Ame Trandem

Ame Trandem's picture
Job title:
Former Southeast Asia Program Director
Date: Sunday, November 15, 2015 - 22:57
Guest blog on the limitations of the 1995 Mekong Agreement and the need for the UN Convention on the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses in the Mekong region, in order to help address issues arising from the rapid pace of hydropower development occurring within the region.
Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 10:10
The Mekong River Commission (MRC), the only intergovernmental body mandated to sustainably manage and protect the Lower Mekong River, is on the brink of demise. While transboundary water governance has faced significant challenges in the region since the MRC was established in 1995, the Commission’s first real test came more recently with the start of the regional debate over plans to build a cascade of eleven mainstream dams on the Lower Mekong River. It was a test that the MRC has so far failed. The real question now, is will the MRC sink or swim? The Don Sahong Dam may be just the opportunity that the MRC needs to change the discourse and improve hydro-diplomacy.
Date: Friday, February 20, 2015 - 02:49
A few years ago, Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, a Spanish national living and working in Cambodia for more than a decade, contacted me to request information about the proposed Cheay Areng Dam, a hydropower project located in Southwestern Cambodia.
Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 18:27
For thousands of years the mighty Mekong River Basin has served as a life-sustaining force, supporting the livelihoods and food security of more than 40 million people in the region. The river’s rich mosaic of ecosystems supports the world’s largest inland fisheries and exceptional riverine biodiversity that is only surpassed by the Amazon River.
Date: Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 23:48
The MRC has finally confirmed the start date for Prior Consultation for the Don Sahong Dam as July 25. The announcement, or rather lack of announcement, illustrates just how backwards the process is.
Date: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 03:32
Laos has indicated that it may circumvent the Mekong River Commission while building the Don Sahong Dam, the second project on the mainstream of the Mekong River.
Date: Monday, April 22, 2013 - 01:33
The Xayaburi Dam’s proponents claim that a state-of-the-art fish ladder, designed by the Finnish and Swiss companies Pöyry and Terraplant, will allow migrating fish to safely pass through the dam. Yet fishery experts in the Mekong region have challenged this claim, stating that no technology currently exists to effectively mitigate the impacts caused by the mainstream dams due to the wide diversity of migrating fish species and the large numbers of fish that migrate at peak times.
Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 03:22
As the first dam on the Mekong River, the Xayaburi Dam serves as an important test for whether the regional governments will pursue decisions consistent with science. New research that has been released demonstrates the threat dams pose to the biodiversity and people of the Mekong River.
Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 17:54
Coinciding with Ch. Karnchang's Annual Shareholders Meeting, dozens of protestors rallied in front of the company's headquarters in Bangkok, demanding a halt to all construction activities occurring on the Xayaburi Dam. Civil society groups and community representatives from villages along the Mekong River inside Thailand traveled hundreds of miles to make their voices heard.
Date: Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 05:05
A long-brewing regional debate over whether or not to build the proposed Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River has hit boiling point.  If there were any delusional fantasies remaining that mainstream dam building could be sustainable, the Mekong River Commission’s new independent technical review of the proposed Xayaburi Dam has surely dissolved them.  The MRC Secretariat’s expert review of the Xayaburi Dam’s key project documents – released a few days ago – highlights the grave environmental and social harms associated with the project, while also identifying considerable knowledge gaps that remain and require comprehensive study over the short to long-term.  The harm caused to the Mekong River’s fisheries alone will be devastating.
Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 20:25
When Zeus warned Pandora never to open the box given to her, the temptation proved too strong and Pandora forever unleashed into the world misery, suffering and sorrow. Today, much like this mythical Greek tragedy, the decision-makers of the Mekong sub-region face a similar temptation in the form of a cascade of hydropower dams proposed for the Mekong River's mainstream.As one of the first of the Mekong mainstream dams that could be unleashed from Pandora’s Box, the decision on whether or not to proceed with the Xayaburi Dam in Northern Laos is one of the most pressing challenges facing the Governments of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. This dam, along with warnings of future environmental catastrophe in the form of a Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) report, will be two of the agenda items discussed at this week’s Mekong River Commission’s 17th Council meeting being held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. As protocol under the 1995 Mekong Agreement requires the four member countries to notify, consult, and then make a joint decision on any mainstream development project, the governance body of the MRC, the Council, will also take note of the current consultation process underway in three of the four countries.