World Rivers Review - June 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

What is the backstory to modern dam building, who is getting to tell that story, and why is it relevant? This issue of World Rivers Review takes you on a global tour of dam activism, from the banks of the Mekong to the halls of a dam-industry meeting in Malaysia to the construction site for the Amazon’s most contentious dam. The issue features dam-affected people taking action to ensure that their experiences of broken promises, environmental degradation and top-down planning are being heard in places where more big dams are planned.

Our cover story tells the tale of local indigenous activists in Sarawak, Malaysia taking on an international meeting of the dam industry in their home state to ensure the story of their government’s destructive dam building is not swept under a rug. For two days they spoke about past impacts of large dams on their rivers, encircled the building with protesters carrying signs and calling for an end to the destruction of rivers in Sarawak, handed out peace bracelets to delegates, and sang traditional songs.

Two thousand kilometers away, community activists in Thailand continue to call attention to the ongoing impacts of a number of dams built on Mekong tributaries many years ago. A researcher with long experience in the region reports on local efforts to call for reparations on dam projects built on the Mun River. His reporting is especially critical, coming at a time when some Mekong region governments are pushing for new, destructive big dams throughout the basin. 

Download the complete June issue.

What's Inside

  • Commentary:  As a farewell, our campaigns director Aviva Imhof reflects on 16 years at International Rivers. Watch out, big coal – Aviva is coming your way!
  • Mekong: Laos says its dam building is sustainable and good development, but researchers tell a different story. In Thailand, dam-affected communities are keeping the heat on to get compensation and reparations for past damages.
  • Zambezi: A dam boom threatens Southern Africa’s biggest river. And a new book on the history of the Cahora Bassa Dam offers a cautionary tale for dam builders in the basin.
  • River Stories: Love stories from the Day of Action for Rivers.
  • Profile: We talk to International Rivers’ board member Brent Blackwelder about his long career as a river-hugger.
  • River Restoration: The US dam-decommissioning season is off to a good start.
  • China: Almost 28,000 rivers have disappeared, with dams and diversions mostly to blame.

Plus News Briefs, Making Waves and more!