekong Giant Catfish. The dam would destroy the river’s complex ecosystems that serve as important fish habitats for local and migratory species. The dam would also block sediment flows in the Mekong River, affecting agriculture as far downstream as the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

Feeding Southeast Asia: Mekong River Fisheries and Regional Food Security

Sunday, January 10, 2010
The Mekong River supports the world’s largest inland fishery. Its economic worth at first-sale value is at least US$2 billion per year and up to US$9.4 billion per year taking into account secondary industries. Yet, whilst contributing significantly to the regional economy, economic data such as this fails to capture the fisheries’ total value. From riverside communities to urban areas, throughout the Mekong Region, the river’s wild-capture fish are a vital source of animal protein and nutrients, making them central to regional food security.This paper outlines the importance of the Meko

Request for Mainstream Dam's Environmental Impact Assessments to Lao Government

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Given the rapid progress of the Xayabuti Dam and Don Sahong Dam in Lao PDR, International Rivers wrote a letter to the Water Resource and Environment Administration of Lao government in order to request copies of the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports of these dam projects on June 14, 2010.On 9 June 2010, the Vientiane Times newspaper reported that Mega First Corporation Berhad had signed a joint venture agreement with Electricite Du Laos to develop the Don Sahong hydropower project. The Mekong River Commission also reports that a full EIA for the Don Sahong Dam has been subm

For Whom the Mighty Mekong Flows

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Opinion Piece published in The Bangkok Post Since the end of last year, Jeerasak Intayos, a 38-year-old villager from Chiang Khong district of Chiang Rai, has seen the Mekong River's level drop dramatically. Mr Jeerasak works with the Chiang Khong Conservation Group that has monitored the Mekong and its development for over a decade, and he has never seen the river this low. He witnesses first-hand how riverside communities are now suffering from declining fish catch, scarcity of water for drinking, irrigation and livestock, and how river transportation has been grounded, affecting to

Countries Blame China, Not Nature, for Water Shortage

Thursday, April 1, 2010 BANGKOK In southern China, the worst drought in at least 50 years  has dried up farmers? fields and left tens of millions of people short  of water. But the drought has also created a major public relations problem for  the Chinese government in neighboring countries, where in recent years  China has tried to project an image of benevolence and brotherhood. Farmers and fishermen in countries that share the Mekong River with  China, especially Thailand, have lashed out at China over four dams  that span the Chi

Existing and Planned Lao Hydropower Projects

Friday, March 26, 2010
The Lao Hydropower Database lists existing and planned large (greater than 10 MW) hydropower projects in Laos. The table is based on the Lao Government Department of Energy Promotion and Development's "Electric Power Plants in Laos" as of September 2010 and supplmented with information from news reports from the same month. The table is updated regularly by International Rivers with new information from news reports, official project documents and other sources. The current version is from September 2010.

Meet Carl Middleton, Mekong Program Director From 2006 - 2011

Monday, January 25, 2010
From 2006 - 2011, Carl Middleton, coordinated International Rivers’ Mekong Program to protect the Mekong River from destructive dams. Carl has traveled throughout the region to get to know our partners and learn from local people about how important the river is to their lives. These experiences have made him more committed than ever to protecting the mighty Mekong River for current and future generations.But the threats to the river are mounting. Regional governments plan to build up to eleven dams on the Mekong mainstream. If these dams are built, they will decimate the river’s fisherie


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