New Players Push Development Banks Aside in the Mekong

Saturday, June 16, 2007
The Mekong region has seen its share of "hydro-prospectors" set up stakes with the hopes of tapping the great river for hydroelectric dams. Over the years, the basin has been invaded by foreign agencies such as the US Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers (who proposed turning the Mekong into a series of reservoirs), UNDP (which said in 1995 that "the naturally flowing Mekong is destructive... if not dammed, the Mekong flows wasted to the sea"), French utilities, and of course big development banks such as the World Bank. Now, a new set of actors are developin

Doing Dams Wrong: World Bank’s “Model” Project Leaves Lao Villagers in the Lurch

Thursday, June 7, 2007
World Rivers Review article detailing the problems with Nam Theun 2, based on International Rivers' recent visit to the project area.

Demonstration against Upper Kotmale Project in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Demonstrants, People's Campaign Against Upper-Kotmale Project
Saturday, June 4, 2005
Originally published in TamilNet More than two hundred activists belonging to civil groups opposed to Upper Kotmale Hydro-power scheme demonstrated in front of Colombo Fort Railway station Friday afternoon, sources in Colombo said. Members of leftist political parties and other related civil groups including Sinhalese and Tamils participated in the demonstration. Upcountry Tamil political parties did not attend the demonstration. Demonstrants, People's Campaign Against Upper-Kotmale Project Sri Lanka Government says the scheme will produce nearly 150 MW electric power capacity to the grid

Mainstream Dams Threaten the Mother of all Rivers

Friday, June 1, 2007
While China is midway through the construction of a controversial cascade of major dam projects on the Upper Mekong mainstream, the lower stretch of the river shared by Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam has so far escaped hydropower development. For the 60 million people who depend on the lower Mekong for food, income, transportation and other services, that has been good news. But now there are troubling signs that the tide is turning, as Laos and Cambodia offer up stretches of the mighty Mekong to dam builders. In 1994, the Mekong Secretariat (the pre-cursor to the Mekong River Commissio

Moving Beyond Large Hydro to a New Energy Future

Friday, May 4, 2007
Please see attachment below to download and look through our presentation made at the Asian Development Bank's Annual Governors Meeting on the panel: "Open Forum on ADB-Civil Society Cooperation: Requirements in the Development of ADB's Energy Strategy" Kyoto, Japan 4 May 2007

History Repeats Itself in Laos: ADB’s Flagship Hydro Project Goes Awry

Monday, April 16, 2007
An article by Aviva Imhof in Bankwatch, published by the NGO Forum on the ADB, examines Nam Theun 2's failings and draws parallels to other ADB-funded dams in Laos: Theun-Hinboun, Nam Song and Nam Leuk. The article also highlights the ADB's role in promoting a regional power grid and electricity trading system in the Mekong subregion.

Hydropower Development in the Mekong Basin: Nam Theun 2 and the need for better planning processes

Wednesday, November 1, 2006
I. INTRODUCTIONThe Mekong region is undergoing a rapid expansion of hydropower development on both the Mekong mainstream and tributaries. Hydropower development in the basin is proceeding in a haphazard and unregulated fashion, threatening the integrity of the Mekong river ecosystem and the livelihoods of its 65 million inhabitants. Most of the plans are being developed without any consultation with local communities, NGOs and other members of civil society, without any opportunity for public debate, without any assessment of the cumulative impacts of the proposed developments on the hydrology

Knowledge is Power

Sunday, October 1, 2006
Community-based research in Thailand, known as Thai Baan research, is reinventing the way that villagers and decision-makers perceive and value local knowledge and experience. Thai Baan means villager. The Thai Baan method enables local people to take responsibility for understanding and revealing knowledge about their relationship with natural resources because, from conception to dissemination, villagers themselves are the principal researchers. Thai Baan research has been effectively applied by communities threatened by the development of dams, and those looking for better ways to manage th

A Call for Sustainable and Equitable Energy Planning for the Greater Mekong Subregion

Saturday, April 1, 2006
The ADB is promoting the development of a ‘Mekong Power Grid' that, if implemented, would facilitate the construction of numerous hydropower schemes in the Mekong Region. Carl Middleton of International Rivers Network discusses problems with the plans for the grid, and civil society's call for a ‘Comprehensive Energy Options Assessment'. Introduction In the relentless pursuit of its vision of economic integration under the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Initiative, the ADB is promoting ‘Regional Power Interconnection and Power Trade' as a flagship project, mo


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