Mekong Under Threat

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Governments to Decide on First Mainstream Dam April 19

Site of the proposed Xayaburi Dam
Site of the proposed Xayaburi Dam

In September 2010, the Xayaburi Dam was the first of eleven proposed dams for the Lower Mekong River's mainstream to be submitted for approval by the region’s governments through a regional decision-making process hosted by the Mekong River Commission (MRC). Although the process has been severely flawed and the project's Environmental Impact Assessment of extremely poor quality, the decision date for this process is Tuesday April 19, 2011.

The Xayaburi Dam is the single greatest threat currently facing the Mekong River and its people. The project would resettle around 2,100 people and directly affect a further 202,000 people living near the dam due to impacts on the river’s ecology and fisheries.  The dam threatens 41 fish species with extinction, including the critically endangered Mekong Giant Catfish.  A further 23 to 100 migratory species will also be threatened. Due to the devastating and irreversible risks the dam poses to the river’s ecosystem and biodiversity, impacts on local livelihoods and threat to food security, International Rivers believes that the project should be canceled.

For further key information by International Rivers see: