Southeast Asia

Thailand Faces Flak for Backing Mekong Dams

Thursday, July 29, 2010
[IPS] Northern Thai villagers living on Mekong River’s banks are poised to join a growing tide of opposition against a planned cascade of 11 dams to be built on the mainstream of South-east Asia’s largest body of water. These communities, many of them from the northern Thai province of Chiang Rai, are drafting a petition to be submitted in the coming weeks to Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. They see this step as the first in a long battle to protect a riverine culture and livelihood that has come down generations. The target of the Thai villagers’ ire is the Sayaboury dam, to be

Thailand’s Commercial Banks’ Role in Financing Dams in Laos and the Case for Sustainable Banking

Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Thailand’s commercial banks are increasingly lending to neighboring Mekong countries, including to hydropower projects in Laos. The dams that they have financed to date, namely Nam Theun 2, Nam Ngum 2, and the Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project, have all inadequately addressed social costs and environmental impacts. This paper finds that: All major Thai commercial banks have some form of Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitment on paper. Despite some commendable commitments, however, fundamental changes to the bank’s core business practices have not occurred a

Feeding Southeast Asia: Mekong River Fisheries and Regional Food Security

Sunday, January 10, 2010
The Mekong River supports the world’s largest inland fishery. Its economic worth at first-sale value is at least US$2 billion per year and up to US$9.4 billion per year taking into account secondary industries. Yet, whilst contributing significantly to the regional economy, economic data such as this fails to capture the fisheries’ total value. From riverside communities to urban areas, throughout the Mekong Region, the river’s wild-capture fish are a vital source of animal protein and nutrients, making them central to regional food security.This paper outlines the importance of the Meko

Laos turns to hydropower to be 'Asia's battery'

Friday, July 2, 2010
The Christian Science Monitor The Laos government is banking on hydropower - with plans to build 55dams - to sell electricity to its Asian neighbors. But critics sayhydropower comes at the cost of more displaced farmers and alteredrivers.Scarred by war and plagued by poverty, Laos now dreams of becoming aregional energy superpower. Its communist government plans tocapitalize on 55 hydroelectric dams built on rivers that crisscrossthis sliver of land between Thailand and Vietnam."If all sources of energy can be developed, Laos can become thebattery of Southeast Asia," says Industry and Commerce

Request for Mainstream Dam's Environmental Impact Assessments to Lao Government

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Given the rapid progress of the Xayabuti Dam and Don Sahong Dam in Lao PDR, International Rivers wrote a letter to the Water Resource and Environment Administration of Lao government in order to request copies of the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports of these dam projects on June 14, 2010.On 9 June 2010, the Vientiane Times newspaper reported that Mega First Corporation Berhad had signed a joint venture agreement with Electricite Du Laos to develop the Don Sahong hydropower project. The Mekong River Commission also reports that a full EIA for the Don Sahong Dam has been subm

Laos Struggles With Dam Dilemma

Sunday, October 19, 2008
KHAMMOUANE, Oct 20, 2008 (IPS) - The Lao government places great hopes on plans to build hydroelectric dams to generate electricity for the country and to sell to neighbouring Thailand. But for residents along the Hinboun River in the central province of Khammouane, the reality has been different. read more...

Along With Power, Questions Flow at Laos's New Dam

Friday, April 23, 2010
By Richard StoneThe start-up of one of Southeast Asia's biggest hydropower dams haslaunched a new round of debate over how much damage the megaprojectmight inflict on the environment.Backers led by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) saythat the $1.5 billion Nam Theun 2 (NT2) dam in central Laos hasalready taken its most severe toll on the environment: Filling thereservoir in 2008 involved resettling 6200 people and inundating 450square kilometers of the Nakai Plateau. But critics say that theecological harm has only just begun. "NT2 will lead to very seriousimpacts" for more

Laos Hydropower Project Deprives Villagers of Water, Food, Income

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
AlterNet Back in November, I visited Navan Tai village on the Xe Bang Fai River in Laos. The morning sun shone down on a bustle of activity. The surface was scattered with small fishing boats as people cast nets into the sparkling waters. Women and children were bathing, while a couple of young boys showed off daring dives.Last month I returned, but the morning scene had completely changed. There were no fishing boats to be seen. The riverbank was underwater and nobody was bathing.Locals told me the water level had increased by 2.5 metres over the past two days. Why? Because on March 15, the N

Doubts Hound World Bank-Backed Dam as Its Turbines Start Up

Monday, April 5, 2010
Marwaan Macan-MarkarBANGKOK, Mar 25 (IPS) - It has been just over a week since the turbines came to life at Laos’ largest hydropower project, but questions are already dogging this World Bank showpiece that marks the financial institution's return to the business of big dams. *A leading environmental group has accused the Bank of failing to meet its obligations to help affected communities in the landlocked South-east Asian nation before the Nam Theun Two (NT2) project started supplying electricity to neighbouring Thailand on Mar. 15."Laos’ largest and most controversial hydropower project

Existing and Planned Lao Hydropower Projects

Friday, March 26, 2010
The Lao Hydropower Database lists existing and planned large (greater than 10 MW) hydropower projects in Laos. The table is based on the Lao Government Department of Energy Promotion and Development's "Electric Power Plants in Laos" as of September 2010 and supplmented with information from news reports from the same month. The table is updated regularly by International Rivers with new information from news reports, official project documents and other sources. The current version is from September 2010.


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