In Thailand, communities still suffer impacts of the World Bank’s Pak Mun Dam over 25 years after construction started. Whilst fisheries are decimated, and the communities’ fishing culture largely lost, compensation is inadequate. Yuka Kiguchi asks what are the responsibilities of the World Bank and Government for restitution and redress?
Women fishers in Kratie Province, Cambodia are concerned about plans for the Don Sahong Dam upstream in Laos. They worry that the river’s fisheries and the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin will be affected. Working with civil society groups, they have raised their voice through a campaign that has involved both protest and radio shows.
The Ywarthit Dam in Karenni State, Myanmar is a huge hydropower project planned for the Salween River. To date communities living nearby have not been consulted, and there is little attention by the media or wider public. Ko Thaike highlights the social and environmental impacts of the project, and says it’s time we talked about it.
Riverbank erosion along the Xe Bang Fai River in central Laos caused by the Nam Theun 2 hydropower dam creates problems for villagers’ riverbank crops, homes and livelihoods. Without compensation or assistance from the company, and with concern about their future, villagers are starting to plan their own protection strategy.
The Mekong Delta Study initiated by Government of Vietnam (2013-2015) aimed to look at the impacts of Mekong mainstream hydropower on Vietnam’s Mekong Delta that is the rice and fruit production centre for Vietnam. But the weak study process ignored local people’s concerns and has failed to protect the Mekong Delta and its communities.
Originally lauded as a model for the world, the 1995 Mekong Agreement has since demonstrated legal ambiguities, gaps and limitations, especially in regulating dam construction. Rémy Kinna argues that 20 years on, the UN Watercourses Convention, the most authoritative global treaty on international rivers, can strengthen and revitalise it.
The people of the Kampong Phluk community, a seasonally-flooded wetlands on the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia, are facing impacts on their culture and livelihood from recent changes in fisheries management and planned dams. Women in the community voice their perspectives and concerns.
Climate change already affects Thai communities who rely on the Mekong River’s natural resources. Areeya Tivasuradej shows how the Clean Development Mechanism by supporting hydropower dams that devastate communities and ecosystems is a false solution to climate change, and calls for a new approach following Climate Justice principles.
The controversial 400 MW Lower Sesan 2 dam in Northeastern Cambodia resumed construction in March 2015, after being suspended in late 2014 due to community and NGO opposition. In this article, Mai Lan meets the communities whose lives are disrupted, and discusses with local civil society the consequences of the project.
Thuan Nguyen is a 15-year student from Can Tho, Vietnam who is passionate about the Mekong Delta and environmental issues. He voices concerns about the planned Mekong mainstream dams and wants young people to work together to raise awareness about the value of the Mekong Delta.