Category: Mekong Utility Watch

A river runs through it: the Mekong river, Thailand and Laos

(February 18, 2010) To help acquaint readers in the West with the importance of the Mekong, National Public Radio’s (NPR) Southeast Asia correspondent Michael Sullivan is producing a five-part series, journeying the length of the river and offering a closer look at the people who live along its banks. The third part of the series, "Mekong Divides Different Worlds In ‘Golden Triangle’" is reproduced below.

Turbulent waters: Myanmar and the Mekong river

(February 17, 2010) As the rush to dam the Mekong river in Southeast Asia continues unabated, critics are fighting back by documenting the river’s elaborate ecology and economy that is under seige. The river–which runs for 3,032 miles, while coursing its way through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam before emptying into the South China Sea–has become a regional ribbon of contention between local activists and the government bodies and international development agencies that want to dam the river’s flow.

Dams and Development Threaten the Mekong

(December 18, 2009) Environmentalists worry that the rush to develop the Mekong, particularly the dams, is not only changing the panorama of the river but could also destroy the livelihoods of people who have depended on it for centuries. One of the world’s most bountiful rivers is under threat, warns a series of reports by the United Nations, environmental groups and academics.

National Mekong Committee urged to take people-centered role on Mekong mainstream dams

(December 2, 2009) On the final day (December 1st) of the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) call for public submissions to its Strategic Environmental Assessment on the Mekong mainstream dams, the Save the Mekong Coalition sent a letter to the Chairpersons of the National Mekong Committees (NMCs) of Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, urging for a strong and trusted consultative process at the national and local level on development options for the river, which guarantees the participation of all riparian communities who would be affected by the eleven dams proposed on the lower Mekong mainstream.

Government Power Policy should be rethought, report says

(October 29, 2009) High-efficiency gas-fired power plans to supply urban areas and micro hydropower, off-grid solar power, and biomass technologies in remote areas are a better power supply alternative to large hydropower projects, according to the report, which was drafted by NGO Forum together with Probe International, a Canadian advocacy group working on energy and development.