Mekong Mainstream Dams

Scientists Warn of Catastrophe for Food Security in the Mekong

To everyone who is nervously watching the Mekong governments gamble with the region’s food security: the situation just became more complicated. Scientists, journalists, and activists have worked for years to raise concerns about 11 proposed dams on the Mekong River that would leave millions of people without enough food to survive. Numerous studies have shown that these 11 dams would block fish migrations, inundate agricultural lands, and uproot communities on an unprecedented scale. A global movement has rallied around the message that these dams should not be built on the Mekong River

Thailand Defies Neighbors on Contentious Xayaburi Dam

For Immediate Release February 29, 2012 Government moves forward with project despite regional oppositionBangkok, Thailand – As the governments of the Mekong region continue to deliberate on the proposed Xayaburi Dam in Laos, the Thai government has defied the regional decision-making process and pushed ahead with the project’s implementation. Recent oversight hearings by the Thai Senate and the National Human Rights Commission confirm that the government has joined Laos in concluding that the regional process is complete, thereby allowing Thai developer Ch. Karnchang to proceed with const

Xayaburi Dam: What Next?

On December 8th, we watched the future of the Mekong River hang by the threads of a single meeting. Government ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam met to decide whether to approve Laos’ controversial Xayaburi Dam, the first of 12 large dams across the Mainstream Mekong River. Scientists warn that the dams would decimate the Mekong River’s fish population and threaten the food security of more than 2 million people, but the projects have crept forward nonetheless. After hours of deliberation, the four governments issued a vaguely worded statement calling for “further

Thai Utility Commits to Purchase Power from Xayaburi Dam

Bangkok, Thailand – Thai Senators are investigating whether the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) violated the Thai government’s instructions by signing an agreement to purchase power from the controversial Xayaburi Dam before it is approved by the Mekong River Commission’s member governments. Members of the Thai Senate Subcommittee on Good Governance on Natural Resources and the Environment agreed yesterday to send a letter to EGAT demanding a copy of the power purchase agreement (PPA). “A high-ranking official from the Ministry of Energy said in a Senate hearing tha

Why We Shouldn’t Dam the Mekong

Giant catfish
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Biological Treasure Trove is World’s Most Productive RiverGiant catfish Zeb Hogan From December 2011 World Rivers ReviewThe Mekong River is still a relatively healthy, natural, free-flowing river. It is one of the most biodiverse rivers on Earth (in terms of freshwater fish). Most of its habitats and connections between habitats are still intact. Remarkably, the Mekong is still capable of producing 2.6 million tons of fish a year, despite fishing pressures from millions of people who depend on the river for sustenance. That makes it the most productive river in the world. The Mekong is als

Mekong Governments Delay Xayaburi Dam Pending Further Study

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Civil society demands clear commitment from Laos to stop all construction activitiesSiem Reap, Cambodia – In a crucial decision for the people and ecosystems of the Mekong River Basin, the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam agreed today to delay the Xayaburi Dam, the first of eleven dams proposed for the Mekong River, pending further study on the impacts of the proposed Mekong mainstream dams. Japan and other international donors will be asked to assist in conducting the studies. No timetable for the delay was announced. The government representatives did not give a joint p

Dams of destruction threaten Mekong

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Originally published in The Bangkok Post This week a decision will be made in Siem Reap, Cambodia, that could shape the future of the mighty Mekong River and fundamentally alter the lives of 60 million people. The Mekong River at the site of the planned Xayaburi hydropower project in Laos. Experts say the dam will wreak havoc on the ecology of the entire Lower Mekong region. The governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam will meet tomorrow and Thursday near the ancient temple of Angkor Wat, to discuss the controversial Xayaburi Dam in Laos, which threatens to become the first dam on

Guilty as the Getaway Driver? Thailand and the Xayaburi Dam

Dam construction
On December 7-8th, the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam will meet and are likely to decide if the controversial Xayaburi Dam will go forward. The dam would be located in Laos, but would cause significant harm in Cambodia and Vietnam – so who takes the blame? The dam would drastically reduce the number of fish that are able to migrate upstream to their breeding grounds, depriving people in the region of an essential source of food and jobs. It would also prevent nutrients from traveling downstream to farmers who grow rice and other crops in Cambodia and the Mekong River De

Power from Xayaburi Not Needed in Thailand

Saturday, December 3, 2011
Alternative Plan shows Thailand can meet future energy needs with cheaper, cleaner optionsBangkok, Thailand: An Alternative Power Development Plan for Thailand released today shows that Thailand can meet its future energy needs without any additional hydropower imports, and without additional investments in coal or nuclear energy. The plan shows that power from the Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River is not needed to meet Thailand’s future energy needs, and that investment in energy efficiency, renewables and co-generation could lower electricity bills for consumers by 12% by 2030 and avoid inv


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