Category: Mekong Utility Watch

Southeast Asia’s biggest dams will have to go

(September 13, 1997) When 15 leaders of the 9,500 indigenous communities affected by Malaysia’s Bakun Dam received their compensation last month, they sent the cheques back to the government. One said he received a token Bt3.3, which made the cost of issuing the cheque higher than the compensated amount. No wonder opposition to Southeast Asia’s largest dam project continues despite the fact work has already begun.

Huge dam in Laos could be a nightmare

(September 2, 1997) Laos is dreaming of a huge dam that will finance development of its poor corner of Southeast Asia. But Nam Theun 2 may turn out to be a nightmare for Laotian tribal people, who will be forced to leave their homes. It could mean extinction for rare species like the Vu Quang ox, only discovered in this decade, the Indochinese water pig and the white winged duck.

Conservationists who are enemies of the earth

(August 6, 1997) To the oil and mining companies, repressive governments and banks we list among the world’s exploiters, we must add another sector – conservationists. Unaccountable, opaque and pursuing a model of protection that is both repressive and outmoded, some of the world’s biggest conservation organisations are becoming indistinguishable from other neo-colonial corsairs.

World Bank Approves Guarantee Mechanism to Protect Private Deals With Risky Third World Governments

(June 3, 1997) The World Bank’s Executive Directors have quietly approved a new guarantee mechanism to protect commercial lenders that make joint investments with governments in some of the world’s poorest countries. The new guarantee mechanism is unchartered territory for the World Bank. It is designed to make large power and infrastructure projects attractive to commercial lenders in high-risk countries with governments that are considered uncreditworthy.