Act Now to Protect the Future of the Mekong

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Mekong River is the mother of all rivers, providing life-sustaining resources to millions of people. However the future of the Mekong River and her people are in jeopardy, as the government of Laos is barreling ahead with plans to build the Don Sahong Dam – the second dam proposed for the Lower Mekong mainstream.

Pla Earn, a fish which has been disappeared from the Upper Mekong in Chiang Rai for years, can still be found in Southern Laos.
Pla Earn, a fish which has disappeared from the Upper Mekong, can still be found in Southern Laos.
Photo by International Rivers

If built, Don Sahong would entirely block the Hou Sahong Channel, the region's main pathway for year-round fish migration – with far-reaching consequences for food and livelihood security in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The site of the Don Sahong Dam is a unique section of the Mekong River, home to one of the last remaining populations of critically endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins as well as the iconic Khone Phapheng waterfalls, and near an internationally protected Ramsar site in downstream Cambodia. Lives in this area and throughout the Mekong are intricately entwined with the river, which provides an identity and rich history, as well as a source of income and food security. 

Since September 2013, the government of Laos has been working hard to push the Don Sahong Dam forward, beginning construction before consultation with neighboring governments and without sufficient studies to measure the transboundary impacts of the project. Mitigation measures put forward by the developer are unproven. All four governments are expected to meet in January to decide the future of the Don Sahong Dam.

It is a critical time to make our voices heard: We need to call on Mekong leaders to stop gambling with the lives of their people and future of the vital resources provided by the Mekong River.

Please sign the petition calling on Mekong governments to cancel the Don Sahong Dam and seek more sustainable energy options that ensure the future of the Mekong River's fish and her people!