Southeast Asia

A Healthy Mekong River: Priceless

Friday, September 19, 2008
September 2008 World Rivers ReviewThe timeless rhythm of the Mekong’s seasonal cycles has nourished and inspired the peoples of the region for millennia. Many rural peoples’ lives and cultures are intimately tied to the river’s health. Even residents of the region’s bustling cities, whose lives appear more distanced from the river, are linked by the cultural richness it spawns. While China is midway through building a controversial dam cascade on the Upper Mekong, the river’s lower stretch – shared by Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam – has so far escaped hydropower developm

Southeast Asia Partner Organizations

International Day of Action against dams on the Salween River, March 2006
In the Mekong region, civil society organizations, academics, and community movements from Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam have built determined national coalitions committed to defending the region's rivers. As widespread dam development threatens many rivers shared between countries, these groups have worked together in regional coalitions, joined by a network of supporters worldwide. International Rivers works with groups throughout the Mekong region, supporting their efforts to protect the region's rivers. International Day of Action against dams on the Salween River, March 2006

NGOs Against Plans For 12 Hydropower Dams in Interior Sarawak

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR, July 23: Environmentalists are renewing calls for the Malaysian government to formulate a comprehensive energy policy, following the discovery of plans to build a network of power plants across interior Sarawak. Titled ‘Chinese Power Plants in Malaysia - Present and Future Development', the confidential document made by Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), which was accidentally published on a Chinese website details power projects planned for construction in Sarawak, between now and 2020. It highlights locations for two coal fired power plants, a dozen hydropower dams and several comb

Pow-Wow on 12-Dam Project

Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Originally published in The Star KUCHING: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will bring various stakeholders together next month to discuss the proposed construction of 12 hydroelectric dams in Sarawak. Commissioner Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria said the dialogue would provide an opportunity for government agencies and the relevant parties to openly discuss the projects and their implications. "Various groups and parties have raised concerns over the building of the 12 dams," he told reporters after a Suhakam dialogue with NGOs and the media in Sarawak here ye

Perspective from the Mekong Region: New Financiers and Familiar Problems

Thursday, May 1, 2008
The Mekong region is enjoying a period of stability and rapid economic growth not experienced for centuries. As a result, the region demands increasing quantities of electricity, and exploiting its hydropower potential is high on the agenda. In contrast to the recent past, it is project developers and financiers from Asia rather than the West that are spearheading this hydropower drive. Yet, in a region where millions of people depend on the natural resources that rivers provide, many proposed dams pose risks for the environment, communities, project developers, and host governments.This chapt

Theun-Hinboun Dam Nightmare Revealed: Resettlement Plan and EIA Riddled with Flaws

Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Norwegian-backed project will plunge 50,000 Laotians into Deeper PovertyThe Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project's resettlement plan and environmental impact assessment (EIA) utterly fail to meet either Lao regulatory requirements or international standards, and are riddled with flaws, omissions and biases, according to reviews released today by International Rivers. A scathing review of the environmental impact assessment by independent researcher David Blake concluded, "Rarely does one see such a cynical attempt to blatantly distort or ignore empirical data to achieve a pre-determined outcome: na

New rush to dam Mekong alarms environmentalists

Thursday, March 27, 2008
AFP [27.3.08] The Mekong River in southern Vietnam, the world's 12th largest waterway crossing six countries, may soon be tamed by a cascade of mega dams, but critics say the plan will harm the fish stocks millions of people rely on. Plans for a series of Mekong mainstream dams have been made and scrapped several times since the 1960s, but now, with oil above 100 dollars a barrel, the projects look more appealing than ever to their proponents. The river's future will be a key issue when prime ministers of the Mekong countries meet Sunday and Monday in the Lao capital Vientiane for a summit of

Mekong Meet May Assess Regional Integration

Thursday, March 6, 2008
BANGKOK, Mar 6 (IPS) - An opportunity to review the balance sheet of the benefits and burdens of regional integration and opening borders lies ahead, at the Third Mekong Summit to be held in Laos at end-March. The leaders of the six Mekong countries are to gather in Vientiane for the Mar. 30-31 summit to "discuss the progress and chart future directions in GMS (Greater Mekong Subregion) cooperation", according to an announcement by the Asian Development Bank (AsDB), which is facilitating the summit. This summit among China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Burma is aimed at helping achiev

Nam Theun 2 Delays Reaching Critical Stage: International Rivers' Report

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project in central Laos is not ready for reservoir impoundment, according to a report released today by International Rivers. The report, based on a recent site visit by International Rivers’ staff, shows that shortcomings and delays in programs to compensate villagers and restore their incomes have not been addressed. Furthermore, it is unclear if resettlement infrastructure for more than 6,200 villagers on the Nakai Plateau will be completed on time for reservoir filling to begin in June 2008.Shannon Lawrence, Lao Program Director for International Rivers, says:

New Report Urges Better Energy Planning in Cambodia before Hydropower Dams are Developed

Monday, January 28, 2008
Chinese investment in Cambodia's hydropower sector is threatening some of the country's most precious ecosystems and the livelihoods of thousands of people, according to a new research report released today. The research report, prepared by International Rivers and the Rivers Coalition in Cambodia, highlights the growing interest in large-scale hydropower dam development by Cambodian decision makers backed mainly by Chinese project developers and financiers. In April 2006, China announced a US$600 million aid package to Cambodia, almost half of which financed the Kamchay Dam, Cambodia's first


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