Southeast Asia

Lao Dam Conceals Hidden Costs

Saturday, December 11, 2010
Originally published in The Nation Amidst much fanfare, French President Nicholas Sarkozy and senior World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) officials are expected to attend a gala ceremony inaugurating the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project in Laos this week. But for the tens of thousands of people who are suffering the effects of Nam Theun 2, there is little to celebrate.The project has displaced 6,200 indigenous people on the Nakai Plateau and affected more than 100,000 people living downstream along the Xe Bang Fai River. Funded by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and a host of

New Laos Dam Test for Hydropower Projects

Thursday, December 9, 2010
NAKAI TAI, Laos – One of Asia's poorest countries officially inaugurated a $1.3 billion hydroelectric dam Thursday that is earning badly needed revenue and could set new global standards for limiting environmental damage and improving the lives of those displaced.The dam in central Laos was the first major hydroelectric project supported by the World Bank after a long hiatus in the face of criticism that dams harm communities and the environment.Activists warned that it's too early to call the project a success, noting questions remain about the dam's impact on water quality and fisheries an

Laos Dam Faces Unresolved Issues

Thursday, December 9, 2010
VIENTIANE, Laos, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- As officials prepared for the inauguration of a new hydropower dam in Laos Thursday, problems remain, environmentalists say.Funded by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other public and private investors, the $1.5 billion Nam Theun 2 will generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity, more than 90 percent to be exported to Laos' neighbor, Thailand. It is one of the biggest hydropower stations in Southeast Asia.To make way for the project's 174-square-mile reservoir, more than 6,000 people had to be uprooted from their villages.Citing social and environmental

IPS article on Nam Theun 2 (December 7, 2010)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
World Bank-backed Dam Powers Ahead, Despite Social CostBANGKOK, Dec 7, 2010 (IPS) - As the World Bank returns to the big dam business with the inauguration of Laos’ largest hydropower project, it is coming under the scrutiny of familiar adversaries: green groups and grassroots activists.On the eve of the Dec. 9 ceremony to celebrate the Nam Theun Two (NT2) hydropower project in the landlocked country, a coalition of activists fired a letter to the Bank’s president, Robert Zoellick, citing social and environmental troubles that have surfaced with the building of NT2."More than 6,200 ethnic

Nam Theun 2 Dam Inauguration Hides Project’s Real Costs

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
More Than 100,000 People Continue to Suffer Impacts After over a decade of controversy, the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project in central Laos was inaugurated this week, although there is little reason to celebrate. As tens of thousands of people continue to suffer the impacts of the project, 34 civil society groups and individuals from 18 countries have called on the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to take immediate action to meet their promises to affected communities.The project has displaced 6,200 indigenous people on the Nakai Plateau and affected more than 110,000 people downstream w

Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project: The Real Cost of a Controversial Dam

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
International Rivers' briefing paper describing the Nam Theun 2 project, its unsettled questions and broken promises, at the time of inauguration in December 2010.The US$1.3 billion Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project (NT2), located in the small Southeast Asian country of Laos, has been marketed as a model dam project and a development panacea for cash-strapped Laos. But more than 110,000 people continue to suffer project impacts and are paying the real price of NT2.

Unresolved Issues on the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project in Lao PDR and the Hydropower Strategy of the Banks

Monday, December 6, 2010
34 civil society groups and individuals from 18 countries have written to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank this week calling on the Banks to take immediate action to ensure sustainable livelihoods for the affected communities. Some of the issues raised by the groups include: People on the Nakai Plateau still have no means for a sustainable livelihood, threatening their food security, as poor quality land in the resettlement sites continues to cause problems for villagers’ agriculture, the long-term production of the reservoir fisheries is in doubt, and outsiders are encroaching on

Comments on the World Bank and ADB's annual update on NT2

Friday, September 24, 2010
International Rivers and Mekong Watch write this letter to send our comments and recommendations on the Update on the Lao PDR: Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project (NT2) dated July 7, 2010. We agree that “many of the key challenges still lie ahead” on this project. However, we have different observations on the issues we raised in this letter and still believe that NT2 is not compliant with the Concession Agreement, the World Bank’s Safeguard Policy on Resettlement, and the Prime Minister’s Decree on the Compensation and Resettlement of the Development Project. Thus, we would like the W

US Senate Hearing Recognizes Mainstream Dam Threat to Mekong River

Friday, September 24, 2010
Foreign Relations Committee warned of impacts to 40 million people if Xayaburi and other mainstream dams go forward The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing yesterday on the plans to build a series of 12 dams on the Mekong Mainstream. The Committee, chaired by Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, was notified of the extensive impacts to the river and livelihoods that could be expected if mainstream dams were to go forward. As the US is a donor to the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the Committee was urged to do everything in its power to ensure that mainstream dams do not pro

Aviva Imhof Live at the U.S. Senate

Aviva Imhof, International Rivers Campaigns Director, spoke at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee Hearing on Challenges to Water and Security in Southeast Asia on September 23, 2010.  She spoke about hydropower development on the Mekong River basin, and how development must be studied closely in order to avoid negative social and environmental impacts. Watch the archived video testimony. (Speaker begins late at about 44:50, scroll forward on the embedded player) Updates: Coverage begins at 2:00pm EST (11:00AM PST) but seems to be running late, at the moment.11:3


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