Southeast Asia


The Kamchay River valley in Bokor National Park that will be flooded by the Kamchay Dam.
The Cambodian government is on the threshold of committing to an extensive hydropower program mostly with the backing of Chinese financiers and construction companies. Cambodia's free flowing rivers and abundant natural resources are invaluable assets, the health of which are vital to the well-being of Cambodia’s rural population. Poorly conceived hydropower development could irreparably damage these resources and undermine Cambodia’s sustainable development.{C} Communities in Cambodia are no stranger to the impacts of hydropower dams. Over the past decade, 55,000 villagers once dependant

Burma's Salween Dams Threaten Over Half a Million Lives Downstream

Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Over half a million city residents, farmers, and fisher folk living at the mouth of the Salween River in Burma stand to lose their major source of drinking water, agricultural productivity, and fish stocks if dams planned upstream go ahead. In the Balance, a report released today by the Mon Youth Progressive Organization (MYPO), reveals how people living on the river’s banks, tributaries, and islands rely on the Salween estuary, where the fresh water of the Salween meets salt water of the Andaman Sea, and how their lives are intricately linked with the seasonal flows and daily tides of the r

Worldwide Protests Against Salween Dams in Burma

Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Bangkok -- On February 28, 2007, 19 cities worldwide expressed solidarity in opposing the planned Salween Dams. Protests in front of Thai embassies/consulates were held in a number of cities, including Washington DC, Sydney, New Delhi, Essen, Paris, Jakarta, Auckland, and Manila, where a petition letter was submitted demanding the current Thai administration withdraw from plans to construct dams on the Salween River. On the same day, solidarity actions took place in Bangkok, London, Melbourne, Hanoi, and Tokyo. "The entire decision-making process ... has been shrouded in secrecy. There has bee


The Burmese Government is in the process of selling the country’s rich river resources to hydropower developers from China, Thailand, and India. Large dams in Burma benefit these foreign investors while continuing to support the military junta financially and politically. Many areas that will be impacted by dam projects have been internationally recognized for their biodiversity. If built, dams on the ecologically rich Salween River, for example, will fragment the longest free-flowing river in mainland Southeast Asia. The Myitsone Dam in Kachin State will flood areas of pristine rainforest

Proposed Salween Dams Revive Development Nightmare for Karenni in Burma

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Karenni Development Research Group Threatened with plans by Burma’s generals to dam the Salween River and submerge vast tracts of their homelands, the Karenni are releasing a new report today which exposes the parallels between the devastating impacts of Burma’s first large scale hydropower project, built in their state, and those of the planned Salween dams. The report highlights the destructive mix of development and military rule in Burma. The report by the Karenni Development Research Group (KDRG), Dammed by Burma’s Generals, chronicles the impacts of the Lawpita hydropower pr

World Bank Board Approves Nam Theun 2, Marks Start to Ill–Conceived "High–Risk" Strategy

Thursday, March 31, 2005
The World Bank Board of Directors voted today to approve the Nam Theun 2 dam in Laos. Nam Theun 2 is the first major dam to be supported by the World Bank since it announced its intention to ramp up lending for large dams and other "high–risk" big infrastructure projects in 2003. Aviva Imhof, Campaigns Director of International Rivers, comments: "Laos is poor and in desperate need of development. The country cannot afford a project like Nam Theun 2, which will bring more benefits to the Lao government elite and foreign consultants than Laos’ poor. We fear for the lives of the tens of thous


Since the mid 1960s, Thailand has constructed more than forty major dams for power generation and irrigation, resulting in significant opposition amongst rural communities. Villagers' resistance to projects such as the Pak Mun and Rasi Salai Dams have essentially halted new dam construction in Thailand, although these communities are still fighting for permanent decommissioning of the dams to restore their lost livelihoods.


The Da River, soon to be flooded by the massive Son La Dam.
Vietnam's rivers are under threat from a massive hydropower development program. More than 30 projects are under development or at an advanced stage of planning to meet Vietnam's spiraling demand for energy. To make way for these projects, around 190,000 people will be displaced and many thousands more living downstream will be affected. Vietnam’s first and largest dam, the Hoa Binh Dam in the North, had devastating consequences for the 58,000 mostly Muong people who were forcibly displaced. They were moved to locations far their homelands and provided with little compensation. As a result,

Mekong Regional Initiatives

Kai algae collected from the Mekong River in Northern Thailand is in decline because of dams built upstream in Yunnan, China
The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) program, with its emphasis on large-scale infrastructure development and natural resource exploitation, has increasingly become a threat to the ecological integrity of the Mekong river system, undermining the well-being of the millions that depend upon the river and its natural wealth. International Rivers is monitoring these regional programs promoted by international development agencies.


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