Press Release

Press Release | Two Years After Lao Dam Collapse, Call for Justice Persists

Temporary camp for communities displaced by the dam collapse, Nov 2019
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Temporary camp for communities displaced by the dam collapse, Nov 2019 Photo credit: Mekong Watch FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Bangkok, July 23, 2020 - Two years ago today, at least 70 people died or disappeared and over 7000 were displaced when a dam collapsed in Laos, submerging homes, families and entire villages under a rushing wall of water. On the second anniversary of the disaster, those affected are yet to see justice. The Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy project is now operational and exporting electricity to Thailand. The dam collapse prompted only a brief delay in the project construction, with project

Press Release | Thai Mekong communities submit evidence of impacts in Xayaburi lawsuit

Friday, February 14, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Today, the Network of Thai People in Eight Mekong Provinces submits additional evidence to the Thai Supreme Administrative Court in the ongoing lawsuit regarding the Xayaburi dam on the Mekong River in Laos. The lawsuit targets five Thai state agencies and challenges the legitimacy of the Power Purchase Agreement between Xayaburi dam in Laos and Thailand, citing failures to assess and consult on the transboundary impacts of the dam in Thailand. The submission of additional evidence comes after half a year of project operations. During this period, downstream of the

265 Civil Society Groups Call on Chinese Authorities to Ensure that Covid-19 Financial Relief Does Not Bail Out Harmful Projects

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
April 30, 2020 – Today, International Rivers joined 265 civil society groups around the world in calling upon the Chinese government to ensure that COVID-19 related financial relief for struggling Belt and Road projects flows only to high-quality overseas investments that meet stringent criteria aimed at protecting people and safeguarding the environment. The organizations urged China to avoid bailing out projects already mired in environmental, social, biodiversity, climate, or financial risks prior to the onset of COVID-19. In February 2020, China’s Ministry of Commerce and the China

Press Release | Backers of Collapsed Laos Dam Must Be Held Accountable

Impacts of the dam collapse in Ban Hinlat-Tha Sangchan, Laos
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
One year after the devastating collapse of saddle dam D of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower project in southern Laos, none of the entities backing and profiting from the project have been held accountable, according to a joint report released today by International Rivers and Inclusive Development International.

Media Advisory | The ASEAN We Want: An Open Statement to ASEAN Leaders

Thursday, June 20, 2019
In an open statement to ASEAN leaders as they gather in Bangkok for the 34th ASEAN Summit, 110 community and civil society organisations and networks have urged ASEAN to respect people’s rights and livelihoods. Noting that ASEAN economic integration has prioritised the interests of investors with little regard to the negative impacts on people’s territories, livelihoods and economic conditions, “The ASEAN We Want” outlines the signatories’ hopes and demands for a just, prosperous and genuinely sustainable ASEAN. The theme for the 34th ASEAN Summit is “Advancing Partnership for

PR | Thai Foreign Affairs Minister Confirms China Will Halt Mekong Rapids Blasting

A fisher on the Mekong River
Thursday, May 23, 2019
“The Mekong River is a river of life, not a commercial river” FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Mr. Niwat Roykaew, founder of the Rak Chiang Khong Group in northern Thailand, has shared a letter he received on behalf of the Network of Thai People in Eight Mekong Provinces from Mr. Don Pramudwinai, the Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs, that confirms media reports in March of China’s agreement to halt the Mekong ‘rapids blasting’ project. The letter from the Minister states that he has emphasized the concerns of Thai communities and environmental groups towards the ‘International Navigatio

Press Release | Tragic Trade-Offs of Mekong Hydropower

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Today, International Rivers releases a new factsheet, Tragic Trade-Offs: The MRC Council Study and the Impacts of Hydropower Development on the Mekong. The factsheet summarizes key findings and recommendations of the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) 2018 ‘Study on the Sustainable Development and Management of the Mekong River, including Impacts of Mainstream Hydropower Projects’ (known as the ‘Council Study’). The findings of the Council Study clearly show that the plans for 11 large hydropower dams on the lower Mekong mainstream and 120 tributary dams by 2040

Press Release: Women leaders unite in shared struggle to protect rivers, confront patriarchy

Thursday, March 7, 2019
Photos by International Rivers NAGARKOT, NEPAL - The world’s largest hydropower scheme has yet to launch in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The last free-flowing river originating in China remains free of dams despite a spate of proposals. Local energy plans and investments have helped entire communities in Vietnam minimize pollution into rivers, and acquire new, affordable technologies such as solar hot water heaters and clean water technology. Behind each of these campaigns to protect local economies, ecosystems, and culture are women river advocates, who are converging this

Press Statement | Inga 3: An Exclusive Development Deal for Chinese and European companies

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
The Congo River International Rivers On October 16, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government announced a 14 billion USD joint and exclusive development agreement with a consortium of Chinese and European developers to construct the Inga 3 hydroelectric dam, following years of delay and controversy. The Chinese consortium is led by China Three Gorges, alongside a European consortium, led by Actividades de Construcción y Servicios (ACS) of Spain. The government of embattled DRC President Joseph Kabila signed the deal as national elections loom in December 2018. This announcement f

PR l Save the Mekong Coalition l Civil Society Groups to Boycott Pak Lay Dam Prior Consultation

Friday, August 24, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday 24 August: Save the Mekong, a coalition of non-government organizations, community-based groups and concerned citizens within the Mekong region, issued a statement today announcing an intention to boycott the Mekong River Commission’s Prior Consultation for the Pak Lay dam. Pak Lay is the fourth dam planned on the mainstream of the Mekong River in Laos. Prior Consultation is a requirement of the 1995 Mekong Agreement for countries to jointly review any development project proposed for the mainstream Mekong with an aim to reach an agreement on whether or not


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