Southeast Asia

Nam Ngum Hydropower Cascade Threatens Poverty Reduction in Laos

Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Poor sector planning, lack of public participation aggravate social and environmental impacts described in ADB report A report presented in Vientiane today on the cumulative impacts of hydropower development in Laos' Nam Ngum river basin indicates that proposed dams would have serious impacts on the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Laotians. But the flawed planning process makes it unlikely that this Asian Development Bank (ADB)-supported cumulative impact assessment (CIA) will have any influence over decisions taken on whether or how to proceed with these hydropower schemes. The CIA con

Lao Dam Cover-Up: Scientist Protests Deceptive EIA Report

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The environmental scientist originally hired to conduct the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project in Laos has disassociated his group from the official report. Instead of accepting Dr. Murray Watson’s original – and highly critical – report, the Company ceased communicating with him and hired a Norwegian company, Norplan, to complete the EIA. Watson states that while the Norplan EIA claims to be based on his investigations, the EIA comes to different conclusions regarding the risks of the planned expansion project. According to Watson, “the N

Media Briefing: Thai-Lao Hydropower Projects

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Thursday December 13th, 10 am, Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) In September, officials from Thailand and Laos joined the World Bank at a High-Level Forum on Sustainable Hydropower Development. Both countries affirmed the need for environmental and social standards when designing, building and implementing hydropower projects. But can their words be matched by deeds? Laos has put hydropower center stage in its development goals, as a source of foreign-currency income and sustainable energy. Its government has vowed to strength its regulatory institutions and policies to secure ma

Under the Boot: new report exposes military face of Chinese investment in Burma

Saturday, December 1, 2007
Exclusive photos and testimonies from a remote village near the China-Burma border uncover how Chinese dam builders are using Burma Army troops to secure Chinese investments. Under the Boot, a new report by Palaung researchers, details the implementation of the Shweli Dam project, China's first Build-Operate-Transfer hydropower deal with Burma's junta. Since 2000, the Palaung village of Man Tat, the site of the 600 megawatt dam project, has been overrun by hundreds of Burmese troops and Chinese construction workers. Villagers have been suffering land confiscation, forced labour, and restricti

International Rivers Board Member, Robert Hass, Wins Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Wednesday, April 9, 2008
International Rivers heartily congratulates our board member Robert Hass for winning the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. The prestigious prize was given for his recent collection, Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005. Hass served two years as the U.S. poet laureate and has taught at the University of California, Berkeley since 1989. Read an interview with Hass in the Berkeleyan featuring two of the poems from Time and Materials, one of which (reproduced below) concerns a dam in Thailand. Ezra Pound's Proposition Beauty is sexual, and sexuality Is the fertility of the

Norway in Laos: Ruining Rivers, Damaging Lives

Monday, November 26, 2007
Norway's state-owned power utility, Statkraft, has ruined the ecology of two rivers in Laos and the livelihoods of 30,000 people, reveals a newly-released report: Ruined Rivers, Damaged Lives. The report, commissioned by FIVAS, a Norwegian advocacy group, exposes the mounting social and environmental toll of the Theun-Hinboun Hydropower Project in the decade since it was completed. The Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) is co-owned by Statkraft, a Thai power company and the Lao government. The FIVAS investigation details increasingly severe flooding along the Hai and Hinboun Rivers over the la

BBC World Service on Nam Theun 2: "Laos Plans A Water Powered Future"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Listen to two stories about the implications of Nam Theun 2 for local people and a critique of the project by Carl Middleton, International Rivers' South East Asia Campaign Consultant.

Mekong mainstream dams: Cambodian civil society calls for the MRC to address its shortcomings

Public Statement: With six proposed dams threatening the sustainability of the Lower Mekong River, Cambodian civil society calls for the MRC to address its shortcomings In light of the recent reports that feasibility studies for six hydropower dams are underway on the Lower Mekong River, the Rivers Coalition in Cambodia (RCC) would like to respectfully call on the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and its international donors to address the shortcomings of the MRC in failing to prevent these potentially devastating projects from moving ahead and by failing to adhere to its regional responsibilitie

International alarm raised on dams across Mekong Mainstream: MRC must wake up to its responsibility

Monday, November 12, 2007
As the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and its donors prepare for their annual consultative meeting, 201 organisations and individuals from 30 countries around the world, including 126 citizens groups in the Mekong countries, have sent a resounding wake up call to the MRC. This action comes in response to news of the revival of six proposals to dam the Lower Mekong River. [read entire Letter to MRC] Civil society groups are demanding the MRC fulfil its obligation to protect the Mekong, in light of compelling scientific evidence that warns of the disastrous consequences of damming the lower Mekon

Mekong Mainstream Dams

Catching fish in the Khone Falls area, Southern Lao.
The revival of plans to build a series of dams on the Mekong River's mainstream in Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand presents a serious threat to the river's ecology and puts at risk the wellbeing of millions of people dependent on the river for food, income, transportation and a multitude of other needs. Already serious concerns have been raised by non-governmental organizations and scientists over the Xayaburi Dam, which is at the most advanced stage of development.


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