Downstream Communities File Groundbreaking Complaint Over Don Sahong Dam

Mr X*, a 55-year-old fisherman from Kratie Province in Cambodia, seemed overwhelmed at first, and then he became concerned and angry. Before attending our meeting on the impacts of the Don Sahong Dam, he had heard nothing about the huge hydropower project now being built on the Mekong River in Laos, upstream from his village.

Mekong School’s Lessons for Change: One Activist’s Story

Hoang Duong
One day late in November, after a long period of preparation, public meetings on Don Sahong Dam finally started to move forward. I was traveling in the Mekong Delta. It is the time of year local people in the Delta start to collect and sell Ca Linh, a traditional fish, lotus trunk, and flowers only found in the rainy season. Livelihoods in the Mekong Delta are becoming harder since there’s more consumption and fewer natural resources than before.

Greater Study of Climate Change’s Impacts on Mekong Needed

Climate change will result in many hydrological changes of relevance to hydropower generation in the Mekong Basin, says Dr. Richard Beilfuss of the International Crane Foundation, a hydrologist and expert on the climate risks of large hydropower dams who has been studying Mekong climate risks for the German aid agency GIZ.

Toward More Democratic Power Planning in the Mekong

In the Mekong, the energy industry is a centralized monopoly, in which a small number of experts are responsible for decision-making in a system which lacks transparency and accountability.In order for energy planning to improve, the process and energy sector need to become more democratic, and more transparent.

Nam Theun 2: The World Bank’s narrative of success falls apart

Families living downstream of NT2 have experienced a severe decline in food security
This past August, Dr. Thayer Scudder, a renowned expert on the social and environmental impacts of dams and a prominent member of the Panel of Experts that monitored the Nam Theun 2 hydropower project, openly critiqued this World Bank showcase project. He described Nam Theun 2 as having failed to meet its social and environmental goals, and called it his “final disappointment” in a long career of trying to make large dam projects work better.

Understanding the Impacts of China’s Upper Mekong Dams

Lancang Dams within Yunnan
China has built seven hydropower dams on the upper Mekong River (known as the Lancang in China), and plans to build 21 more. The Lancang crosses through Qinghai, Tibet and Yunnan before flowing into Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. There have been many concerns from the Lower Mekong communities on how these dams will impact their lives and livelihoods.

Dams and the Politicization of Science

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
For almost two years, the sensational water conflict brewing in Southeast Asia was a hot topic, drawing the attention of global leaders and major newspapers. Laos was planning to build the enormous Xayaburi Dam across the Mekong River, angering downstream countries that depend on the river for food security.

Devil’s Bargain? Hydropower vs Food Trade-offs in the Mekong River Basin

Wild fish catch is the most important source of protein throughout the Mekong region.
The 60 million people living in the Mekong River basin get most of their animal protein and many important nutrients from wild-caught fish from the river. The knock-on effects of hydropower dam construction on wild fish catch and food supplies in the basin is the focus of the research described here.

Climate Change: There is No Plan B, Because There is No Planet B

Friday, September 26, 2014
We need consistency in national efforts. We have a real opportunity to take the lead in the region that goes beyond a presidential campaign promise to attend the UN Climate Summit, or the march, or the COP 20 at year-end. Today we need to effectively fulfill commitments and set more ambitious goals.

Hydropower Will Not Solve All Africa's Energy Problems

Opening ceremony of the De Hoop Dam in Limpopo, South Africa
Thursday, September 4, 2014
The prestigious Stockholm Water Prize should celebrate the solutions of the future, not the past, argues International Rivers' Africa director Rudo Sanyanga.


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