Media Mentions

Banks Must Prove They Give a Dam

Thursday, November 26, 2009
Opinion piece published in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age Given the role banks played in the global financial crisis, it is reasonable to expect they would understand the need to demonstrate their ethics with transparency. No longer is it reasonable to assume shareholders and customers will simply accept a "trust us, we have good policies" response. But this is exactly the response of ANZ when it comes to the Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project - a dam and diversion project under construction in central Laos. This huge project is a hydro-electric scheme, with power being sold across the bor

No fanfare for China's Three Gorges Dam

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Originally published in the United Press International BEIJING, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- As the water level in the reservoir on the Yangtze River approaches its final height of 175 meters, criticism of China's Three Gorges Dam continues. The completion of Three Gorges is being met with little fanfare, unlike the elaborate celebrations Beijing staged 12 years ago to mark the diversion of the Yangtze on the spot of the future massive dam, Inter Press Service reports. In China, critics are saying filling of the dam is worsening the drought already affecting the Yangtze's delta. And Chi

Three Gorges Water Plan Postponed

Thursday, November 5, 2009
Originally published in BBC News China has postponed a plan to raise the Three Gorges reservoir to its ideal height of 175 metres due to a lack of water, the firm running the dam said. There has been less water than expected flowing into the reservoir from the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. More water than anticipated has also been let out of the reservoir because of drought further down river. Filling the reservoir will mark the end of the multi-billion-dollar project that was started in 1993. Landslide fear China's Three Gorges Corporation began raising the level of the 660km-long (4

Tide of Opposition Swells as Largest Dam Nears Completion

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Originally published by IPS in various news outlets BEIJING, Oct 30 (IPS) - Fifteen years after dynamite blasts first shattered the peace of China's breathtaking Three Gorges, the Three Gorges Dam-the pride of China's engineering progress-is nearing completion. But the cannonade of criticism bombarding the world's largest and costliest dam in history is far from over. In a matter of days the water level in the reservoir on the Yangtze River will reach its final height of 175 metres. With every metre of water filling the concrete coffer the swell of domestic opposition has increased and the voi

Living on Earth: The Battery of Southeast Asia

The Nam Theun River, Downstream of the Nam Theun 2 Dam - 2008 © Marcus Rhinelander
Friday, October 23, 2009
The Nam Theun River, Downstream of the Nam Theun 2 Dam - 2008 © Marcus Rhinelander Carl Middleton is interviewed about the Mekong river and Nam Theun 2 on "Living on Earth." Across Southeast Asia, hydroelectric dams are being planned and built along the biologically diverse Mekong River and its tributaries. In Laos, seven large dams are currently under construction, tapping much of the electricity for export to bring in needed revenue and development for the struggling nation. But environmental groups in the region oppose these big dams, calling them threats to Laos' amazing biodiversity.

Debate Over Dams on Africa’s Zambezi River

Monday, October 19, 2009
Originally published in Green Inc. (New York Times energy blog) In a study released in the Mozambican capital of Maputo on Monday, two environmental organizations — International Rivers and Justica Ambiental — say plans to build the Mphanda Nkuwa hydroelectric dam on the Zambezi, a river spanning six countries, could result in South Africa’s having to choose between light and water. The Mphanda Nkuwa dam site in Mozambique is 35 miles downstream of the Cahora Bassa dam, described by the United Nations as possibly the least environmentally acceptable major dam project in Africa.

Another dam on Zambezi is dangerous-Report

Friday, October 9, 2009
Originally published in Zambia Watchdog International Rivers Network has released a report condemning a Mozambican project that aims at putting a dam on the Zambezi river and build a huge hydro-power station at Mphanda Nkuwa. The network has said while the choice is to create more power, the region would be without water in the future critiquing that it is a choice Southern Africa could face in a few years if current plans to build more large dams on the Zambezi proceed. According to the Non Aligned News Agency (Nam news network), the network noted that the US$2 billion Mphanda Nkuwa D

Damming the Yangtze: Are a Few Big Hydropower Projects Better Than a Lot of Small Ones?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Originally published in Scientific American The proposed Xiaonanhai Dam would stand athwart the mighty Yangtze River some 30 kilometers upstream of the industrial metropolis of Chongqing. The dam represents the single largest project in that municipality's 11th five-year plan, costing roughly $3.5 billion. The growing city hopes to harvest 1.7 gigawatts of electricity from the river current of the Chang Jiang, as the Chinese call the third longest river on Earth. The dam is just one of 19 proposed dams on the upper reaches of the Yangtze, upstream from the massive Three Gorges project near Yi

Development: NGOs Question World Bank's Clean Energy Roadmap

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The World Bank's 2010 World Development Report (WDR), released Tuesday, calls on the developed world to lead global efforts to cut carbon emissions, but some civil society groups remain highly sceptical of the bank's role in brokering climate finance. The report sets out the annual development priorities for the World Bank and its affiliates, and has the potential to affect negotiations at a key meeting convened by the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen this December. "Developing countries are disproportionately affected by climate change – a crisis

Laos Dams: Powering the Future - Al Jazeera 101 East (part 2)

Thursday, August 13, 2009
Poverty is high in the small south-east Asian country of Laos, with 40 per cent of children stunted from malnutrition. But the country does have one trump card. Its mountains and rivers are ideal for dams, to produce energy that could be sold to power-hungry neighbours like Thailand. Critics claim these dams will block fish migration, cause massive environmental damage and affect millions of people who depend on the rivers to survive. But the Laos government is determined to press ahead, building eight hydro-electric projects on the Mekong river and another 50 on its tributaries. 101 East


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